Ever notice how pears at the supermarket or corner store are often partially wrapped in tissue paper? You might think that’s to protect the pears, and you’d be right. But the protection is more complicated than it seems at first glance, and that paper wrapping is more than just paper—it’s often impregnated with chemicals.
"There really are two kinds of food entrepreneurs," says venture capitalist Paul Matteucci, who encourages and connects food-tech upstarts through his not-for-profit, Feeding 10 Billion. “There are the ones that hang around Berkeley or Brooklyn, and build businesses mostly for the end consumer. Then there is a whole different group of highly technical people who are building robotics for the field, sensor-based technology, automated watering systems, new food-packaging technologies, and big-data-related inventory control to reduce waste.” These, he says, are “the people who are going to solve the big problems.”
Subscription service Blue Apron helps you get a homemade dinner on the table in a flash. But its bigger creative vision, says chef Matthew Wadiak, is inspiring home cooks to constantly expand their repertoire.
To call awareness to the reality of school lunches and their questionable nutritional value and color palette (beige, gray, and brown seem to be the primary colors), Farah Sheikh, an education campaign manager at the nonprofit, Do Something, created Fed Up. The online campaign asked students to send in photos of their lunches and then vote on which ones they would “eat” and which they would “toss.” Images included the barf-tastic "Pork Slop" from Mississippi and the delightfully colorful lunch combo titled "lunch is pretty awesome" from Texas.
In a sample of chicken nuggets sourced over the counter from two national fast food chains near the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Dr. Richard Deshazo discovered that muscle made up only 40% to 50% of the nuggets. Under the microscope, he and his team found that the rest of the nuggets was mostly fat, with a hearty helping of “epithelium and other supporting tissue” (skin). One contained organ tissue, with a splash of nerves and blood vessels, while the other contained shredded bits of bone.
Monsieur, an artificially intelligent robotic bartender, will take your orders and craft perfectly portioned cocktails to your liking—plus, he doesn’t work for tips.
"As you get older, your tastes become more refined, and you quickly learn it’s expensive to get a quality drink. I thought I could design a machine that could provide consistent-quality cocktails to anyone—not just people who can pay $9 a drink, or even $50 a drink," cofounder and CEO Barry Givens told Fast Company.