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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’

  • YouTube Preview Image

    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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  • NN_spread_mcworld_530px

    Featured Page #04: The McWorld Map

    During the coming weeks, we will present a selection of our favourite pages from the Next Nature book. This week a tool that encourages us to experience local specialties through the lens of a global corporation: The McWorld Map.

    Fast-food chain McDonald’s is often seen as an exemplary example of the globalization processes that flatten the world and make things look, feel and taste the same everywhere. Why travel when cities have the same food, coffee and fashion chains? Increasingly, however, McDonald’s offers local specialties. Have a Shrimp Burger in Greece, Teriyaki McBurger in Japan, McKroket in the Netherlands or a Nürnburger in Germany. The dishes show traces of traditional regional cuisines, allowing McBackpackers to get a taste of the world while keeping a safe level of comfort and recognition. Unfortunately, without a franchise, some places (most of Africa, Mongolia, Cuba and North Korea) won’t be able to cater to fast food epicures.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Featured here are pages 314-315 from the book Next Nature: Nature Changes Along with Us. More information about the book can be found here.

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  • strawberries

    Pineberry™

    More hypernatural designer-fruit. What do you get when you cross a strawberry and a pineapple? A pineberry, of course.

    Some seven years ago the pineberry was taken from its native South America and grown commercially in glasshouses by Dutch company VitalBerry BV. Today pineberries are available in supermarkets throughout Europe and, like most designer-fruits, the pineberry is trademarked and has its own wikipedia page.

  • Spray On Liquid Glass

    Spray On Liquid Glass

    Now here is a product that should soon find its way into the NANO Supermarket soon. At least, if supermarkets are willing to put it on their shelves, as they currently make huge profits from cleaning products and spray-on liquid glass would make virtually all of them obsolete.

    According to its creators “Spray-on liquid glass is transparent, non-toxic, and used to protect virtually any surface against almost any damage from hazards such as water, UV radiation, dirt, heat, and bacterial infections. The coating is also flexible and breathable, which makes it suitable for use on an enormous array of products.”

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  • growing fruit into packaging

    Growing Fruit into Its Own “Juice Box”

    Brazilian ad agency AGE Isobar spent two years experimenting in order to grow fruits into the shape of Camp’s juice boxes. Immature limes, guavas and passionfruit were packed inside of plastic molds. As they grew, they took on the form of a box and the logo of the brand.

    The stunt ostensibly goes to show that Camp’s fruit juice is all-natural. Though it’s only a marketing gimmick, we can still hope for the days that food produces its own packaging – or be content knowing that bananas already do.

    Story and images via Design Taxi.

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  • Nanowine_bottle_530

    A Winery in your Microwave

    A delicious Montepulciano in only 6 seconds? This is now possible with the universal Nano wine. All you need is a microwave oven.

    In 5,64 seconds at 1000 watt you have a sublime Romanée-Conti. Or create a surprisingly young Mouton-Rothschild 1945 in only 2,34 seconds at 650 watt. The possibilities are endless. The wine contains millions of nano capsules which depending on your mood and taste preferences can be activated by microwaves. Inactivated nano capsules move unnoticed through the body, while the opened capsules alter the taste, smell and color of the wine. Sweet!

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  • glass gem corn rainbow

    Glass Gem Corn Looks Like Jewelry

    Most corn has been selectively bred over the centuries to be a single color: yellow, white or blue. Glass gem corn, a varietal grown by Greg Schoen, harkens back to the days when each kernel of corn was a different color. This variation is due to the fact that, rather than being identical, all the kernels are genetically distinct siblings.

    The glass gem echoes the jewel caterpillar, another organism than by dint of its otherworldly beauty recently went from natural phenomena to internet phenomena. Even though we live in a time where computer graphics make every chimeric beast and landscape visible, we’re still just as – or even more –interested in natural freaks as our ancestors who once flocked to fairs and sideshows.

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  • Corn 2.0 Survival of the cheapest By Sean Serafini

    Corn 2.0: Survival of the Cheapest

    Congrats to Sean Serafini, the winner of our April Next Nature Spotter contest. While we received many images of fake nature, Sean’s entry delves deeper into more diverse next natural concepts. As Sean pointed out in his title, these foods are engaging in something like natural selection, competing against one another for the consumer’s attention. Thanks to packaging, marketing, and all-natural flavors, food technology has differentiated one crop  – corn – into a cornucopia of different foods.

    Sean, please contact us with your mailing info we can send you a copy of the Next Nature book.

    Want to win your own copy of our book? The new Next Nature Spotter contest runs until July 31. Simply download our free iPhone app and start snapping. Don’t worry if you don’t have an iPhone – send your photos to submit@nextnature.net with “Next Nature Spotter” in the subject line.

    Bring your phone or camera to the mall, to school, to your cubicle or your beach vacation. Let us know what you see. Entries will be judged on visual appeal and applicability to next nature concepts such as hypernature, manufactured animals, and anthropomorphobia. For more examples, check out our theme pages and FAQs.

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  • IMG_0950b

    Algae in the Supermarket

    As mentioned earlier, the world seems obsessed with algae. Not limited to producing light or energy, algae has also found its way to our plate as a new vegetable, and maybe even as a substitute for meat or fish.

    As we all know, the world’s rapidly growing population is making it even harder to feed everyone. According to the Dutch company Phycom, the current food production system puts pressure on food quality and security, which will eventually become a great risk to public health. In response, the company developed ‘Essentials’:  Algae separated from water, and then dried from a sort of wet, green paste to powder.

    According to Phycom, algae are the new vegetables. They’re 100% natural, and contain more fiber than leeks. Filled with protein, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, algae powder is already being processed into certain food products. A two-year research project supported by the Dutch government, slated to come out this year, will find out whether one day algae can become a substitute for meat.

