Tag Archives | Food

Meet the Food Engineers of the Apocalypse

I hope you like beans. Eater explains why they are the future of food, post-Apocalypse:

When the apocalypse comes, what’s for dinner? Multiple studies indicate that if global warming continues at the current rate, we’re likely to see vast swaths of our food supply vanish. Scientists at UC Davis found that fruit and nut trees rely on a stretch of cold temperatures in order to grow. No more chilly nights would mean no more almonds, apricots, or cherries, among other crops. Other researchers have found that we will also be saying goodbye to cold-water fishmaple syrupbeerpeanut butter, and possibly grains and livestock.

Mr Beans

But while this may sound like the kind of question you’d arrive at in a late night dorm room munchies session, it’s also the question that motivates a handful of scientists to show up for work every morning. Call them the food engineers of the apocalypse, these are people who have moved beyond the question of how to stop global warming.

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Hot Food Trend In Los Angeles: Insects!


Giant Mealworms from Rainbow Mealworms, just $6.50 for 500!

From icky bugs to good grubs, the Los Angeles Times explains why more people are eating insects:

Gillian Spence plunges her hand into a shallow tray of 10,000 writhing mealworms. She comes up with a handful of the inch-long, beige-colored grubs, which squirm over and between her fingers.

Most are destined to become bait for fish or food for reptilian pets. But not all of them.

“A lot of orders now are going to restaurants,” she says.

Spence’s Compton company, Rainbow Mealworms, supplies the mealworms and their larger, feistier cousins, called superworms, to a number of edible-insect businesses across the country. One, called Hotlix, puts them inside lollipops.

Mealworms and superworms aren’t actually worms at all — they’re the larval forms of two species of darkling beetles. They’re also two of the roughly 1,900 insect species that are good for people to eat, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

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World population will be around 15-25 billion in 2100 and will increase through 2200 because of African fertility, life extension and other technology


Via Next Big Future:

The United Nations (UN) recently released population projections based on data until 2012 and a Bayesian probabilistic methodology. Analysis of these data reveals that, contrary to previous literature, the world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion people, will increase to between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion in 2100. This uncertainty is much smaller than the range from the traditional UN high and low variants. Much of the increase is expected to happen in Africa, in part due to higher fertility rates and a recent slowdown in the pace of fertility decline. Also, the ratio of working-age people to older people is likely to decline substantially in all countries, even those that currently have young populations.

There is only a 30% chance of population peaking by 2100. This is even without considering radical life extension or any other turnaround in human fertility.

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GMOs Are Becoming A Proxy For Bigger Concerns About The Food System

NPR goes to the Chipotle Cultivate Festival and learns that the anti-GMO movement is about a whole lot more than genetic modification: it’s a rejection of the agri-industrial complex:

The Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Kansas City on July 18 had it all: an indie pop band on stage, long lines at the beer booths. It was like a Grateful Dead concert, only with free burritos.


But this and the three other Chipotle Cultivate events held across the country this summer were more than just a classic summertime music festival. Billed as offering “food, ideas and music,” the festival offers a chance to “learn a free burrito,” by going through four exhibits.

Chipotle, the chain whose slogan is “food with integrity,” was the first national restaurant chain to eliminate genetically modified ingredients from most of its menu. Now, the company is going a step further: using its anti-GMO stance as a marketing opportunity.

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The Future of Work: We Have Been Here Before

Nana B Agyei (CC BY 2.0)

Nana B Agyei (CC BY 2.0)

Paul Saffo via Pacific Standard:

The latest entry in a special project in which business and labor leaders, social scientists, technology visionaries, activists, and journalists weigh in on the most consequential changes in the workplace.

This is not the first time society has fretted over the impact of ever-smarter machines on jobs and work—and not the first time we have overreacted. In the Depression-beset 1930s, labor Jeremiahs warned that robots would decimate American factory jobs. Three decades later, mid-1960s prognosticators offered a hopeful silver lining to an otherwise apocalyptic assessment of automation’s dark cloud: the displacement of work and workers would usher in a new “leisure society.”

Reality stubbornly ignored 1930s and 1960s expectations. The robots of extravagant imagination never arrived. There was ample job turbulence but as Keynes forecast in 1930, machines created more jobs than they destroyed. Boosted by a World War, unemployment dropped from a high of 25 percent in 1933 to under two percent in 1944.

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The Indigestible Fleshy Sculptures of Cao Hui

I’m a big fan of grotesque art and I suspect that many of you Disinfonauts out there in interwebsland are as well.

“When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock — to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.” Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

Six of one, half a dozen of the other…

‘visual temperature — sofa no.2′ (image courtesy of lin & lin gallery)

‘visual temperature — sofa no.2′
(image courtesy of lin & lin gallery)

Chinese artist Cao Hui has created a horrifying vision of a world gone meat in fibre and resin that scratches that itch as it were over at DesignBoom.com:

the work of cao hui could be considered indigestible for some viewers.

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The Future Will Be Full of Lab Grown Meat

Here’s another one of those lab-grown meat boosting articles, this time from Gizmodo. I think I’ll stick to tofu.

In 2013, the world’s first lab-grown burger was unveiled to the world. It carried a $330,000 price tag, and apparently, it wasn’t all that tasty. But the scientists behind the idea have been hard at work, and artificial meat that’s both cost-effective and palatable may arrive sooner than we think.


It’s not just cow-free beef burgers on the future menu — several groups around the world are attempting to clone chicken breasts and fish fillets, as well. Why do scientists want to grow meat in vats instead of on animals, and how close are we to actually accomplishing it?

The Big Resource Hog

The arguments for growing so-called ‘cultured’ meat are as wide-ranging as the reasons people decide to become vegetarian or vegan. If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you’ve probably received a mouthful on this subject from a friend or family member before, so I’m going to keep it brief and focus on the argument cultured meat proponents seem to embrace the most: Sustainability.

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Ben & Jerry’s flavors we’d actually like to see


Vermont is a terrible place. In fact, it’s the only state in the Union of which nothing nice at all can be said.*

Moose attacks. Forests teeming with flesh craving, lyme disease infested vulture ticks. More extraterrestrial anal probings per anorectum capita than any place on Earth. Blizzards of bloody ice and frogs. Bed and Breakfasts. Skeleton Witches. Flannel.

To most of us, however, Vermont is only known for three things: Maple syrup (a sticky insect attractant that tastes like bark and is poured from the head of an effigy of a woman molded in glass — no thank you!), Bernie Sanders (“…there’s too many varieties of deodorant. All you need is Victory antiperspirant: Only people guilty of ThoughtCrime sweat!”) and of course, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

An ice cream so foul and perverted that they named a once wholesome fruit flavor after the epitome of all that is noisome, barefoot and dirty, Cherry Garcia.… Read the rest

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Permaculture – Reconnecting with Nature


Phil Watt via Waking Times:

Humanity has lost its connection to nature. We’re so bombarded with artificial imagery and ideals of superficial living that most of us think taking in an occasional sunset or going for a bush-walk is what it means to be united with our Mother Earth. These practices are wonderful, and very grounding, however they are temporary and don’t truly represent the holistic way we most naturally connect to the spirit of our world and the life that it breathes.

As a culture, we have become disconnected from our food. We have forgotten the cycles of natural systems. We are blind to the divine patterns found in nature. We have lost the innate wisdom of knowing our environment like the back of our heart, and knowing our place within it. Instead we have accepted urbanization of our civilization as ‘natural’. In cities we live in a cement jungle, on top of each other but isolated from each other and our natural environment.

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