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A first look at food panels at SXSW 2014

Addie Broyles

South by Southwest Interactive released its first round of programming today, and I’m a little underwhelmed by the food offerings. A handful of panels about futuristic ideas about food, but not a whole lot of critical analysis about food apps and publishing or how we’re currently using technology in the kitchen or eating out or to solve problems like food access and insecurity.

I have many doubts about the future of 3D food printing, but I’ll learn more in a session called Printing Chocolate: Food on Demand with Daniel Heron of Tech Ranch Austin and Levi Lalla of piq Chocolates, an Austin-based company that uses 3D printers to make personalized chocolate bars (above). More prognosticating will surely take place at The Future Farm is Now: Can Robots Feed the World? with a handful of ag tech experts and Future Foods: New Cuisine for a New Age featuring Glenn Zorpette of IEEE Spectrum and Pablos Holman of Intellectual Ventures.

I’m a fan of Stephanie Bogdanich’s Lazy Smurf blog, so I’ll try to check out her panel with Laura Beck from Jezebel called Activism on the Internet: You’re Doing it Wrong, and out of sheer curiosity, I’m looking forward to Blizzards and Beer: How Weather Affects What We Buy.

I’ve been working on a story about entomophagy this month, so I’m really excited about Hacking Meat: Why Insects are the Future of Food, which will feature three companies that are already doing some really interesting work in trying to get Americans to overcome their fear of eating bugs.

And lastly, the folks who run backyard poultry group on will host an in-person backyard chicken meet-up at the conference.

SXSW will release more panels on November 11, and I’m crossing my fingers for at least another half dozen panels on food.

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