    If the results are positive, not only will we eat less meat, we may also stop chopping down trees for soya plantations, and possibly create employment for future algae farmers. Besides being used to produce light and biofuel, will algae also be the solution to the world’s food problems?

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  • cutie orange

    Creating the World’s Cutest Fruit

    Just like corn, bananas, and essentially any other plant we cultivate, the Cutie mandarin is the result of a concerted effort to produce an ideal food. Mandarin oranges come from wild orange trees that grew in India, possibly as long as three millennia ago. Introduced to the West in the 19th century, the mandarin has since been carefully bred, even irradiated, to bring tasty new mutations to market.

    The Cutie’s peel comes off like zipper. The fruit is small, seedless, and sugar-sweet. Gone is the hassle of wrangling with a tough peel, or spitting out pips with every bite. The Cutie is, in fact, about as close to a candy bar as a fruit can get. There’s even a saccharine marketing campaign to go along with them: Cuties are made for kids.

    The mandarin’s perfection, however, dispenses with a relationship that’s as old as flowering plants. Like all citrus, Cuties produce seeds when they’re pollinated. To produce a dependable snack, Cutie growers must protect their orchards from bees and other pollinators via nets, physical isolation, or other means. Effectively fencing out bees from huge sources of nectar, this widespread farming practice may be a contributing factor to hive collapse. Developers of the Tango, another mandarin variety, have bypassed this issue by producing a completely sterile fruit.

    Via Smithsonian Magazine.

  • vanilla bottles

    Real Vanilla is Natural, But Natural Vanilla is Fake

    What most gourmands would define as “real” and “natural” vanilla flavoring is simple: Vanilla beans steeped in alcohol. But vanillin, the chemical responsible for vanilla’s taste and flavor, is a far more complicated beast. Chemically identical to real vanilla, artificial vanilla can be made from clove oil, pine bark, coal tar, bran, even cow dung. Until fairly recently, the chemical lignin, derived from wood pulp, was the most common way of synthesizing vanillin. Most artificial vanilla is now derived from guaiacol, a chemical derived from creosote or Guaiacum flowers.

    The United States Food and Drug Administration has thrown a hint of confusion (and a note of lychee) into the cut-and-dry definitions of “real” and “fake” vanilla. Any flavor derived from edible sources can be labeled a natural flavor. Therefore, vanillin made from bacterial fermentation of corn or rice bran is a “natural” vanilla flavor – just not “real” vanilla flavor. However, vanillin made from cow dung, while natural in all senses, is not legally “natural”, because dung normally isn’t a source of food.

    If this legalese has given you a headache, try some real/natural/artificial vanilla aromatherapy. Most people prefer the fake stuff anyway, if they can even taste the difference at all.

    Via Edible Geography.

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  • SoyChickenCloseUp

    Hybrid Meat

    On society’s search to becoming a meatless one, several new kinds of ‘meat’ pop up in the food industry. From so called ‘hybrid’ meatballs, to ‘the chicken that isn’t', when will we really stop eating meat and long for substitutes?

    According to 23 producers of meat substitutes, called Het Planeet, this will actually be in the nearby future. They produce substitutes based on soy, lupins and peas, but also on proteins like insects and algae. Het Planeet claims that the biggest threshold is not the quality, but the acceptance and perception of these protein ingredients and products. That quality should no longer become an issue, became quite clear during a taste test at the castle of Woerden in January. The battle between whole meat and hybrid meatballs turned out quite tough, since the best meatball was a whole meat one, while the second best turned out to be a hybrid: a combination of meat and 30 percent plant product. Replacing 30 percent of a piece of meat by plant product will, according to Het Planeet, cause a 15 percent reduction in meat consumption per person.

    Meanwhile, in Missouri, they are less subtle in replacing a nice piece of meat. Their soy-based chicken substitute not only replicates the taste of real chicken, it also mimics the same texture and appearance  of real chicken meat. Over 20 years of research has made it possible to produce something that has nothing to do with chicken, but according to the New York Times, certainly shreds like one. Sounds like acceptance is on its way.

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  • plantagon_greenhouse_2

    The “Plantascraper” Sprouts in Sweden

    We’re used to seeing proposals for high-tech vertical farms that never seem to translate to real life, but the city of Linköping in Sweden has finally taken these buildings out of the realm of glossy CG models. Plantagon International is building a 17-story vertical greenhouse, slated to open by 2013, that will have a “transportation helix” to transfer vegetables and grains within its enormous spherical space. The greenhouse promises to parasitize  on the excess heat, CO2 and waste produced by the city, using it for warmth and fertilizer. The design cuts transportation costs, and perhaps most impressively, promises the equivalent of 100,000 square meters of arable land on a 10,000 square meter footprint. Still no word on whether building a gigantic steel and glass structure is more carbon-efficient than conventional farming, but retrofitting existing office buildings might help take care of this problem.

  • Speculative Organic Coke design from 2008

    Coca-Cola embraces Organic Coke?

    Some years ago we studied the heritage of Coca Cola as a health drink and presented a fictional product called Organic Coke. Back in 2008 this was merely a speculative design, created to stir a discussion on the use of natural imagery to market products.

    As many people liked the idea of Organic Coke it obtained a certain presence & visibility on the Internet. Apparently some people at the Coca Cola company are now considering to actually bring Organic Coke to the market. At least, if this internal ‘Situation Analysis Report’ is genuine.

    Be Brave, Be Optimistic, Be Different, Be Young, Take care of your BODY, Drink Organic Coke. Admittedly that slogan still needs some work, yet it would certainly be to our delight to see the green cans appearing in the supermarket. Yes, I still want my Organic Coke!