Samsung have recently developed a new feature for their smart refrigerators (no, really), a camera which is able to identify what food you have in your fridge and suggest recipes that you can make with the available ingredients. I'd love to see what it could do with the cooled fayre available in my house
Peter Edgerton / www.peteredgerton.com
Friday, 17 March 2023, 12:30
The irony of the very telephones which have consistently numbed and stifled our imaginations with their constant barrage of largely inconsequential information being called 'smart' is vividly striking. However, it certainly doesn't stop there.
Samsung have recently developed a new feature for their smart refrigerators (no, really). This involves a camera which is able to identify what food you have in your fridge and suggest recipes that you can make with the available ingredients. I'd love to see what it could do with the cooled fayre available in my house: half a tub of margarine, some cider apple vinegar (absolutely no idea), an onion, three carrots that have seen better days, some bits of bacon, two eggs laid some time during the Boer War, six cherry tomatoes and a few mushrooms (these could conceivably be the direct offspring of the ageing carrots). I think the only possible conclusion that even the smartest app in the world could come up with would be some kind of ghastly soup concoction or a new recipe for penicillin.
Whenever I go to other people's houses, their fridges are unfailingly replete with an ample range of foodstuffs guaranteed to satisfy every whim of even the most discerning palate: a selection of hams, cheeses, sauces, wines and all manner of fruit and vegetables. Plus loads of jars of things that surely must have been sitting there longer than my carrots. There are two possible explanations for this. First, these people actually live like this and dine in the manner of Henry VIII every evening or, alternatively, they leg it to the shops the day before I arrive just because they're having somebody round and normally the contents of their fridge is as baffling and unappetising as mine. I do hope it's the latter, otherwise my life is little more than a shameful sham.
A spokesperson for Samsung, who may or may not have a massive forehead and ill-fitting spectacles, said, "The average person wastes 238 pounds of food annually, making up 21% of the food they buy. Whisk's Food A.I. understands what's in your fridge and recommends recipes to use those ingredients up before they go bad." And there's the rub.
If you've got a fridge consistently jam-packed with a vast range of goodies, the chances are you'll end up wasting a fair share of what's in there. If, on the other hand, your selection of victuals is, let's say, rather more minimalist, your corresponding wastage will be much less which, I'm sure you'll agree, makes you an infinitely better person and a fine, upstanding citizen.
All of which leaves only one remaining question: why on earth did I once buy a bottle of apple cider vinegar?