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Feeding the Future

A Bar Code For Everything We Eat, To Make Sure We're Eating Right

Imagine a database of the DNA of every living thing, and then the ability to find out if what you’re eating is really what you want to be eating. That’s the plan of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life. Soon, your phone will know if that tuna is really tuna.

David Schindel of the Smithsonian Institution talks about a new technology that can help you find out more about the fish on your plate. It’s called a DNA bar code, and the idea is that you’d be able to use your cell phone to scan a bar code on a restaurant menu to learn about the fish you’re eating. Schindel heads the Consortium for the Barcode of Life, an international project that aims to make a digital library of all life by collecting snippets of DNA.