Scientists have figured out how to grow breast milk in a lab

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What if the formula you bought at the store was just bottled breast milk?

First came the prototypes of lab-grown burgers and lab-grown Wagyu beef (or, as the industry calls it, “cultured” meat.) Then came ice cream made with lab-grown dairy proteins. Now, a handful of startups are working on lab-grown breast milk.

Last week, a five-month-old startup called Biomilq announced that it had succeeded in growing two key components found in human milk—lactose and casein—from mammary cells in a bioreactor. They’re looking for a solution to a widespread problem: Breastfeeding is linked to healthy development in children, but the majority of mothers aren’t able to breastfeed for some, if not all, of the recommended six months. Formula, made with nonhuman proteins that can be harder for babies to digest, is an imperfect alternative.

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World’s biggest carnivores are turning their backs on beef

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Argentine officials try to prop up beef binge with price caps

Dwindling purchasing power, changing food trends are to blame.

Argentines, who have long been among the world’s most voracious meat eaters, can no longer afford to binge on their own beef.

Red-meat consumption in the country has fallen to the lowest in a century. Blame rampant local inflation, the insatiable hunger for beef in other parts of the world that’s adding to price gains at home and — to a lesser extent — a reluctant movement toward healthier and cheaper proteins. It’s a kick in the teeth for a country that traditionally has vied with neighboring Uruguay for the title of world’s biggest carnivore on a per capita basis.

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So you’re too ethical to eat meat; but should cows go extinct?

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Vegetarianism and veganism are becoming more popular. Alternative sources of protein, including lab-grown meat, are becoming available. This trend away from farmed meat-eating looks set to continue. From an environmental perspective and a welfare perspective, that’s a good thing. But how far should we go? Would it be good if the last cow died?

Many people value species diversity. Very many feel the pull of the intuition that it’s a bad thing if a species becomes extinct. In fact, we sometimes seem to value the species more than we value the individual members. Think of insects, for example. The life of a fly might be of trivial value, but each fly species seems considerably more valuable (despite the lack of any direct instrumental value to us of flies). Do we – should we – value cattle? Should we be concerned if cows (or a subspecies of cows) is threatened with extinction? Should we take steps to preserve them, just as we take steps to conserve pandas and wolves?

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Finland makes protein out of thin air; the future is weird

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Okay, so this is just cotton candy. But you get it.

Were you blown away by the invention of a burger patty made of soy protein? Please. As usual, the Scandinavians are here to make us look like absolute dummies. A Finnish company has out-impossible’d the Impossible Burger with the invention of a protein made from thin air. Yeah. Sit with that one for a second.

Solar Foods, a company based outside Helsinki, has successfully created a protein called Solein. Solein is made by a series of processes I learned about at age 15 then promptly discarded: water molecules are split in a process called electrolysis. Then, the hydrogen atom and carbon dioxide from the air feed soil bacteria, which produces Solein. So, the biggest power supply they need to make it is electricity. But if they can get it from solar and wind power, researchers say Solein can be grown with almost zero greenhouse gas emissions.

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Fish, sausage, even honey: Food fraud is hidden in plain sight

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A 2018 study found 61% of seafood products tested at Montréal grocery stores and restaurants were mislabelled

 The globalization of the food chain has resulted in increased complexity and diminished transparency and trust into how and where our foods are grown, harvested, processed and by whom.

Furthermore, recurring incidents of food fraud remind us that some of those involved in the food chain are exploiting this complexity. Today, consumers are at an increased risk of buying lower-quality food than what they paid for, or worse, eating food with unsafe ingredients or undeclared allergens.

Historically, food chain transparency and trust was established between the shopper and the farmer or fishmonger, green grocer, butcher, milkman and baker. Dutch scholar Arthur Mol argued that this personal interaction enabled face-to-face transparency, which built trust.

Before modern supermarkets, a local village or town grocery store stocked up to 300 items grown or processed within a 240-kilometre (150-mile) radius. In comparison, our post-modern supermarkets carry an average of 33,000 items that travel 2,400 kilometres or more. The Canadian government is poised to tackle that problem by announcing a Buy Canadian food campaign.

While the extent of global food fraud is difficult to quantify, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suggests food fraud affects 10 per cent of commercially sold food. Various academic and industry sources suggest that globally, food fraud ranges from US$10 billion to $49 billion. This is likely a conservative range considering estimates of fake Australian meats alone and sold worldwide are as high as AUD$4 billion, or more than US$2.5 billion.

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People lacking access to food 10-37% more likely to die prematurely: Study

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People with inadequate access to food due to financial constraints are 10 to 37 per cent more likely to die prematurely from any cause other than cancer, according to a study published on Monday.

Researchers, including those from the University of Toronto, looked at data from more than half a million adults in Canada.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, categorised people as food secure, or marginally, moderately, or severely food insecure.

