Tag: Supermarket

SoyChickenCloseUp-920x618
Meat the Future

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.

plantagon_greenhouse_2
Dynamic-architecture

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
Biomimicmarketing

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!

coco-cola-drink-dispenser
Back to the Tribe

Organic Drink Dispenser

Recently, while traveling in Africa, I spotted this all organic coco-drink dispenser. Opening the can was a bit more difficult than I was used to, but then again I didn’t need to insert a coin before collecting my refreshment! Isn’t it just great when you can rely on your environment to store your food? Peculiar image of the week.

Augmented-Bodies

Lucy McRay – Swallowable Parfum

Know garlic? Now imagine you could make something that functions alike, but smells a lot better. Body architect Lucy McRae teams up with Harvard Biologist Sheref Mansy to create a digestible scented capsule that works through your own perspiration.

Once absorbed, fragrance molecules are excreted through the skin’s surface. A unique odor is emanated, depending on each individual’s acclimatization to temperatures, to stress, exercise, or sexual arousal. Watch Lucy’s presentation at the Next Nature Power Show.

www.swallowableparfum.com

box front
Food Technology

‘Alp’ Turns Containers into Refrigerators

Transporting and displaying cold food is an incredibly wasteful and inefficient process. Current display refrigerators, like those that display meats or cheeses in supermarkets, create cold air that is quickly lost to the open environment. The volume that is cooled is inevitably greater than the volume. Alp, by Ethan Frier, is a transportation and refrigeration concept for the supermarket of 2021. It consists of standardized, reusable boxes in which food items are packed, shipped and displayed.

The boxes are constructed of highly thermally conductive nanomaterials. They cool food via contact with a refrigerated “wall” that is permanently installed in the supermarket for display purposes, or in the wheeled containers used for transport. This system replaces the cardboard boxes typically used to ship food, the refrigerated infrastructure used to transport cold food (refrigerated trucks, large industrial holding refrigerators) and replaces the refrigerated shelving systems used to display cold food for sale.  Alp is completely modular and scalable, and can be configured to replace almost any type of refrigerator, from mini fridge to industrial size. Alp challenges us to critically think about how we refrigerate and transport our food.

For additional documentation, visit the project page.

Want to design your own speculative nanotech? Check out the Call for Products in the second edition of the NANO 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.