The Lowdown: DNA dining

By Stefan Chomka contact

- Last updated on GMT

YO! Sushi genetic dining experience YO! Dinner, YO! Way, DNA testing to personalise its customers’ meals.

Related tags: Sushi, Restaurant, Casual dining

YO! Sushi has launched genetic dining experience YO! Dinner, YO! Way, which uses DNA testing to personalise its customers’ meals.

I’ve heard of food and wine matching, but food and genes...
Welcome to the world of personalised food experiences where it’s your genes, rather than your appetite, which ultimately dictates what you’re having for dinner.

Sounds rather clinical. How does it work?
The restaurant chain has teamed up with genetic testing companyDNAFit and is seeking ‘personalists’, people who embrace technology and science to track their wellness and use data to feed their diet choices, to try out its food. According to YO!, these personalists will be the food tribe set to take over veganism.

Right. But how does Yo! get my DNA? It hasn’t been trawling the police databases has it...?
I’m not going to go there. But you can rest easy, anyway - diners wanting to be DNA guinea pigs need to complete a simple home-test before sending it by return post and then receiving a breakdown of their unique dietary needs, including and potential food sensitivities they may have. Following this they will receive a tailored recommendation on what to eat at YO! in their ‘personalised plate plan’. Applicants need to be aged 18 or over to register their interest on YO! Sushi’s website, with the first 31 entries selected by a judging panel getting sent a kit to help them discover if they are more salmon or soy bean inclined.

It’s a brave new world we are eating in
Indeed. And one that was inevitably foreseen almost 15 years ago by the Nostrodamus of satirical comedy Nathan Barley. In one episode of the Channel 4 series Barley goes to a restaurant and a sensor is placed on his finger that informs the waiter that the perfect meal for his genetic makeup is reindeer sausage and pumpkin puree.

Lucky him. But surely it’s never been a thing in real life before?
Wrong. Back in 2017 the brilliantly bonkers duo of Sam Bompas and Harry Parr hekd a dinner at London’s Royal Geographical Society where guests attending had previously donated DNA samples by spitting into plastic bottles. While Bompass and Parr where on the hunt to create the ultimate personalised meal, in this instance they worked with a company called AncestryDNA that calculated where the guests’ forebears had come from and created a menu accordingly.

I think I’ll just stick to sushi, thank you.
Very wise.

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