How do Brits like the idea of being able to eat tropical fruits grown locally? That's one thing the U.K. government is trying to find out with a new Internet questionnaire that aims to survey what the average person on the Web thinks of future foods, including genetically modified (GM) products.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is asking participants about five potential new products: Scotland-grown bananas; no-calorie cake; anticancer broccoli; lasagna that keeps for months at room temperature; and "smart" labels that could detect when something's gone bad.
A council spokesperson says that so far, people have been quite keen for the zero-calorie cake, which is described as having "intelligent" slow-release ingredients that resist digestion, although one thoughtful respondent asked: "What about the faeces resulting from this product class?" Smart labels also drew positive reactions, even though these would require consumers to have special scanners and appliances that could read the labels' cooking instructions.
The long-lived lasagna, however, has met with some skepticism: "It's bad enough having frozen meals which only last a couple of months--god forbid we have things that last years!" wrote one consumer. As for anticancer broccoli, wrote another, "How many people actually LIKE broccoli?" And Scottish bananas are definitely not the wave of the future: They stir up anti-GM sentiments and besides, noted one writer, "growing them in this country makes them more commonplace and boring."