No, this isn’t another lab meat vision from the Bistro In Vitro restaurant. While today’s meat production will be hard to maintain as the world population increases, there are other ways to get our protein fix.
The Kitchen Insect Farm created by Katarina Unger enables you to grow your own protein source at home. The table-top device provides an environment for Black Soldier Fly eggs to grow into larvae that feed on bio-waste.
It takes the device 432 hours to turn one gram of Black Soldier Fly eggs into 2.4 kilogram of larvae protein. Once matured the larvae self-harvest and fall clean and ready to eat into the harvest bucket of the device. A few of the harvested larvae are selected to be dropped back into the top of the machine and start the cycle again.
We especially appreciate the clean medical look of the device, that subtly counterbalances the stereotypical associations people have with consuming insects.
Bioprinting is already used in experimental medical applications, but it could probably also be employed in the meat-industry. Cultivator, by German Interaction Design students Sarah Mautsch and Aaron Abentheuer, is a speculative design project on how this technology could find its way into the kitchen of the future.
Just on the eve of April 1, Amazon introduced a new gadget named Dash Button, which will help you order groceries automatically. The timing of the announcement led a lot of people into thinking that it was just another April Fools’ joke, but it turns out that the e-commerce company is pretty serious about its new technology.
Throughout the lands of the Persian Gulf, desertification is a fact of life. As a result, the countries of this region import 90 percent of their food supply. A new technology developed by visionary researchers at the Waseda University, in Japan, might have found the solution to this problem. A special absorbent film that require no soil may be able to grow plants more efficiently than soil farming.
The research team, lead by Professor Yuichi Mori, has developed a hydrogel film that can hold 1,000 times of its weight in water. The scientists are already testing these films in 180 film farms.
Humans have mastered agriculture for the last 10.000 years, during which different climates, cultures, and technologies have driven and defined farming development. Nevertheless, a summer storm, voracious pests or a bad drought can still ruin the harvest and destroy months of hard work. But not anymore, according to Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, who transfered intensive agriculture under the roof.
Numerous products nowadays present themselves as organic. Such labeling suggests these products are created according to the principles and in harmony with nature, yet, it is hardly ever defined what this exactly means.
This pure organic coconut water is a striking example. 100% pure organic coconut water would be to drink directly from the coconut. So how organic is this product really? 80% Organic? 70% Organic? Or just slightly more organic than the coconut water without the labeling?
The next guest in our interview series is Chloé Rutzerveld, young talented and promising Food and Concept designer, from Eindhoven University of Technology. Chloé is interested in combining aspects of food, design, nature, culture and life sciences in a form of critical design. She uses food as a medium to address, communicate and discuss social, cultural or scientific issues.
Throughout 2014, Chloé worked on a 3D food printing project, titled Edible Growth, to show how high-tech or lab-produced food doesn’t have to be unhealthy, unnatural or not tasteful. Her concept is an example of a future food product fully natural, healthy, and sustainable.
The working principle combines aspects of nature, science, technology and design: multiple layers containing seeds, spores and yeast are printed according to a personalized 3D file. Within five days the plants and fungi mature and the yeast ferments the solid inside into a liquid. Depending on the preferred intensity, the consumer decides when to harvest and eat the edible. While the project is still speculative due to technological limits, the concept is very intriguing.
We recently talked with Chloé about people’s response to Edible Growth, the profession of food designer and new preparation methods and products that could be on our plate one day. Here’s what she had to say:
Here’s a way to update the old paper magazine into the digital realm: just add a button! For soup, press play.