This former semiconductor factory is now the worlds largest indoor farm, producing 10k heads of lettuce per day

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This indoor Japanese farm uses LED lights and hydroponics to produce lettuce 2.5 times faster, with just 1% of the water, when compared to an outdoor farm.

When we think about factories, and what we decry as “factory farms,” we probably don’t think very highly of them as being a key component in the future of agriculture, but if we can take what factories do best, such as use technology to build efficient production lines, and pair that with what nature does best, which is growing biomass from light and water and minerals, then growing food in plant factories starts to make a lot of sense.

Converting what were formerly industrial buildings into indoor farming operations, especially in urban areas and locations that aren’t conducive to year-round outdoor food production, could be an excellent reuse of existing resources (the buildings themselves, the infrastructure that supports them, and their locations in or near cities) to help build a more sustainable food system. And this sort of operation can be done in a way that’s both highly efficient and productive (PDF), in essence turning our ideas about industrial-scale factory farming on their heads.

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Amazon is rolling out grocery carts that let shoppers skip checkout lines, bag their groceries and walk out

Amazon launching smart grocery carts that track shoppers’ items

Amazon is launching smart shopping carts at its Woodland Hills, California, grocery store in 2020.

Dash Carts are embedded with cameras, sensors and a smart display that automatically track a shopper’s order.

Similar to Amazon’s cashierless Go stores, Dash Carts allow shoppers to avoid checkout lines as they exit the store.

Amazon is launching shopping carts that track items as shoppers add them, then automatically charges them when they remove the grocery bags, allowing them to skip the checkout line.

The Dash Carts will roll out at Amazon’s new Los Angeles-area grocery store, which is slated to open this year, the company announced Tuesday.

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7 ways Covid-19 has changed what we eat : Sourdough starters, canned soup and more food waste

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Whether it’s turning to food products that people thought were finished, shopping at unusual times or the fact that selling to supermarkets has resulted in more food waste, not less, there are some surprising outcomes from the pandemic. Here’s a breakdown of the major trends which are having an impact on the food sector.

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The beer barometer and the reopening of America

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Microbrews are providing us with macro clues about the state of the U.S. economy — and how confident Americans actually feel about reopening amid the pandemic.

The big picture: The national trend shows that more watering holes are opening up, with 85% of locations open and pouring beer last weekend. And if the bars are open, it’s a good sign that those communities have opened up, too.

But the glass is half full: In open establishments, only 49% taps are open, compared to 96% last June.

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Restaurants are in need of a helping hand. Miso Robotics is offering one. Literally

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Flippy the robot flips cooks burgers to perfection.

Dining out looks pretty different these days. It’s natural to pine for the past, but many quick service restauranteurs are also looking ahead to a future where automation will be the key to drastically increasing their notoriously thin margins and allowing their workers to shine in the tasks no machine can do.

Robots in the workplace can get a bad rap—most people aren’t trying to get replaced by one. But the smartest and most innovative robotic companies aren’t designing teams of droids that send people packing. Instead, they’re crafting intelligent machines that work alongside workers, increasing efficiency and profits in the process.

Take Flippy, the arm-like robotic kitchen assistant from Miso Robotics. As its name implies, the robot flips burgers, cooking them to perfection. Miso Robotics has already raised over $2mm in their investment campaign on SeedInvest, which is still open to investors. The company also recently unveiled Flippy’s newer, more versatile cousin, Robot on a Rail (ROAR). Suspended from an overhead railing rather than standing on the floor, the machine can perform tasks like frying onion rings and preparing chicken tenders. When the orders are ready, it lets its co-workers know, and can clean up after itself by doing dirty and time-consuming jobs like scraping down grills.

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The robots continue to invade the fast food sphere

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A KFC in Moscow sends chicken along a conveyor belt to be delivered by a robotic arm.

The last dispatch from The Takeout’s robot beat was May 5. That’s six whole weeks during which the robots, unbothered by our human troubles, continued making advancements in their quest to replace the human race. As is so often the case, they have set their sights on a new way to optimize fast food, perhaps understanding that this is where they can exert the most influence over us.

