The Next Fad Diet? A VR Machine That Tricks You Into Thinking You’re Eating.

I can't believe it’s not food!

By The Editors
December 7, 2016 9:00 am

In Michael Pollan’s Food Rules,  he lays out a plan for a no-nonsense diet that’s good for you, good for your waistline and good for the earth.

His golden rule: eat real food, not too much, mostly vegetables.

Dead simple in theory. But in execution, well, let’s just put it this way: steak is f*cking delicious.

But what if there were a way to satisfy our physical cravings for certain foods (especially less sustainable ones) without depleting supply lines? Like, say, a machine that could provide the sensation of eating food, sans the actual food?

A team of crafty Japanese scientists are trying to achieve exactly that, with a virtual food device that utilizes sensors and electrodes placed directly on the tongue and jaw. The prototype mimics food in taste and texture, and thereby tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating food.

You’ll be looking at the food, smelling it and tasting it, but nothing will be in your mouth. Will it satiate? At this juncture, that’s hard to say. But if it does, your stomach will shrink … because it’s literally not eating.

That Louis CK bit where he says his brain and his stomach don’t communicate, and the message that he’s full takes too long to get to his brain? This is that, in reverse.

The study, published in New Scientist, is still in its infancy — so you may want to go ahead and give Pollan’s diet the college try in the meantime.


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