Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10% of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50% of U.S. land, and swallows 80% of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40% of food in the United States today goes uneaten. This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste where it accounts for a large portion of U.S. methane emissions.

Windshield-mounted device makes fast food payments even quicker
Physical wallets are gradually disappearing as new technologies enable consumers to pay through more automatic methods, and we’ve even previously seen companies such as Uniqul hint at cash and card-less payments with facial recognition. Although we’re not quite there yet, a new innovation called iDriveThru could enable hands-free fast food payments using RFID car windshield tags. READ MORE…

Windshield-mounted device makes fast food payments even quicker

Physical wallets are gradually disappearing as new technologies enable consumers to pay through more automatic methods, and we’ve even previously seen companies such as Uniqul hint at cash and card-less payments with facial recognition. Although we’re not quite there yet, a new innovation called iDriveThru could enable hands-free fast food payments using RFID car windshield tags. READ MORE…

(via ibmsocialbiz)

emergentfutures:

Soil IQ looks to design, data and connectivity to make gardening & farming more sustainable


Startup Re:char has spun out a new venture called Soil IQ, which will launch the entrepreneurs’ connected soil sensor gadget, and the new company announced last week that it’s working with designer Yves Behar and his design firm fuseproject to create the device. Here’s the first images of the gadget, which were also unveiled last week.
 
Full Story: Gigaom

emergentfutures:

Soil IQ looks to design, data and connectivity to make gardening & farming more sustainable

Startup Re:char has spun out a new venture called Soil IQ, which will launch the entrepreneurs’ connected soil sensor gadget, and the new company announced last week that it’s working with designer Yves Behar and his design firm fuseproject to create the device. Here’s the first images of the gadget, which were also unveiled last week.

 

Full Story: Gigaom

You’re done with lunch and you need to go, but now you’re waiting for the server to deliver the check, and then waiting some more while your payment is run, and waiting some more until it’s eventually returned. Why not do away with the whole unholy process by adapting E-ZPass toll technology to restaurants?

Tiny New Satellite Produces Beautiful Global Vegetation Map - Wired Science
A satellite barely bigger than a washing machine and launched just two months ago has already made this great map of the world’s vegetation. 
The Belgian-built satellite called Proba-V is the latest in the European Space Agency’s PROBA series of small satellites and will take over vegetation monitoring duties from the Spot-4 and Spot-5 satellites, which are at the end of a 15-year mission.
Proba-V will circle the Earth 14 times a day, covering the entire globe every two days with its 100-meter resolution camera. Every 10 days, a new 200,000 megapixel image of the world’s vegetation will be produced.

Tiny New Satellite Produces Beautiful Global Vegetation Map - Wired Science

A satellite barely bigger than a washing machine and launched just two months ago has already made this great map of the world’s vegetation. 

The Belgian-built satellite called Proba-V is the latest in the European Space Agency’s PROBA series of small satellites and will take over vegetation monitoring duties from the Spot-4 and Spot-5 satellites, which are at the end of a 15-year mission.

Proba-V will circle the Earth 14 times a day, covering the entire globe every two days with its 100-meter resolution camera. Every 10 days, a new 200,000 megapixel image of the world’s vegetation will be produced.

3-D Printed Food Vs World Hunger - Business Insider
Anjan Contractor’s 3D food printer might evoke visions of the “replicator” popularized in Star Trek, from which Captain Picard was constantly interrupting himself to order tea. And indeed Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer.
Read more:

3-D Printed Food Vs World Hunger - Business Insider

Anjan Contractor’s 3D food printer might evoke visions of the “replicator” popularized in Star Trek, from which Captain Picard was constantly interrupting himself to order tea. And indeed Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer.

IBM Research: Using data to power and feed an island nation

Using data to power and feed an island nation. Analysis of weather and climate data will help Brunei to: 1) diversify  from oil and gas to renewable energy; and 2)improve food security by increasing rice production from 3% to 60% by 2015.