Humans have generally understood for decades that the robots have been coming for our jobs, with a capacity for automation that renders many human workers obsolete—in theory, anyway. Recent estimates show that by 2030, a whopping 38% of American jobs will be eliminated in favor of automation. Now, with the entire world in the clutches of a pandemic, it’s possible that humans have begun to warm to the robots, which are not perceived to be as germ-covered as humans and can better facilitate social distancing measures (plus, you know, companies don’t have to pay them a living wage). With that in mind, KFC is currently testing “fast food of the future” in Moscow. Take a look:

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Travel after coronavirus (COVID-19): Six ways it will change forever

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Flying with masks, for cabin crew and passengers, will become common practice.

Things might be better, or things might be worse, but if there’s one thing that is certain, travel will never be the same again.

Everything will change. It has to. Even if a vaccine is discovered for the novel coronavirus, the way in which we move around and see the world will be forever altered.

After an initial run of discounted fares, flying is likely to be more expensive post-COVID-19.

The big question is: how?

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CDC says 40 percent of Americans surveyed tried using bleach to wash food to prevent coronavirus

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that over a third of Americans who took its survey reportedly misused household cleaners by using them on their fruits and vegetables in the attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Calls to poison control centers regarding disinfectants and household cleaners reportedly went up since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Thirty-nine percent of respondents reported engaging in non-recommended high-risk practices with the intent of preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, such as washing food products with bleach, applying household cleaning or disinfectant products to bare skin, and intentionally inhaling or ingesting these products,” the CDC report read.

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Neighborhoods where stores were destroyed become food deserts overnight

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A burned Walgreens in Minneapolis on May 30

In many neighborhoods that have seen looting and vandalism over the past week, residents are now left with few — if any — grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential businesses. Which is made even harder by the fact that lots of stores are also closed because of the pandemic.

There’s a 6-mile long commercial corridor in South Minneapolis called Lake Street, and it has been destroyed.

“We no longer have pharmacies in our community,” said ZoeAna Martinez, who works for the Lake Street Council, a business association. “We no longer have gas stations as well. Our largest grocery stores are also gone,” Martinez said. “Right now, our community, we live in a food desert, which happened overnight.”

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Walmart is piloting a pricier 2-hour Express grocery delivery service

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Record usage of grocery delivery services amid the COVID-19 pandemic has led to delayed orders, fewer open delivery windows and, on occasion, an inability to even book a delivery time slot. Walmart now hopes to capitalize on the increased demand for speedier delivery with the introduction of a new service that allows consumers to pay to get to the front of the line. The retailer confirmed today it’s launching a new Walmart Grocery service called “Express,” which promises orders in two hours or less for an upcharge of $10 on top of the usual delivery fee.

The service has been in pilot testing across 100 Walmart stores in the U.S. since mid-April. Walmart says it plans to expand the service to nearly 1,000 stores in early May and it will be offered in a total of nearly 2,000 stores in the weeks after.

Some Walmart customers may have recently received a push notification alerting them to the launch.

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Indians are waiting to dineout with family and friends post lockdown: Survey

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The report also revealed that most of India have been craving Pizza since the lockdown has been implemented, except Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata where their popular & indigenous Biryani recipes reign supreme.

As per the report, 77% respondents claimed that they are waiting to dine out with friends and family once the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted.

As the world grapples with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey by restaurant tech platform, Dineout across 20 Indian cities has revealed that diners now rank safety assurance and premier hygiene as top factors when they choose a restaurant to dine out in a post-COVID world.

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Tyson Foods chairman warns ‘the food supply chain is breaking’

The chairman of Tyson Foods is warning that “millions of pounds of meat will disappear” from the national food supply chain as the coronavirus outbreak forces food processing plants to shutter.

“The food supply chain is breaking,” John Tyson wrote in a full-page advertisement published Sunday in The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

“There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed,” he wrote in the advertisement, which was also published as a blog post on the company’s website.

In recent weeks, the major poultry producer has suspended operations at plants across the country. The company halted operations Wednesday at an Iowa plant that is crucial to the nation’s pork supply.

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