Cultured meat is still in its research and development phase and must overcome massive hurdles before hitting market. A consumer-ready product does not yet exist and its progress is heavily shrouded by intellectual property claims and sensationalist press. Today, cultured meat is a lot of hype and no consumer product.
Mark Post unveiled a $330,000 cultured burger in 2013, startup Memphis Meats has produced cultured meatballs and poultry last and this year, and Hampton Creek plans to have a product reveal dinner by the end of the year. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offered a one million dollar prize for whoever could “produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro (lab-grown) chicken meat” in 2008.
The meat is made by growing animal-derived cells in the lab and harvesting the meat after a month or so. Part of that scale-up includes developing industrial bioreactors for growing the meat—eventually, cultured meat producers hope the process will look a lot like the beer brewing, where cells grow in big tanks. (Bioreactors as large as 20,000 liters exist for other purposes, but would need to be designed specifically for growing cow, chicken or pig cells.)
Chinese scientists have genetically engineered purple rice, which is rich in antioxidants(Credit: Qinlong Zhu/South China Agricultural University)
Chinese scientists genetically engineered purple rice that is rich in antioxidants and may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The added health benefits of the new rice are due to the increased levels of anthocyanins. Not only do these compounds boost antioxidant activity, which is linked to reduced risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, they also give foods like blueberries and red grapes their eye-catching coloration. As a result, the new rice breed has a rich purple pigment.
The next phase for the team involves studying how safe the new purple rice is to eat, and whether the technique can be applied to other cereals. Eventually, the researchers say the technique could be used to increase the levels of other nutrients and chemicals in plants.
AmazonFresh Pickup in Seattle, allows you do your food shopping online — either at home or on the go — and then collect it when you drop by at a depot in your car. According the promo video above, all you do is select a pickup time when you hit the “buy” button and when you show up someone will be there to load up your car. Future launches are most likely to be in places where the AmazonFresh delivery service is already up and running, which include cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Boston.
Robots will hit the streets with food delivery orders from Marble, a San Francisco startup that is partnering with Yelp to navigate crowded city streets and deliver your order before it gets cold.
Marble’s robots are about waist-height, a bit larger than the dog-sized models of its competitor Starship. They’re also brimming with technology borrowed from self-driving cars. Each Marble delivery bot—there are a few of them cruising the streets of San Francisco’s Mission and Potrero Hill neighborhoods—includes lidar, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors to monitor their surroundings. The company says it plans to map the majority of San Francisco’s sidewalks over the coming year. Visitors and San Francisco residents can order delivery from Yelp’s Eat24 app for a chance to be served by a Marble bot. If you’re selected, you’ll be offered the opportunity to accept the service, and the restaurant will then pack your order into one of the robots’ cargo bays. Once it arrives, you’ll enter an access code to unlock your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Last month, Starship also began delivering pizza from Domino’s locations in Germany and the Netherlands. If those trials are successful, Domino’s could expand the service to more of its 2,000+ stores worldwide.
Fresh, natural and simple are the culinary words of the day. As consumers are taking a greater interest in ingredient lists of packaged food – the shorter the better, the more pronounceable the better – chefs and restaurateurs also look for minimally processed ingredients for their menus.
Quinoa is ubiquitous these days, but it’s starting to cool off as a hot trend. Its cousins in the ancient grain family are picking up that heat, though. Amaranth, spelt, farro and sorghum may be coming soon to a grain bowl near you.
- Vegetarian and vegan cuisines
After a few years on the rise among hot menu trends fueled by an increased focus on health and nutrition, vegan and vegetarian cuisines are becoming less trendy. They are not going anywhere, though, as they are gaining momentum as permanent features on restaurant menus. Simultaneously, veggie-centric cuisine continues to heat up, indicating that plant-focused diets are increasingly embraced by both chefs and consumers.
- Underused meats are on the outs
Meat cuts like chicken feet, pig ears, tongue and oxtail had their moment in the sun as far as being trendy, but the skies are now partly cloudy. And speaking of underused proteins, insects continue to hold the number-one spot on the yesterday’s news list in the What’s Hot in 2017 report.