Future of Food - The World’s First Cultured $1000 Meatball
If Victor Frankenstein would be alive today, he certainly would have made a career in the artficial meat sector.
Memphis Meats, a start-up that specializes in “growing meat outside a live animal,” says it is should have its “cultured-meat” products on the market in three to four years. And just to prove that they are serious, they have just presented their first lab-grown meatball—a $1,000 meatball—to the public. A $1,000 is a pretty high price to pay for a single meatball, but it pales in comparison to the cost of one pound of their cultured-meat—$18,000.
Be sure to read the interview with Memphis Meats CEO Dr. Uma Valeti.
If you’re reading this from the civilized world, most of your insect encounters boil down to emotionally scarring spider cameos and annoying flies. But in roughly 80 percent of the countries on Earth, people eat insects. Cracked sat down with one man who has made it his life’s work to get Americans to eat more bugs: Kevin Bachhuber, cricket farmer.
The farm of the future is right here in Philadelphia
The owners of Metropolis Farms grow fresh produce year around in a small warehouse in South Philly.
The smell of basil fills the room as produce is grown sustainably with recycled water, special lights and coconut board. The second-floor, vertical farm yields as much produce as an immense outdoor farm. The secret?
“The innovation here is density, as well as energy and water conservation,” said Metropolis Farms President Jack Griffin. “We can grow more food in less space using less energy and water. The result is that I can replace 44,000 square feet with 36 square feet. When you hear those numbers, it kind of makes sense.”
What’s great about indoor farming is avoiding the elements. Harsh sun, pollution and bugs are a big issue in outdoor farming. The few bugs Metropolis gets are counteracted by the carnivorous plants that VP of operationsLee Weingrad genetically modified.
“I started growing these plants as a hobby and then I incorporated them into the farm because it attracts the fruit flies, gnats and ants,” Weingrad said. “There is a nectar on the leaves that attracts the bugs, and then they get digested by the acid that is secreted by the plant. The plants live off the nutrients of the bugs, so it’s a cyclical system that works phenomenally.”
When asked how the farm actually works, chef and salesperson John Paul Ramos said, “We take orders each day and harvest around 10 or 11 a.m. By 1 p.m. we are out the door delivering to restaurants and grocery stores with freshly-pulled produce.”
When Michael Bissanti opened Four Burgers in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2008, he knew he wanted to create a fast food restaurant with a strong sense of sustainability. Initially, that meant procuring only ingredients deemed natural, as well as sourcing from organic and local farms. But Bissanti quickly realized that the “natural” label wasn’t a panacea for a sustainable food system — and so he went looking for a way to bring sustainable, local ingredients even closer to his kitchen.
Chocolate cake and apples both taste sweet. So when it comes
to dessert, why do we find ourselves opting for baked goods over fruit? Per to a new study, our brains know the difference and act accordingly.
Twenty-Fifty is a visual exploration of the global food crisis
predicted for the year two thousand and fifty – a result of the
inability of the earth’s natural resources to meet future demand.
The project, created by visual communication designer Gemma Warriner,
presents a series of eight data visualization posters, each exposing one
primary issue responsible for this future crisis. It looks closely at
population growth, urbanization, food production, food waste, genetic
modification, climate change, consumption trends and agrobiodiverty as
the main influential factors.Through sourcing and photographing food
that is representational of my own data visualizations, the project
intends to both challenge and educate consumers about how the future may
LaCroix sparkling water has been hailed a “form of water better than all other waters,” but you might want to think twice before grabbing your eighth can of the day. The Atlantic’s Olga Khazan did some investigating into what, exactly, seltzer addiction is doing to our teeth. Her findings weren’t encouraging.
My partner (P) and I received our Joylent and tried it for the first time yesterday. I only had it for breakfast, but P had it for breakfast and lunch, then just snacked a bit for dinner because the Joylent left him feeling too full for dinner.
