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What is Next Nature?

With our attempts to cultivate nature, humankind causes the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. Wild systems, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us.

Posts Tagged ‘Supermarket’

  • Happy Meat

    While the meat-industry deliberately creates products in which you cannot recognize the animals they are made of, the toy-industry deliberately simplifies and exaggerates animal characteristics into caricature. The Happy Meat project by Type-B combine the best of both worlds in a rather uncanny hybrid. Bon appetit!

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  • child pate

    Liver Pie Made for (Not from) Children

    Everyday Anthropomophobia: This summer in Norway I discovered it is normal to put images of happy children on your liver pie product. I asked a Norwegian friend about this packaging and we concluded that, with items you see your entire life, you often forget to question their expression or origin. Product description from the producer: “Has a mild flavor which makes it perfect for kids.”

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    Inside the Fastfood “Photokitchen”

    Why does your food look different in advertising than it does in the store? A Canadian McDonald’s marketing manager tries to answer this common question with a behind-the-scenes videos, providing insight into the fastfood behemoth’s ”photo-kitchen”.

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  • Picture: ClipArtIllustrations.com

    Does Chocolate Milk come from Brown Cows?

    “Of course not, chocolate milk is made from cocoa beans, some additives and white milk that a normal cow produced,” answered the teacher to five-year-old Peter. However, the same teacher could be wrong in the near future. Genetic engineering is developing rapidly and may reach a level with unlimited possibilities.

    Scientist already inserted genes into the DNA of cows that came from different species. Research has shown that this technology enables transgenic cows to produce a modified milk composition. For example, Chinese scientists revealed healthier milk with special therapeutic proteins produced by genetically modified cows.

    Although chocolate milk producing cows may sound silly, scientists are seriously analyzing the feasibility of the idea. Why not add genes of cocoa and sugar to a cow, in order to create a cow that produces sweet chocolate milk? And how about other flavors, such as strawberry, peach or pineapple?

    On the other hand, the ethical corners of this next nature idea should be considered. Genetic manipulation is the largest ethical problems that science has ever faced. Should we restructure nature for sweet chocolate milk from a cow? And what about the potential  breeding of new diseases? If genetically modified animals will be in our next nature, scientists should be extremely careful.

    Whatever society decides, research about the possibilities of new animal products will continue. Eventually there will be enough benefits for humanity and the redesigning of animals will become part of our next nature.

    Sources: Biotechlearn.org.nzhowstuffworks.

  • oranges

    Using Simple Scents to Trick Shoppers into Buying

    Retailers have long known that certain smells get us into the buying mood – cinnamon or warm cookies around the holidays, for instance – even if we’re shopping for completely unrelated items. Now, scientists are beginning to zoom in on the exact smells that get consumers reaching for their wallets. Working with colleagues in Switzerland, researchers in Washington State University tested three different scents on unsuspecting Swiss shoppers to figure how smells might be tied to sales.

    While the idea of an orange-basil-green tea mixture may sound alluring, a plain orange scent outperformed both the complex scent and no scent at all. The orange scent was so powerful, in fact, that customers exposed to it spent an average of 20% more. This effect is likely due to the brain’s limited bandwidth for sensory input. Any effort spent teasing apart subtle aromas, no matter how enticing, is less effort that a shopper can devote to picking out the perfect necktie. A simple scent provides the ideal level of stimulation – not too much, but not too little.

    Science is enabling us to fine-tune our retail environments to make them the ideal habitats for buying. Next time you’re at the mall and get a whiff of orange, just follow your nose to the check-out line.

    Story via Boing Boing. Image via Flickr user OrangeSmell.

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  • Playing Food

    Playing with Your Food (Industry)

    Back in the old days, we played with a Playmobil®  farm. With a farmhouse, two pigs and a chicken, and it was a fair reflection of how the food industry worked. Nowadays small farms are overgrown by factory farming, fattening cattle at breakneck-speed in order to get them ready for slaugther as quickly as possible. Children do not comprehend this. They still believe in the nostalgic image of small peaceful farms, which their toys match – until now!

