Tag: Supermarket

plant lab
Food Technology

Growing Plants in the Dark

While sunlight contains all colors, the dominant type of chlorophyll in plants only needs purple light to function. This simple fact has big implications for the future of farming. Crops planted in soil, of course, depend on the sun, while commercial greenhouses use white light to grow their crops. All that extra red, green and yellow energy is wasted on the plants.

PlantLab has taken advantage of chlorophyll’s little quirk. By using red and blue LEDs to create purple light, they have dramatically cut the energy needed to grow plants indoors. The special lights boost the efficiency of photosynthesis from 9% to between 12 and 15%. Growing plants in a closed system conserves heat, water, and nutrients, and cuts the need for pesticides. Since the crops no longer need access to sunlight, they can be grown in dense stacks. The future of vertical farming looks a lot like a nightclub for plants.

Watch the introductory video here.

ATEMPORARY-CHICKENkleur
Anthropomorphobia

Edible Implants

Why turn to implants when the female body can do it by itself? Dutch designer Femke Mosch came up with the idea of making edible implants that stimulate breast growth from within.

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Biomimicmarketing

Medicinal Blueberries

As our scientific knowledge of nutritious food increases, will healthy foods be progressively designed to look like medicines? This blueberry blister packaging created by Chinese designer Daizi Zheng certainly points in that direction.

Although utterly over-designed and unsustainably over-packaged, this might well be a product patients suffering from the healthy eating disease Orthorexia Nervosa would crave for.

Food Technology

Mark Post – Meet the New Meat

As we are moving towards 9 billion people living on our planet, it seems impossible to continue producing & consuming meat like we do today. Will we soon all be eating rice and beans? Perhaps. Yet professor Mark Post thinks otherwise.

At the Next Nature Power Show, Mark Post presented his plan to create the first lab-grown hamburger. He argues lab-grown meat could become the environmentally friendly alternative for breeding cows and pigs for meat consumption. It is relatively simple to take stem cells from an animal and grow them to produce new muscle tissue. Simply add sugar, proteins and fat and get it into shape with a bit of exercise to created edible meat. The only problem then is to find a new role for our livestock.

tilapia swimming in tank
Food Technology

Dumpster Fish the Future of Farming

Cities have seen guerilla gardens, rooftop honey production, and fire escape chicken coops. Now, urban farmers may be adding aquaculture to the mix. Headed by ex-banker Christopher Toole, the Society for Aquaponic Values and Education in the Bronx, New York, raises tilapia in tanks and trashcans. Closed recirculating systems use the waste from the fish to fertilize herbs like mint and basil. Toole and his girlfriend and partner, Anya Pozdeeva, envision a future where neighborhood fish like “Bronx Best Blue Tilapia” become a thriving local industry.

Efforts from Toole and other New York tilapia pioneers like NYU professor Martin P. Schreibman may represent the future of fish. As cities grow, and wild fish stocks dwindle to near-depletion by 2050, the urban production of hardy, freshwater species like the tilapia could be a sustainable way for city-dwellers to have their fish and eat it too. Urban aquaculture faces some steep hurdles before becoming a profitable venture. Similar small-scale city fish farms have flopped over costs and lack of demand. However, there is one bright spot: In China, which has practiced fish farming since 2,000 BC, indoor recirculating aquaculture is doing a booming business.

Photo via Blue Ridge Aquaculture.

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Corporature

Search Where the Sun don’t Shine

You’re spending too much of your time in the sewers of the internet, planning to pigeon-rank your toilet visits or you’re simply feeling lucky? This peculiar shanzhai’d toilet paper might be for you. Made out of 100% virgin pulp, so no trees have died to whipe your behind.

banksy rat
Anthropomorphobia

City Rats Love Ethnic Food

City rats, it seems, prefer the same foods that humans do: Greasy, fatty, sweet, and salty. Although rats are usually seen as the billy goats of city life, ready to chow down on anything remotely edible, they show a marked distain for healthy vegetables. According to author Robert Sullivan, “A rat might starve in an alley full of raw carrots”. Like a human that missed the low-carb fad, Rattus norvegicus instead loads up on white bread, fried chicken, and mac and cheese.

Rats don’t only exhibit a human-like tendency to indulge in junk food. Although they naturally opt for sweet over spicy, their cultural background plays in a role in what they eat. In Manhattan’s East Harlem, home to one of the city’s biggest Latino populations, rats have reportedly developed a preference for the same spicy food that other rodents would reject.

Rats mirror our urban lives, eating what we don’t, absorbing our culture, and taking up residence in even the more undesirable real estate. Maybe they make us uneasy because they’re too good at acting human.

Via Edible Geography and Robert Sullivan’s Rats. Image via Caruba.