Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Posted: November 25, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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You might think that your feeling of satiation when eating is due simply to your stomach filling up. According to the Hirose Tanikawa Group at the University of Tokyo, however, the visual perception of food also has something to do with it – the greater the amount of food that a person sees that they’re eating, the sooner they feel full. With that in mind, the team has created a prototype dieting system that uses augmented reality to trick people into thinking their food items are larger than they actually are. Users wear a head-mounted camera-equipped display, and handle their food against a chroma-key-blue background – it is hoped that in a commercial version of the technology, any background (such as a table top) will suffice. The headgear could also likely be replaced by something considerably lighter and smaller, such as a set of Google Glasses. The camera’s video signal is processed by software that identifies hand-held food items and enlarges them relative to the user’s hand, in the display. A deformation algorithm likewise makes their hand appear to be opened wider, as if it’s naturally holding the larger piece of food. (via Augmented reality system could be a boon to dieters)

In an auditorium last week at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, startup companies sought out investors to help take their ideas to the next level. This wasn’t a tech conference. Venture capitalists were here to check out sustainable farming. “In the next 40 years there’s going to be a 70 percent increase in demand for food worldwide,” said Jason Reed, founder of, which hosted the event. “There’s not a lot of models for how sustainability can capture that increased demand and those increased pressures.”

Looking For A New Startup Idea? Try Farming – Business Insider

Posted: October 22, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Red wine and steak, soda and burgers, pickles and pastrami sandwiches — these are combinations that just work. Now researchers provide a scientific explanation for why these unions are appealing to the tongue. Astringents like red wine and pickles balance out the grease of steaks and pastrami.

“They cancel each other out, so to speak,” said Paul Breslin, a sensory biologist at Rutgers University and at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, and one of the authors of a study in the journal Current Biology.

Dr. Breslin has long been interested in how food attributes like fattiness, creaminess and astringency affect our mouths. “We want our mouth to be lubricated just right,” he said. “Our saliva does it because of the proteins it produces.”

Greasy food causes overlubrication and leaves an unpleasant slippery feeling on the tongue. On the other hand, drinking very dry wine or strong tea or eating acidic fruit causes the proteins to be precipitated out, creating an equally unpleasant dry sensation.

Posted: October 21, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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What they’re doing on Marsden Farm isn’t organic. It’s not industrial, either. It’s a hybrid of the two, an alternative version of agriculture for the 21st century: smart, green and powerful. On this farm in Boone County, Iowa, in the heart of corn country, researchers have borrowed from both approaches, using traditional techniques and modern chemicals to get industrial yields — but without industrial consequences. If the approach works at commercial scales, and there’s good reason to think it will, it might just be an answer to modern farming’s considerable problems. “We wanted to show that small amounts of synthetic inputs are very powerful tools, but they’re tools with which you tune the system, not drive it,” said Adam Davis, a researcher with the United States Department of Agriculture. (via Big, Smart and Green: A Revolutionary Vision for Modern Farming | Wired Science |

Posted: September 3, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The spider tortoise – one of the rarest tortoises in the world – is the equivalent of a microwave meal for the Mikea, a hardy Madagascan forest tribe. The method is simple: bury tortoise in heated sand, wait 20 minutes, slurp superheated innards. “It even comes in its own bowl,” explains Solo, a seasoned tortoise hunter, although, he adds, “It’s hard to get big or fat or full from eating such small animals.” Due to the Mikea and a slew of other threats, the spider tortoise is hurtling towards extinction. Could a newly identified population rescue them from the brink or are the odds against them too high? Under a worst case scenario, scientists calculate that spider tortoises could disappear in a matter of a few decades: less than a single tortoise’s lifespan. As a result, in 2008 it was listed as critically endangered on the IUCN’s Red List for Threatened Species. Paltry to start, its range – a 555km long, 10km wide sliver of coast in southwest Madagascar – has shrunk by 71% in the last century. Just eight populations remain, with an average density of just over two tortoises per hectare. (via BBC Nature – Last stand of the Madagascan spider tortoise)

Posted: July 30, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Future foods: What will we be eating in 20 years’ time?

Volatile food prices and a growing population mean we have to rethink what we eat, say food futurologists. So what might we be serving up in 20 years’ time? It’s not immediately obvious what links Nasa, the price of meat and brass bands, but all three are playing a part in shaping what we will eat in the future and how we will eat it. (via BBC News – Future foods: What will we be eating in 20 years’ time?)

Posted: July 15, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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By 2050, the U.N. predicts, our planet will be inhabited by 2 billion more humans. If income and body mass continue their current upward trends, those billions will be richer and fatter than we are. That means they’ll want meat, not grain. They’ll also want seconds. But will 2050’s concentrated agricultural feeding operations— much less its free-range heritage pig farms—be able to produce enough livestock to meet the demand? A growing number of optimistic soothsayers say yes. But only if we expand our definition of livestock to include such underutilized food sources as mealworms, grasshoppers, and Sago grubs. In January 2012, 37 international experts met at the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome to discuss “the potential benefits of using insects for food and feed as part of a broader strategy to achieve global food security.” (via Eating Bugs –