Editor’s Note: Future Foods, Coming to a Plate Near You

Not long ago, I saw an episode of “NOVA ScienceNOW” on PBS—I’m an unreconstructed documentary junkie—that grabbed my attention and tickled my fancy. The indispensable David Pogue took viewers on an exploration of why things taste the way they do, as well as the science and technology behind what we eat.

Ever since then, my ears perk up at the mention of new technologies or new applications of older technologies to improve foods and the experience of eating, whether at the molecular level or in the kitchen of a renowned chef. Previously, for instance, I had been unaware of the joys of sous-vide, nor had I experienced the wonders of ice cream produced instantly, thanks to liquid nitrogen—a trend that seems to be growing in popularity, according to my unofficial observations. (Soft serve from Mr. Z’s was about as exotic as it got in my tiny Minnesota hometown.)

On the precipice of this brave and tasty new world, what better time than to explore the FOODS OF THE FUTURE? [Insert freaky theremin sound effects here.] Megan Meyer, PhD, kicks off what will be an occasional series tracking new trends, technologies, and tastes in the world of food. Focusing on flavor is also timely, given the theme of March’s National Nutrition Month.

Also in this issue, an expert will help us demystify—and, in a sense, debunk—the concept of “superfoods.” In honor of American Heart Month, we’ll have a heart-to-heart about why it goes hand-in-hand with another observance: National Grapefruit Month. We’ll look at one of the most important reasons to read food labels and why it’s a matter of life and death for some. And we will explore what library science (shhh!!!) can tell us about communicating the science of food and nutrition.

Great, now I’ve made myself hungry for ice cream. Gotta run!