Tag: Supermarket


Razorius Gilletus Gold Plastic

Regular readers of this blog know we are closely monitoring razor technology as a symbol of our co-evolutionary relationship with technology. This basically means that, like the bees and the flowers, people and technology are caught in a relationship of mutual dependence: we serve our technology as much as it serves us. And just like humans, technology wants to prosper, propagate and grow.

The latest species in the Razorius line is the Razorius Gilletus Gold Plastic. Like the exorbitant feathers of the peacock, which only function is to aesthetically stand out amid its competitors, this new species of Razorius Gilletus only differs from its predecessor with a thin layer of gold paint on its plastic body.

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Pentagonal Oranges 2

Pentagonal Orange

After the Modernistic Watermelon and the Cubic Fruit, Japanese farmers have designed the pentagon-shaped orange. These citrus fruits called Gokaku no Iyokan, which means “sweet smell of success in exams”, were given as a good luck charm for students in the upcoming entrance exam season in Yawatahama, Ehime.

Flat sided fruits seem to have some positive aspects: they are easier to put into a box or in the refrigerator than round fruits, and their peculiarity could encourage people to eat them, arousing curiosity. We guess in the near future more fruit varieties will develop angles!

Source: Daily Mail


All-Natural E-nemies

Chemistry teacher James Kennedy sat down to show us that if we speak in terms of good and evil, Mother Nature’s products are far sneakier and complex than the lab’s. He virtually listed all the ingredients of non-GM fruits (excluding pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides or other contaminants), to reveal 13 E-numbers “naturally” packed in your morning blueberries, together with flavorings and fresh air.

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Pepsi Aubergine

Occasionally you bump into an image that seems related to our next nature quest, but you are unable to verbalize. If you have an idea, please enlighten us dear intelligent readers. For now it is our peculiar image of the week. Thanks Selby.

vegetarian replacement for eggs

Making Fake Eggs to Beat the Real Thing

Just as Sergey Brin bet on the success of in vitro meat, other tech entrepreneurs are betting that they can make vegetarian eggs that are more humane, healthy, sustainable, and affordable than the real thing. Hampton Creek Foods, based in San Francisco, has been hard at work inventing a better version of nature’s perfect pre-packaged food. Their pseudo-mayonnaise, for instance, went through 1,432 formulations – though it’s now indistinguishable from the real thing. Hampton Creek has bigger things on its mind than mere mayo:

“Over the next five years, Hampton Creek Foods… will first hawk its product to manufacturers of prepared foods like pasta, cookies, and dressings—the processed products that use about a third of all the eggs in the United States. Then it will aim directly for your omelet with an Egg Beaters-like packaged product. The goal, Tetrick explains, is to replace all factory-farmed eggs in the US market—more than 80 billion eggs, valued at $213.7 billion.”

Read more about the quest for the perfect vegetarian egg at Mother Jones. Photo via Kaley Ann.

foraging in portland
Back to the Tribe

Hipster Hunter-Gatherers Ravage Portland

In a story that’s best taken with a grain of artisanal Himalayan sea salt, one Redditor claims that herds of sous-chefs in Portland, Oregon have been tearing up his property in their quest for wild edibles:

“It was fine when they were just harvesting pineapple weed and mallow from the alley and the parking strip, although it was admittedly a little off-putting. I’m also totally cool with them picking the crab apples because some of the branches are in the public right of way. But yesterday my neighbor called to let me know she had to help a sous chef who got stuck on top of my fence holding a baggie full of chicory leaves.”

Replace the word ‘chef’ with ‘raccoon’ or ‘deer’ and, funnily enough, the story loses no coherence. Are locavores newest urban pest? Perhaps blasting mainstream music and sprinkling the property with processed foods will keep the chefs at bay.

Via Gawker. The full Reddit thread is available here. Image via Gastronomica.

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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overabundance of lobsters global warming overfishing

Why Are Lobsters Thriving in Maine?

Just when the oceans seem to be emptying of everything except jellyfish and microbial goo, a surprising finding has emerged from the Gulf of Maine: over the last decade, lobster stocks have been booming. This formerly white-tablecloth food is now so abundant that even local convenience stores are installing lobster tanks. While the health of lobster stocks is in part due to the famously successful Maine lobster management plan, there’s other factors at work that might dampen your enthusiasm for these big red crustaceans.

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disembodied cuisine
Food Technology

The 10th Anniversary of the World’s First Lab-Grown Steak

Amidst all the fanfare about the first in vitro hamburger, it’s easy to forget that this is not the first time that enterprising scientists have grown and eaten cultured meat. Way back in 2003, artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr of the Tissue Culture & Art Project spent three months growing a “semi-living” steak made from frog cells. The tiny steak was marinated in calvados and fried with garlic and honey, then served to some (un)lucky diners. The verdict on the taste and texture? “Jellied fabric”. Part of the sad state of the steak was that, unlike the recent lab-grown burger, the frog patty hadn’t been exercised over the course of its short semi-life.

Though a disembodied frog steak might seem strange, the story gets even stranger. According to the artists, “Soon after the installation, we were approached by an animal welfare organization with a request to grow semi-living human steaks—specifically, the group’s director asked for a feast based on a steak grown from her own flesh.” Perhaps history’s very first request for auto-cannibalistic in vitro meat. Maybe not its last.

If you’re interested in cannibal cuisine, you’ll want to check out our newest project, the In Vitro Meat Cookbook. Contribute to our crowdfunding campaign today!

Back to the Tribe

Invasive Sushi from Invasive Species

Chef Bun Lai of Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut, has a cheeky solution to invasive species: he eats them. His menu regularly features lionfish and Asian shore crabs, neither of which are native to the East coast of the US. Lai’s not afraid to get his hands dirty either: watch him go snorkeling for invasive seaweed and turn it into tasty soup here. According to Lai, these seaweeds “are much more nutritious than any farmed animal flora or fauna than you could possibly buy”.

Via Eater.