Ever wish you had a magic wand that could tell how many calories are in your serving of lasagne, or what pesticides are still clinging to your apple? Well today is your lucky day, because that exists! The TellSpec scanner tells you what's in your food. Really. It's a little hand-held spectrometer that can "read" your food for things like chemicals, calories, and ingredients like gluten. And they're sure to be a hit at dinner parties and neighborhood barbecues.
Can't you just see it? Someone slaves in the kitchen for two full days and sets a beautiful plate of food in front of you. You whip out your TellSpec and say, "Oh, um, looks like there's a bit of gluten in that gravy, so I'm afraid I'll have to decline." Or, "Ew, this dessert is loaded with tartarzine. No thank you." We're going to be so much fun!
Okay, seriously, though. This does sound like a useful tool in some respects. I mean, it does seem to go beyond the information you'd get from reading a food's packaging -- especially if you're at a restaurant or eating a home-cooked meal. Maybe it's not that hard to find out the calories in your meal. But picking up on food additives and chemicals you're trying to avoid, that are not usually listed in the ingredients, would be a huge plus. I think I'd like to have that kind of information.
Then again, I can see how you could get carried away. Say you wash an apple and see there's still some pesticide residue. How many times are you going to re-wash it before you're satisfied?
And then there's the issue of allergens. The TellSpec inventor is careful to say that the readings aren't exact, and you shouldn't rely on it for detecting allergens. So this may not be that helpful for people with celiac after all.
Still, it sounds like a cool tool. It's not available yet -- TellSpec just won funding to start producing the gadgets. But maybe in the near future we'll all carry one of these in our handbags. A little lunchtime conversation? Like I said, this is going to make us all so fun.
Would you use this gadget if you could?
Image via TellSpec/Indigogo