Artificial Meat

Scientists these days can now grow meat in the laboratory. Vascular physiologist, Mark Post, from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, created a 5-pound burger patty. It was made from bovine muscle stem cells, which had been bathed in a culture medium containing fetal calf serum to promote growth and differentiation. Food experts tasted the burger and said it was okay; it tasted like meat and was pleasantly crunchy.

Substituting lab-grown meat for the traditional meat has many positive effects. Cultured meat or “shmeat”, reduces the number of animals being slaughtered in the horrible conditions of feedlots. These filthy feedlots can harm human health and spread pollution. Lab-grown meat is therefore cleaner compared to traditional meat. It also doesn’t have pesticide residues and contains less antibiotics.

Because of people’s love for meat, 30% of our arable land is dedicated for growing food for livestock, compared to merely 4% dedicated for growing food for humans. Various calculations suggest that lab grown meat can reduce the need for land and water by 90% and energy usage by 70%

Unlike traditional meat, lab-grown meat is pure protein. Taste and texture could be a problem for some since It doesn’t have fats, blood or connective tissue. Researchers are planning to incorporate fat cells into the culture-or the healthier substitue, Omega 3.

Lab-grown meat won’t be in the market for another 10 to 20 years. Let’s just hope that when the time comes, its price will drop. The 5 pound burger mentioned above costs $325,000.

Source:

Rupp, Rebecca (2014). Meat, Shmeat from http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2014/09/16/meat-shmeat/ Retrieved May 14, 2015.

The Gourmet Robot

1We travel for experience and our backpacking experience would not be complete without having a food trip in the country we visit. But have you ever experienced expecting so much from the local restaurant in the foreign country that you are visiting only to be disappointed? Well, you are not alone! No less than Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has also been tired of these bad restaurants serving pseudo food. It was for the aforementioned reason that the Prime Minister came up with the idea of creating “an intelligent robot that measures smell and taste in food ingredients through sensor technology in order to measure taste like a food critic.” The robot looks to objectively identify the balance of spices in, say, a proper green curry, rather than subjectively critique a dish. Now we know that the food we eat is worth our money and that our experience in a foreign land is worth our time, thanks to this robot!

Source: http://www.thedailymeal.com/news/thailand-creates-robot-tests-thai-food-authenticity/092914

Diet ‘to go’

Diet Delivery Service

Diet delivery services have become increasingly trendy in the Philippines recently, but don’t expect them to go away anytime soon. Not only do they provide their customers with convenience, but they also cater to the growing health-conscious market by coming up with diet plans that supposedly do not compromise the taste and quality of food. These businesses work by delivering a certain number of meals daily for a number of days per week to their customers. What makes them different is that their meals are always nutritionally balanced and freshly prepared. A lot of them have chefs and nutritionists/dieticians who work on their meal plans.

These startups don’t necessarily have physical stores, but rely more on online operations, including the use of different social media. Not surprisingly, social media really play a big role in the success and popularity of these businesses. Chef Phoebe See of the Lunchbox Diet says that they even have more customers than an average restaurant. To create customer loyalty, these food businesses change their menu regularly.

Sources:

DIOLA, C. (2015) 3 affordable, diet-on-delivery options in Metro Manila. [Online] Available from: http://www.philstar.com/food-and-leisure/2015/03/27/1438138/3-affordable-diet-delivery-options-metro-manila. [Accessed: 6th May 2015].

THEME LAB. (2015) CRASH DIET PLANS – DIET MEAL DELIVERY SERVICE. [Online] Available from: http://dietpills.atspace.eu/diet-meal-delivery-service.html. [Accessed: 6th May 2015].

Growing Food on Mars

h_mars_crops_02

Developing a greenhouse on Mars seems to have been a matter of discussion for the past few years. It more or less came about with the problem of whether or not astronauts had enough food and even oxygen when they go to space, particularly, when they have missions to planet Mars.

Plants would be grown indoors with artificial light. Hydroponics will also be used. This is a way of planting that uses water rather than soil in growing fruits and vegetables. Water can be extracted from the soil of Mars but nutrients (or fertilizers) can come from either human waste or imports from earth. In addition to this, the plan is to have a robotic system for harvesting the crops. Missions for this greenhouse is estimated to begin around the 2030s, and its eventual aim is for the astronauts to be independent of the food they receive from Earth.

Sources:

Will the astronauts have enough water, food and oxygen? (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2015, from http://www.mars-one.com/faq/health-and-ethics/will-the-astronauts-have-enough-water-food-and-oxygen

Growing Food for a Martian Table. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2015, from https://2014.spaceappschallenge.org/challenge/growing-food-martian-table-integrating-deployable-/

Moskowitz, Clara. Mission for Mars: What’s for Dinner? (2011 September 13) Retrieved May 6, 2015, from http://www.space.com/12919-nasa-mars-astronaut-space-food.html

Labels: Anytime, Anywhere

Prep Pad

Does it bother you that you don’t know the nutritional content of most of the food that you eat? Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore with Prep Pad in the market! Prep Pad is an automated surface that can be connected to an iPad application. With it, you can find out information about your food, such as its ingredients, caloric content, carbohydrate content, and many more. This is amazing news for us as consumers, especially since information is more within our reach. Prep Pad gives the consumers the opportunity to fix and personalize their diets, in order for them to live healthier lifestyles.

Source:

Lempert, P. (n.d.). Top Food Trends for 2015… Are You Ready? Retrieved May 5, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-lempert/top-food-trends-for-2015a_b_6225884.html

Baking with Precision

Some people are just clueless in the kitchen. Some, like me, just don’t know where to start. Thankfully, the solution is here in front of us! The Perfect Bake is an app controlled baking system, featuring two components: a digital scale and a mobile app. It helps you achieve perfect results by doing measurements by weight, rather than volume.

You can select a recipe from the app, and it will tell you how much of each ingredient you need. As you pour stuff into the included bowls, the scale automatically syncs with the app to tell you if it’s enough. You can even adjust the recipe to the amount of ingredients you have on hand. If you only have 200 grams of flour, the app can fix the ratio for the others so that you can still make whatever pastry you want. If you only have a small pan on hand, the app can adjust for that as well.

I find this development really exciting since it makes baking a lot more accessible than it used to be. Even I am encouraged to try baking now, since I have this app to guide and help me throughout the process. I hope I can get my own set of The Perfect Bake someday!

Source:

The Perfect Bake. Retrieved 5 May 2015, from http://perfectbakeapp.com/

Foodborne Illnesses, Begone!

diarrhea-family-guy

With the rise in food contamination and other food-related illnesses and natural disasters threatening to reduce and destroy our crops at anytime, it is safe to say that the world’s food supply chain is vulnerable. It is a problem that technology and consulting giant IBM has taken up as a challenge to solve.

A problem with foodborne illnesses is that it can be difficult to discern where the tainted produce comes from, especially when food is being produced and sold at a global scale. Using comprehensive tracking systems from IBM and partner companies, however, we can now trace food properly as it passes through the increasingly complex global supply chain. We can now easily see which farms have infected produce and which are clean, effectively controlling food contamination.

Sources:

The Tech That Will Prevent The Next Big Foodborne… | A Smarter Planet. (2012, January 1). Retrieved May 4, 2015, from http://smarterplanet.tumblr.com/post/11653100454/the-tech-that-will-prevent-the-next-big-foodborne

Smarter Food. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2015, from http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/au/en/food_technology/ideas/