Tag: Food Technology

Jean-Marc Cote illustration 1899 uncirculated, kitchen in 2000, published in Isaac Asimov's Futuredays 1986
Food Technology

Bizarre Retro-Futuristic Visions of Meat

Turns out that people have been concerned about the realities of meat consumption for quite a while. This is an illustration produced in 1899 by Jean-Marc Cote. The illustrations were made for a company that went out of  business before they could be circulated, but a set was discovered much later and reproduced in a book with commentary by Isaac Asimov. Cote envisioned the kitchen of the year 2000, where food is produced in a chemistry lab rather than in a traditional kitchen.

Click through to see more retro-futuristic predictions, including a miniature factory farm and fields sprouting with “fat plants” and “meat beets”.

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password screen on iphone

Swallow a Pill to Turn Your Body into a Living Password

More and more pieces of our daily lives are becoming password-protected. In a 2007 study, Microsoft found the average person to have 6.5 unique passwords, while by 2011, Skrill found this number to be over 10. Meanwhile, human short-term memory is only designed to remember seven unconnected pieces of information, and this number is not going up. In the face of increasingly complex rules for creating impenetrable passwords, some platforms have switched to identification via fingerprints or other intrinsic information. However, even fingerprints can be stolen. So what if your body was the password?

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How to Avoid a Global Wine Shortage

A global wine shortage is coming. Rising global consumption is contending with European wine production that has been acutely affected by changing weather patterns. Because wine consumption depends on regional grape varieties that are often climate-specific, poor harvests in Italy and France (the two largest global producers of wine, and among the largest consumers too) will lead to a global wine shortage as the 2012 vintage is released.

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Food Technology

Care for a Meat Flower Amuse?

While vegetarian food products typically mimic existing meat products, the meat flower reverses this principle: In vitro technology is used to grow meat in the shape of a flower.

The Meat Flower is illustrative for the diminishing of borders between ‘meat’ and ‘vegetarian’ due to emerging technology: although the cultured meat is grown from animal cells, no animals are hurt and injured in the process.

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Diagram of the steps in making in vitro meat
Food Technology

Grossed Out by Lab-Grown Meat? Here’s 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be

Many people find the idea of eating in vitro meat – animal muscle tissue grown in a lab – to be creepy, unnatural or downright disgusting. Maybe it’s the association with medical science, or maybe it’s the fact that a happy cow in a grassy meadow seems far more friendly that something scraped from a bioreactor. It turns out, however, that in vitro meat is a lot less unnatural than we think it is, and that “normal” food is far more bizarre than it seems. Here’s the top seven reasons why you shouldn’t be grossed out by lab-grown meat:

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Disposable Food Bowl

From Fast Food Packaging to Flowerpot

“Enjoy your food. Then put the seeds from under the label with gravel to the bowl and let it grow. After a week, plant bowl with an herb to the ground. The bowl will degrade and you can grow up your own herb”. This is the challenge of Michal Marko, design student at Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic.

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vegetable lamb of tartary
Food Technology

The Sci-Fi Prehistory of “Victimless” Meat

The idea of “disembodied” meat, whether grown from trees or in the lab, has been around for at least a century – if not way longer. The medieval notion of the “vegetable lamb of Tartary”, a live sheep that sprouts from a plant, could be thought of as the great-granddaddy of “victimless” meat. However, the idea of truly in vitro meat had to wait for the invention of cell culture. No doubt French surgeon Alexis Carrell pondered taking a nibble of an immortal drumstick when he created an “immortal” chicken heart cell line in 1912.

Perhaps the earliest explicit mentions of cultured meat comes from British statesman Frederick Edwin Smith. In 1930, Smith predicted that “it will no longer be necessary to go to the extravagant length of rearing a bullock in order to eat its steak. From one ‘parent’ steak of choice tenderness it will be possible to grow as large and as juicy a steak as can be desired.” Winston Churchill famously echoed this sentiment only two years later. According to Technovelty, in vitro meat made its first appearance in fiction in 1952. Since then, sci-fi authors have described inspiring, bizarre and uncanny speculative meat futures. Click through for some of the most evocative…

Next Nature is continuing the tradition of visionary lab-grown meat speculation: Support our crowdfunding campaign for the world’s first in vitro meat cookbook!

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Food Simulator to Fulfill the Desire to Eat

What if in the future we won’t need to shop at the supermarket and to deal with pots and stoves? According to Renata Kuramshina and Caroline Woortmann Lima, master’s students from Dessau Design Department of Anhalt University, we could just seat on a comfortable armchair and use some nasal and oral sensors to satisfy the desire to eat. This device, called Tenet, is designed to replicate the pleasure and emotions received from food and its rituals, without touching a fork or knife. Read more