(via ibmsocialbiz)

Pacific Island Trials Aquaponics for Food Supply. Will Cities be Next? | This Big City
Aquaponics could hold the answer to food supply for islands in the Pacific. Many lack suitable soil for growing crops, have limited freshwater, and struggle to import fresh produce because of rising fuel costs. Moreover, a recent study by the marine conservation and advocacy group Oceana named the Cook Islands the country most at risk of food insecurity through ocean acidification, which threatens its fish stocks.
Now, Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, is trialling a new aquaponic farm which combines aquaculture (raising fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants without soil) in symbiosis. In this carbon-neutral ‘closed-loop’ system, nitrate-rich water from the fish tanks irrigate vegetables in nearby beds. The fish waste nourishes the plants; they in turn filter and oxygenate the water before it returns to the tanks. No herbicides, pesticides or hormones are used, and the system uses just 10% of the water required by traditional agriculture.

Pacific Island Trials Aquaponics for Food Supply. Will Cities be Next? | This Big City

Aquaponics could hold the answer to food supply for islands in the Pacific. Many lack suitable soil for growing crops, have limited freshwater, and struggle to import fresh produce because of rising fuel costs. Moreover, a recent study by the marine conservation and advocacy group Oceana named the Cook Islands the country most at risk of food insecurity through ocean acidification, which threatens its fish stocks.

Now, Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, is trialling a new aquaponic farm which combines aquaculture (raising fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants without soil) in symbiosis. In this carbon-neutral ‘closed-loop’ system, nitrate-rich water from the fish tanks irrigate vegetables in nearby beds. The fish waste nourishes the plants; they in turn filter and oxygenate the water before it returns to the tanks. No herbicides, pesticides or hormones are used, and the system uses just 10% of the water required by traditional agriculture.

How drones could build real-world networks to transform delivery of food, medicine, mail, and more | Trends in the Living Networks

The rise of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) has been at the forefront of the news over the last months, with issues emerging that range from the remote use of military force to domestic privacy.

However there are many very positive applications of drones. Matternet, spawned from a Singularity University program, envisages creating a network of drones to address developing world problems. Over a billion people are geographically isolated and are often not able to access regular transport and the goods that can travel to them. Rather than building physical infrastructure, drones can cheaply and easily allow drugs, food, and other essentials to get to where they are needed. The video below shows the Matternet Vision.

IBM uses ‘big data’ tech to keep horse out of your meatballs | VentureBeat
Imagine this scenario: A dinner guest to The Cheesecake Factory in Louisville, Ky. informs his waiter about some funky tasting ketchup. Simultaneously, across the country in Palo Alto, Calif., a customer complains about the color and consistency of the ketchup on his burger. 
Are these two scenarios related and potentially linked back to a bad batch from a supplier? And if so, will The Cheesecake Factory be able to prevent such incidences from occurring?
“You need to take structured data like a restaurant’s location and combine it with unstructured data like the color of the mustard or taste of the ketchup,” said Paul Chang, a program director for the consumer products team at IBM.
For restaurant chains with dozens of locations and hundreds of suppliers, it’s a near impossible task to maintain the consistency of ingredients. One screw up from a supplier and they risk unhappy customers, or worse still, a rogue meatball infected with horse meat.

IBM uses ‘big data’ tech to keep horse out of your meatballs | VentureBeat

Imagine this scenario: A dinner guest to The Cheesecake Factory in Louisville, Ky. informs his waiter about some funky tasting ketchup. Simultaneously, across the country in Palo Alto, Calif., a customer complains about the color and consistency of the ketchup on his burger. 

Are these two scenarios related and potentially linked back to a bad batch from a supplier? And if so, will The Cheesecake Factory be able to prevent such incidences from occurring?

“You need to take structured data like a restaurant’s location and combine it with unstructured data like the color of the mustard or taste of the ketchup,” said Paul Chang, a program director for the consumer products team at IBM.

For restaurant chains with dozens of locations and hundreds of suppliers, it’s a near impossible task to maintain the consistency of ingredients. One screw up from a supplier and they risk unhappy customers, or worse still, a rogue meatball infected with horse meat.