In this Future Tech, we look at some wildly fascinating innovations in food technology that could also make a major positive difference in sustainability and nutrition.
Could bug burgers and dogless hot dogs be future fast food staples?
Three years ago, we introduced the world to Tomorrow’s Meatball — a visual rethinking of IKEA’s iconic meatball using alternative ingredients such as insects, algae and lab-grown meat.
Since then we’ve been developing a wider selection of dishes that showcase the kind of food we could one day be eating. Of course, they’re fresh from our test kitchen — so don’t expect to see them on IKEA’s menu. …
To show that insects can taste good, we took one of “tomorrow’s meatballs” — the Crispy Bug Ball — and cranked up the volume. … Say hello to the Bug Burger. Each patty contains 100g of beetroot, 50g of parsnip, 50g of potatoes, and 50g of mealworms — the larval form of a darkling beetle. …
We’ve developed two kinds of Neatball — one made with mealworms (“Bug Balls, anyone?”), the other with root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and beets. And for a true Swedish experience, we like to serve them with mashed potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry sauce.
Fresh produce can be grown in the dead of winter
We may be past the snow for another season (knock on wood), but there’s a lot of preparation that goes into keeping communities stocked up with fresh produce. A climate-controlled hydroponic garden is providing fresh veggies to this northern Manitoba community, even when the temperature dips well below zero.
From CBC News:
As in most northern towns, the concept of “locally grown” is exotic in Churchill, Man. So when Carley Basler shows up at people’s homes with big bags of fresh vegetables, it’s little wonder people get excited.
“It’s fresh food, fresher than probably anything that Churchill has ever experienced,” Basler said. She knocks on a door, and inside seven-year-old Karalina Burke is excited. As the door opens, she declares: “I ate three heads of lettuce!”
Her mother, Sandra Cook, is subscribing to Basler’s Rocket Greens, Churchill’s first locally grown produce. “It’s really remarkable we can have this here,” she said.
In the town of 800, perishables need to be flown in, making produce expensive. A head of lettuce at the grocery store can cost up to $7. By the time it arrives, it’s often wilting, and its freshness and nutritional value have diminished.
Basler’s produce is fresher — and she’s getting prices down to $3.50. …
“What we are doing is growing about 400 to 450 units of produce that we can harvest weekly and make available in our community,” said Basler, an electrician who took on the role of system manager.
This sensor mounts on your tooth and tracks what you eat
From ARS Technica:
A tiny tooth-mounted sensor can wirelessly transmit radio frequency data about the foods you’re noshing, reporting on sugar, salt and alcohol in real time. The creators hope that the dental device will someday help consumers and researchers make “conclusive links between dietary intake and health.”
Omenetto’s team has long been working on such radio frequency sensors — ones for the skin, brain and surgical implants. It made sense to move to the mouth, Omenetto tells Ars. “There are a plethora of markers in the mouth that… are very relevant to our health states,” he said.
The 2mm × 2mm prototypes to do that use their three-layer sensor design. It involves a middle layer of bio-responsive material, sandwiched between two gold, split-ring resonators.
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