By the end of the study period, 25,460 people had died prematurely, the researchers said.

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Impossible Foods’ faux pork is just as convincing as its fake beef

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It can be used in dumplings, baos and more.

Last year, Impossible Foods made headlines at CES when it introduced a new formulation of its Impossible Burger. It tasted so close to the real deal that we even gave it a Best of CES award. Now, Impossible Foods is back again at the annual tech event to introduce its latest product: Impossible Pork.

To be clear, this is a different product from the Impossible Sausage that was announced last year. “Sausage is a specific application of meat,” said David Lee, Impossible Foods CFO, to Engadget. “Impossible Pork, however, is one that can be used in any [ground pork] application.” While sausage might be good as a breakfast patty or a pizza topping, said Lee, Impossible Pork is a more general imitation pork product that would be good for dishes like baos or dumplings.

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Guess which company was just crowned the world’s biggest plastic polluter (Again)

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On one day in September, people from over 50 countries decided to do something about our plastic problem.

Together, they picked up almost half a million pieces of plastic garbage littering the planet. Over 40 percent of this mountain of trash was still clearly identifiable by brand, and one producer’s trash in particular was picked up much more than any other: Coca-Cola.

An audit of the 476,423 pieces of plastic waste picked up by over 70,000 volunteers on World Clean Up Day suggests that Coca-Cola is the world’s biggest plastic polluter, responsible for 11,732 of the pieces of plastic trash retrieved during the global event.

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Amazon is making two-hour grocery delivery free for all Prime members

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Amazon just added a new perk to its popular Prime membership program: free grocery delivery.

 Amazon Prime members will now be able to get two-hour grocery delivery for free.

Until now, Prime members had to pay an additional $14.99 per month to get access to Amazon Fresh, the company’s grocery delivery service.

The change reflects Amazon’s growing delivery efficiency, as it looks to shorten delivery time — which in turn leads to more frequent purchases and bigger spending.

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Here’s what the Uber Eats delivery drone looks like

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Uber has unveiled more details about its plans for Eats delivery via drones. If all goes according to Uber’s plan, it will start flying its first drone model before the end of the year.

Uber’s design, which it unveiled at the Forbes 30 under 30 Summit today, is made to carry up to one meal for two people. Featuring rotating wings with six rotors, the vehicle can vertically take-off and land, and travel a maximum of eight minutes, including loading and unloading. The total flight range is 18 miles, with a round-trip delivery range of 12 miles.

As Uber previously said, the plan is not to use the drones for full delivery, but rather a portion of it. Once a customer orders food, the restaurant will prepare the meal and then load it onto a drone. That drone will then take off, fly and land at a pre-determined drop-off location.

Behind the scenes, Uber’s Elevate Cloud Systems will track and guide the drone, as well as notify an Eats delivery driver when and where to pick up their food. Down the road, Uber envisions landing the drones on top of parked Uber vehicles located near the delivery locations. From there, the Eats delivery driver will complete the last mile to hand-deliver the food to the customer.

Beginning next summer, Uber wants to use this drone for meal deliveries in San Diego. That would come after Uber first tests deliveries in partnership with drone operators and manufacturers.

Via Techcrunch.com

 

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Nanoparticle tech reduces celiac disease symptoms by 90%

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People with celiac disease have two options in life, neither of which is ideal.

Because their immune systems can’t tolerate gluten, they can choose to never eat the many delicious foods containing it. Boring.

Or they can devour all the cake, bread, and beer they want — but resign themselves to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other nasty side effects when their immune systems trigger an inflammation response in their small intestines.

Needless to say, people tend to choose the former option — but a new technology could allow them to have their cake and feel good about the decision later, too.

Researchers from Northwestern University developed the tech, which they presented on Tuesday at the European Gastroenterology Week conference, and it works by hiding a bit of gluten in a biodegradable nanoparticle.

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Lab-grown meat also creates an unexpected benefit: Ethical zebra burgers

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“What are the odds that these animals contain the tastiest, most nutritionally rich food offerings?”

The term “cultivated meat” is industry’s preferred language for the admittedly unappetizing-sounding “lab-grown meat,” and it has the potential to actually change the world.

This lab-grown meat could reduce the various impacts of raising animals for slaughter, which is the second-largest source of global warming emissions, as well as save sentient beings from needless cruelty.

The technology behind cultivating meat involves taking stem cells from the muscle of a living animal, which are then fed a serum rich in nutrients. This causes the cells to proliferate and transform into muscle cells. That’s when lab technicians step in and encourage these multiplying cells to take shape and form fibers. The fibrous material is then placed in a vat, which provides the ideal conditions to stimulate growth. Eventually, the tissue grows to the point where it can be cooked and eaten.

Voila, you’ve got yourself a lab-grown hamburger.

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