Category Archives: Food and Technology

Consumer Demand Is Leading To New Sources Of Protein

Finding An Alternative

The impact of traditional sources of protein, such as beef and poultry, are leading consumers to demand new sources of protein. Advances in food technology might just give consumers exactly what they are looking for. Food companies are now interested in developing “meatless” meat. Although there are currently vegetarian options available the new wave of meat alternatives aim to offer a better taste and better nutrition than current options while focusing on reducing the environmental impact of producing meat alternatives. Everything from coconut oil to potatoes is currently considered by food companies.



The Reasons Behind The Demand

The biggest reasons consumers are demanding meat alternatives are related to the environmental impact and safety of meat. Growing and slaughtering cattle isn’t a cheap or carbon efficient process. Health concerns are an influencing factor as well. E. Coli, Salmonella, and Yersinia outbreaks have discouraged consumption of meat. Alternatives to meat offer protein from sources free of bloodborne diseases that may taint cattle sources.



The Nutrition Of Meatless Meat

A major concern of any consumer is exactly what nutrients food may have. Meatless meat already offers the nutrients common to plant sources, but innovations in food production have allowed producers to offer nutrition more commonly available among carnivourous diets. Vitamin B12 is easily obtained from meat in adequate daily amounts, but it is often difficult to find a vegetarian source of this vital nutrient. Beyond Meat, a company specializing in meatless meat, allows consumers an excellent source of vitamin B12 with the Beast Burger. This burger contains more than 20% of vitamin B12 needed without any of the drawbacks of meat.



The Taste Of Meatless Meat

The most important part of meatless meat for any consumer is the taste of the product. Although many believe that meat alternatives in the past did not mimic the taste or texture of meat innovative recipes offer savory options. A great example of this innovation in work is the use of heme. This iron based plant derivative allows customers to finally eat “bloody” meatless burgers and receive the same satisfaction of beef. Through innovations like this the meatless meat market will eventually grow to include even customers who haven’t traditionally consider meatless meat.



New App Helps Save Wasted Food From Hitting Landfills

A new app is creating a stir in groups looking to prevent food waste. BuffetGo is an app that allows users to purchase leftover food from buffet style restaurants for huge discounts, up to 90 percent.

The app is simple to use, just enter your zip code to find local restaurants that participate in this program and then order your meal, some for as little as $1. You’ll be given a designated time for pick up, generally at closing time. You’ll be required to show your emailed receipt and then be allowed to fill a to-go container with buffet food.

This app was created in Finland back in 2014 and can now be found in 8 different countries around the world. The app launched in the United States back in September, but the mobile app is not yet available and US users must use the website for now. To date, the app says that it has saved more than 240,000 portions of food each day, that’s a lot of food that would have simply been wasted and sent to landfills each day.

The United States wastes up to 40 percent of food which is unacceptable considering 1 in 5 households have kids who don’t have enough to eat. Food that is wasted is tossed in landfills where it rots, often times creating methane gas that contributes to global warming.

Another perk to the BuffetGo app is the generosity of the company. For every meal sold through the app they will donate 20 percent of the profits to the United Nations World Food Programme, a group that helps fight hunger around the world. The remaining 80 percent is largely sent to the restaurant that made the food with the app itself keeping the rest. The precise split varies from restaurant to restaurant.

There are only a handful of eateries in some locations that participate but the app is planning to work towards expanding their offerings. New York City only has around 3 listed currently which may seem inconvenient for some people, but the rock bottom prices will hopefully generate business and help the app continue to grow. For more in depth information, check out this Huffington Post article.

Domino’s Will Soon Be Using Drones To Deliver Food

According to a recent online article, Domino’s is rapidly working on making the concept of home delivery by drones a reality. The pizza delivery giant has partnered with the drone delivery company Flirtey, to begin offering pizza-delivery-by-drone to customers in New Zealand at some point this year.

Being a semi-regular Domino’s customer, I was very interested in reading about Domino’s delivery advances in this article. It is stated that although the drone-delivery system appears to be almost in-place in New Zealand, it will still take some time before drone-deliveries will be taking place in the United States. The company is optimistic, however, about using drones for delivery in parts of Europe, and Japan in the near future.

A high-ranking executive at Domino’s is quoted in this article as saying that the company has long felt that delivery methods other than automobiles could be effective. Domino’s is envisioning its customers ordering food through their app, and having the food delivered by drones that utilize a smartphone’s GPS system.

A video that shows the actual first test delivery of a Domino’s pizza by drone is contained in this article. In the video, a picnic blanket set with utensils is in the middle of a large grassy field. The drone can be seen carrying a box while flying towards the blanket. When the drone arrives directly above the blanket, it slowly lowers the box to the ground via a cable.

The three crew members then remove the pizza from the outer box, and each one happily eats a piece of the pie.While I find the news about Domino’s upcoming drone-delivery service to be interesting, I don’t think I’m ready yet to see little aircraft delivering pizza, pasta and sandwiches to my home.

To be fair, though, the main reason why I choose to order delivery food from Domino’s is because they usually get things done correctly, and well. I guess if any pizza chain can actually make delivery by drone a reality, Domino’s is probably the best choice.