DIY Evolution – Fruit Loops and Fruit Flies

by Joseph Flaherty on January 15, 2012

The Rice Krispie treat has remained largely unchanged from its origins in the 1920′s to the modern day. Maybe your mom would throw in chocolate chips, but I had never seen as wild a variation as this multi-color version made with Fruit Loops.

It also took the Kellogg company over 7o years to start selling a packaged version of the treat that has been a bake sale staple for its entire existence. This seems like the food equivalent of not putting wheels on luggage for 30 or so years after wide spread commercial aviation.

The DIY culture seems to be changing this. Last year, a woman invented a new kind of cookie by baking an Oreo inside a chocolate chip cookie. Within 2 weeks the recipe had evolved on the internet and many experiments were conducted.

Just like Darwin’s finches adapted to the varied environments of the Galapagos, DIYers are adapting to the “fame” that the internet provides. Adaptation doesn’t lead to survival in this case, but social capital. Inventive chefs now have an audience that might only include their Facebook friends, but still they become the Martha Stewart of their circle. In some cases, a cake a mother makes for her child can end up in the New York Times as was the case with Anya Richardson’s Angry Birds cake.

Fruit flies are the common medium to do experiments in genetics because of their quick reproduction cycles. I think food might be the equivalent in the DIY world because of the low cost of experimentation and easy access to tools. Today we see the DIY influence in cakes, tomorrow cars?

 

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