We have been reading articles about people’s experiences with Soylent/Joylent and we think we will begin replacing most of our meals (65-75%) with Joylent, and eating healthy salads and green smoothies and such when we have meals. We may have the occasional ‘cheat meal’, but we are trying to avoid them as much as possible.
Background: P is slim and relatively fit, his concern is that he doesn’t get enough nutrients because we tend to lazy-cook and eat whatever is easiest to make. I, however, am much larger than I would like to be, and know that I’m DEFINITELY not getting enough nutrients in my diet. With our wedding only a few months away, I’d like to lose weight and also be healthier, so hopefully Joylent will help me with both of my goals. We are both in our early- to mid-twenties, and lead fairly sedentary lifestyles (however, that is sedentary for British residents, as we still end up walking anywhere between 1-3 miles on a normal day). I’m going to try to start walking more, and once my endurance is up a bit, transition back into running. I say back, as if I’ve recently been running, but I haven’t had a long, successful run in several years, hence walking first to build endurance.
As we have only had Joylent for a day, all we can really notice is that we feel completely full after drinking a serving, and we are very gassy. Not debilitatingly so, but trust me: you will want to start on a vacation week or a long weekend, so you don’t have to spend your whole day trying to covertly fart between meetings or classes. And they carry an aroma, so again: start when you have free time and can be alone, or, like in our case, can be with the person you love (and who has agreed to put up with your farts for life). The taste is meh, I guess what any vanilla protein shake tastes like, so we weren’t completely surprised, but the grittiness made it harder for me to get down. P doesn’t mind it as much, and when he had the strawberry flavor for lunch, he said the taste reminded him of strawberry yogurt. So, all in all, not too bad. It’s tolerable, and trust me, that means a lot coming from me: a weird taste or texture sends me running (well, gagging) for the hills.
I will provide an update in a few days once our bodies have begun to adjust, and I can discuss how or energy and hunger levels have changed (if there is any change at all). Thanks for reading :)
“The reason we are doing this is not to show a viable product but to show that in reality we can do this,” he told BBC News.
“From then on, we need to spend a whole lot of work and money to make the process efficient and then cost effective.”
So why use such high tech methods to produce meat when livestock production methods have done the job effectively for thousands of years?
It is because most food scientists believe that current methods of food production are unsustainable.
Some estimate that food production will have to double within the next 50 years to meet the requirements of a growing population. During this period, climate change, water shortages and greater urbanisation will make it more difficult to produce food.
Prof Sean Smukler from the University of British Columbia said keeping pace with demand for meat from Asia and Africa will be particularly hard as demand from these regions will shoot up as living standards rise. He thinks that lab grown meat could be a good solution.
Lab-grown meat could eventually become more efficient than producing meat the old fashioned way, according to Prof Post. Currently, 100g of vegetable protein has to be fed to pigs or cows to produce 15g of animal protein, an efficiency of 15%. He believes that synthetic meat could be produced with an equivalent energy efficiency of 50%.“It will help reduce land pressures,” he told BBC News. “Anything that stops more wild land being converted to agricultural land is a good thing. We’re already reaching a critical point in availability of arable land,” he said.
So what is the synthetic burger likely to taste like?
“In the beginning it will taste bland,” says Prof Post. “I think we will need to work on the flavour separately by trying to figure out which components of the meat actually produce the taste and analyse what the composition of the strip is and whether we can change that.”
Prof Post also said that if the technology took off, it would reduce the number of animals that were factory farmed and slaughtered.
“While I do think that there are definite environmental and animal welfare advantages of this high-tech approach over factory farming, especially, it is pretty clear to me that plant-based alternatives… have substantial environmental and probably animal welfare advantages over synthetic meat,” he said.But David Steele, who is president of Earthsave Canada, said that the same benefits could be achieved if people ate less meat.
Dr Steele, who is also a molecular biologist, said he was also concerned that unhealthily high levels of antibiotics and antifungal chemicals would be needed to stop the synthetic meat from rotting.