Is the way you eat indicative of larger trends?

Is the way you eat indicative of larger trends?
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Cuisine and cultural advances often go hand in hand. The early mastery of fire, for example, swiftly led to the mastery of barbecue; ancient Egyptians brewed beer to bankroll the pyramids. And today, the rapid pace of technology means that new products, trends, and cooking methods are coming to market faster than ever before. But tech’s truly transformative effect on how we consume, prepare, and even fund food, is just beginning to be realized, particularly in the US and the UK: two societies playing a large role propelling new food trends to mass adoption. In numerous ways, technology and techniques from the UK are being reimagined in the US to push the interconnectivity of cuisine and technology forward. 

Provenance uses blockchain technology to make the supply chain more accessible to consumers.
Provenance uses blockchain technology to make the supply chain more accessible to consumers.

Food tech innovation is prompting both businesses and consumers in the US and the UK to have more say in the ethics behind what they eat. British startup Provenance, for example, is one company defining the new standard. Using blockchain technology (the same used in the backend of bitcoin), the company provides restaurants and individuals with the means to trace the path of seafood from sea to plate.

Other emerging tech goes a step further, replacing the animal protein entirely. Silicon Valley firms, for instance, have emulated the success a British company has seen selling a meat-free protein as ground beef, and are raising hundreds of millions of dollars to simulate beef with the use of plant enzymes. To get a sense of how quickly culinary habits are changing, look to the sustainable food tech markets in the US and the UK for an illustrative example of how we might eat in the decades to come.

And while technology has far-reaching implications for the future, it is also helping to reimagine the cooking of the past. Thanks to large investments from American brands, classic British cooking techniques are making their way across the Atlantic. The AGA cast-iron range, for instance, was once a staple in a British upper class kitchen. After an acquisition last year from an Illinois-based company, the product has undergone innovation to better fit the lifestyle of American consumers who expect flexibility and energy efficiency along with an original design emphasizing luxury.

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What’s more, new cooking products in general are finding their way to market faster than ever before, helping to break down any culinary boundaries that may have once existed between the US and the UK. While once products had to undergo lengthy corporate processes before being brought to market, now, products can be produced faster and more efficiently with the use of crowdfunding (food-related projects this year have garnered over $100 million on crowdfunding platforms). The poster child for this approach is the cooking style of sous-vide, an obscure technique accidentally discovered by a British-American physicist some two hundred years ago. Revived by French master chefs in the 1960s, it existed largely in whispers—a secret tool hidden in Europe’s most elite restaurants. Now, thanks to crowdfunded startups like Anova, chefs in American homes have the tools to poach their eggs and prepare steak like Michelin-star pros. While it used to be that upscale restaurants and professional chefs largely dictated major culinary trends, crowdfunding programs for food-related projects are helping consumers position themselves as culinary experts.

Businesses and consumers in the US have envisioned innovative ways to use technology and classic cooking techniques from the UK. Broadly speaking, it’s little surprise that increased connectivity and creative sources of funding are contributing to an accelerated rate of culinary transformation. But when taken together, it’s evident that consumers and companies are finding unique ways to dictate culinary tastes and habits. And if food is indeed the cornerstone of a culture, then ultimately this technology-driven shift in how we eat is evidence of our move towards a more global society.

The culinary world isn’t the only realm evolving due to cross-Atlantic innovation. Explore the latest in automotive technology featured in the all-new Jaguar F-PACE.

This article was produced on behalf of Jaguar by Quartz creative services and not by the Quartz editorial staff.