    Tomm Velthuis has made a wooden play set, called “Playing Food”, that represents the real food industry. Now, children can breed and fatten around 200 pigs by supplying the required amount of food. The pigs will end up waiting for their time of slaughter in pig sheds that can contain eleven pigs. The set includes felled rainforrest trees and acid rain clouds, as a consequence of the unsustainable meat industry.

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    Mainstream Perceptions on In Vitro Meat

    Nothing wrong with a bit of juicy television on ‘In Vitro’ meat. We propose to lock this video in a time capsule so that our kids can watch it and be horrified in 30 years or so.

  • beyond meat fake chicken strips

    Four Objections to Lab-Grown Meat

    In vitro meat has been billed as a way to end animal suffering, put a stop to global warming, and solve the world’s insatiable demand for animal protein. There’s no doubt that our hunger for meat is driving cataclysmic climate change, habitat loss, and overfishing. Things need to change, and change fast. But is meat cultured from animal cells, grown in a lab, and exercised with electric pulses the change we need?

    Earlier this year, Mark Post of Maastrict University announced his plan to produce a €250,000 burger. While the cost is astronomical, Post promised that economies of scale would eventually make the lab meat cost-competitive with conventional flesh. However, like jetpacks, underwater cities and orbiting colonies, many scientific breakthroughs that once seemed inevitable have proven to be possible, but economically unfeasible.

    We can do it. We just can’t afford it. Below are the top four reasons to believe that in vitro meat isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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  • Kitchen-meat-incubator-Daniel-Ong_nextnature_lab

    Eating In-Vitro: Kitchen Meat Incubator

    The Kitchen Meat Incubator does for home cooking what the electronic synthesizer did for the home musician. It provides its users with a set of pre-programmed samples that can be remixed and combined to their liking. Besides the preparation of traditional styles like steak, sausage or meatballs, consumers can bring their own imagination to the meat preparation process. The handy sliders on the device control size, shape and texture. More expensive models of the Kitchen Meat Incubator also come with a wireless link that allows you to download meat recipes from the internet or share them with friends.

    Designed by Daniel Ong for the Eating in Vitro series.

    Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.

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  • billa bananas

    Pre-Peeled and Plastic-Wrapped Bananas

    For when nature’s perfect packaging is just too darn hard to get off: Pre-peeled bananas in styrofoam and cling-wrap, from the kings of convenience at Austrian supermarket Billa. Luckily for the environment/common sense/peak oil, an internet uproar has led to the company pulling this hilariously unnecessary product from the shelves.

    Via Gawker.

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  • magic_meatballs_mark_kanters_nextnature_lab

    Eating in Vitro: Magic Meatballs

    Magic Meatballs are designed to playfully familiarize children with lab-grown meat. Young people are more prone to overconsumption of proteins and fats, and are more sensitive to the hormones and antibiotics used in conventional meat production. Luckily, lab-grown Magic Meatballs can be tailored precisely to a child’s individual needs.

    The basic meat consists solely of animal protein, and the combination of fats, omega-3s and vitamins is completely customizable. Colors and flavors can also be added to the neutral base to make the meat change color or crackle in your mouth. Magic Meatballs actively involve kids with the meat they eat, so that future generations will more readily accept protein grown in labs.

    Designed by Mark Kanters for the Eating in Vitro series.

    Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.

  • engineered_meat

    Eating In-Vitro: Meat, the Expectations

    As the planet’s population speeds towards 9 billion, it’s becomes impossible to continue consuming meat like we do today. Will we all be eating rice and beans? Grasshoppers perhaps? Scientists hope to keep us eating vertebrate protein with in vitro meat. Grown in bioreactors from animal cells, in vitro meat could be a sustainable and humane alternative to raising a whole animal from birth to slaughter. The first lab-grown hamburger is expected within the next few months.

    But why should lab-grown meat look like the meat we consume today? Growing protein in bioreactors could lead to entirely new forms of meat with radically different aesthetics, materials and eating rituals. While these new products might seem unfamiliar and artificial, much of the meat we already consume is divorced from the animal’s natural form: Ground beef, smoked sausages, and chicken nuggets.

    The Next Nature Lab is currently developing new visions on the production methods, designs and eating habits that might emerge around in-vitro meat. These speculative designs vary from knitted meat, protein powder fondue and luxurious meat fruit, to kitchen based bio-reactors and colorful magic meatballs for the kids.

    Current state of the Art: Tiny snippets of in-vitro meat.

    A selection of these future in-vitro meat scenarios is currently shown at the highly recommended Food Culture: Eating by Design exhibition at the Design Huis in Eindhoven (NL). As you might not happen to be in the neighborhood, we will also publish them online over the next few weeks. The projects were coached by Menno Stoffelsen, Koert van Mensvoort, Cor van der Weele, Daisy van der Schaft and Ronald van Tienhoven. Illustration by K. Cheng.

    Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.

  • non-browning arctic apple

    Genetically Engineered “Arctic” Apple Will Never Turn Brown

    Canada-based Okanagan Specialty Fruits is pitching a genetically engineered apple that does not turn brown when bruised or exposed to air. This new technology, available in both Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious, introduces a synthetic gene that drastically cuts down on the enzyme responsible for browning.

    As with the introduction of snack-sized baby carrots, Okanagon Specialty Fruits president Neal Carter is positive that his Arctic apples will remove consumers’ issues with eating an entire fruit at once. According to Carter, “If you had a bowl of apples at a meeting, people wouldn’t take an apple out of the bowl. But if you had a plate of apple slices, everyone would take a slice.” Carter hopes his fruit will reverse declining rates of apple consumption, and will help to curtail the number of apples tossed for minor browning.

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    Enjoy Udder Milk

    Infomercial on the hypernatural Udder Cows, optimized for utmost milk production. The video was created by Amir Admoni for the very first next nature power show in 2005, however we probably have to wait until 2050 before the Udder Cows will be grazing the meadows near you, if ever.

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  • andy vision retail robot

    Robots Invade Stores to Steal Our Jobs

    There’s a new threat to the world’s unemployed. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a robot that helps to organize shop inventories, making that trip to the store simpler for shoppers, cheaper for bosses, and harder on workers. AndyVision, as our newest retail overlord is called, is programmed to roll through the aisles, checking to see if products are low or out of stock, and if its puny human coworkers have incorrectly shelved an item. Human employees get the bot’s updates on iPads, and are sent scurrying to restock the shelves. Customers short on time can access AndyVision’s map to more quickly locate their canned goods and hunting supplies for the impending robot apocalypse.

    With a Kinect sensor, learning algorithms and floor plans, AndyVision is well-equipped to make his takeover of minimum-wage jobs even more effective. The robot currently only works at Carnegie Mellon’s campus store, but customers can expect to see these automated workers in other local stores sometime in 2013. AndyVision might look cute and inoffensive, but remember: In the United States alone, 5 million fewer workers are needed now to produce more goods than they did in 2006, all thanks to automation. Robots are coming to make our cameras, our sushi, and in a sure sign of the singularity end-times, our Starbucks.

    Via Smithsonian Magazine.

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  • Salmofan salmon dyed pink

    Dyeing Salmon Pink for Farms and Profit

    Wild salmon gets its robust pink color from a diet rich in red-hued krill. Farmed salmon are fed on fish meal, chicken byproducts, soybeans, wheat and a long list of other monochrome food. The result is a fish that’s the same plain gray as tilapia or cod. To make up for this color deficit, salmon farmers feed their fish doses of the carotenoid pigments canthaxanthin and astaxanthin.With the help of the SalmoFan’s color swatches, the farmers can decide when their product is blush enough for market. Consumers prefer a deeper shade, with 66% choosing color No. 33.

    As with “orange” cheddar, these pigments do not affect taste, nor are they particularly “unnatural”. They are the same chemicals found in krill, shrimp, cyanobacteria and, yes, wild salmon. Instead, the coloration persuades (or tricks) customers into thinking that their chain store’s coho is fresher, healthier and wilder than it really is.

  • loss of crop biodiversity

    Where Have All the Cucumbers Gone?

    This stunning graphic, courtesy of Nature & More, shows the astonishing drop in food crop diversity from 1903 to 1983. Lettuces available from commercial seed houses now represent just 7% of their former glory, while cabbage hovers at just 5%. All a reminder that the modern supermarket’s cornucopia of boxes and bags is a false diversity of choice.

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