All over the world, in fact, evidence for alcohol production from all kinds of crops is showing up, dating to near the dawn of civilization. University of Pennsylvania biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern believes that’s not an accident. From the rituals of the Stone Age on, he argues, the mind-altering properties of booze have fired our creativity and fostered the development of language, the arts, and religion. Look closely at great transitions in human history, from the origin of farming to the origin of writing, and you’ll find a possible link to alcohol. “There’s good evidence from all over the world that alcoholic beverages are important to human culture,” McGovern says. “Thirty years ago that fact wasn’t as recognized as it is now.” Drinking is such an integral part of our humanity, according to McGovern, that he only half jokingly suggests our species be called Homo imbibens.
But whereas pizzamaking remains high-touch and traditional, pizza marketing is anything but. There, Domino’s Pizza Inc. has decided that modern works better than authentic, and fun is best of all. For the past five years, the company has been emphasizing all the ways you can order pizza with minimal human and maximal digital contact. It’s introduced more ordering methods—Facebook, Twitter, Twitter with emojis, Apple Watch, voice-activated, “zero click,” wedding registry —than new items on its menu. Customers can track their pizzas online, starting as they’re being made, and in San Diego (for now; likely nationwide soon) they can track their drivers. If an Australian wants to pick up her order, a GPS system can monitor her approach so the pizza is hot on arrival.
Domino’s has spent millions to trick out a fleet featuring “the ultimate pizza delivery vehicle”—the DXP, a Chevrolet Spark subcompact with special side doors and warming ovens. An independent franchisee in New Zealand is testing delivery by drone and robot. In 2015, for the first time, more than half of Domino’s orders were placed online, and half of those came via mobile.
Of all the tech innovationscoming out of McDonald's, we never would have expected the humble drinking straw needed a redesign. But that's exactly what a team of robotic and aerospace engineers did as part of a marketing push for the burger chain's new Chocolate Shamrock Shake.
For those who aren't familiar: the new menu item is a layered fifty-fifty combination of McDonald's standard chocolate milkshake with the minty seasonal favorite on top.
The redesigned STRAW -- short for "Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal," of course -- is meant to alleviate the most basic of problems: having to wait for your shake to melt a bit before you can get the perfect mix of chocolate and mint flavors. While a conventional straw will only slurp up one part of the shake at a time, engineers from JACE Engineering and NK Labs carefully engineered the STRAW's J-shaped snorkel design and side openings to suck in both layers at once. According to McDonald's, their new tubular sipping device required some fairly complex computational fluid dynamics simulations to get the flow right and make sure it works just as well at the bottom of your shake as it did on the first sip.
“The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness. “
Hollywood did not have the interest in detailing many of the innovations of the brothers or Ray, but Time does
During my recent round the world trip we had a chance to try all kinds of meals that foodies would appreciate. But we also made it a point to try out humble places - many which don’t take reservations, don’t take credit cards, and yet serve a wide range of freshly cooked and raw food.
And some of them are even getting recognized by foodies like Hawker Chan in Singapore which has qualified for a Michelin star. Singapore loves the hawker concept and has several collections where you can get everything from fish and chips to a shrink wrapped slice of papaya to a ready to drink and eat baby coconut.
We hit a gem in Abu Dhabi called Lebanese Mill. Lines form for this place where you can get traditional mezze – hummus, falafel etc, and a decent roast chicken.
Mumbai is dotted with small cafes like Prabhakar Tea House. They serve udipi snacks like dosai and idli and a soft drink or a cup of sweet, milky tea for about 50c. Funnily if you ask for bag of tea and hot water to brew your own cup, the price triples
In Hong Kong we ran into places like Amy’s Kitchen. You could drive by it hundred times and not notice - in picture below it is behind the silver van. Given the name, we expected a menu in English but had to point to pictures on the menu. The shrimp curry turned out halfway decent!
As they say eat where the locals do. Not sure I could advise though that you drink what they drink
Peter Diamandis has an excellent post on innovation in food production (bioprinting, GMO, vertical farming, plant based proteins), preparation (3D printed food, personalized nutrition, AI recipes) and delivery (food on demand, drone delivery).
Blue Apron, which is based in New York City and sends weekly recipes and ingredients for people to cook at home, has benefited from a trifecta of marketplace trends: People are increasingly interested in eating “clean,” in more sophisticated home cooking techniques, and in on-demand everything. Blue Apronmeals range from the exotic—za’atar-spiced steaks with rutabaga-barberry tabbouleh andlabneh cheese—to the basic—BBQ sloppy joes with green bean and tomato salad.
Happy Thanksgiving! As you enjoy turkey think of another growing form of protein.
The world’s largest open ocean farm in Panama started in 2007. The goal is to raise cobia in a stress free, low density and high-oxygen environment. The company says it “results in healthier fish that is naturally high in protein and very rich in Omega 3 (DHA & EPA), with levels almost 2X as high as farmed Atlantic salmon.”
The video below was from 2014
Today, you can download their virtual reality app and see the rapid progress they have made since
Thanks to Jason Blessing for pointing me to Zume Pizza
“Co-founded by Alex Garden, the former president of Zynga Studios, and Julia Collins, who comes from a restaurant background,Zume Pizza employs a mix of robots and humans to prepare and bake its pies.
“We have what we call a co-bot environment, so humans and robots working collaboratively,” says Collins. “Robots do everything from dispensing sauce, to spreading sauce, to placing pizzas in the oven.
Each pie is baked in the delivery van, which means “you get something that is pizzeria fresh, hot and sizzling,” says Garden. It’s an important detail; as cool — and cost-saving — as Zume’s robots are, taste matters most.”
“An ambitious, almost fantastical, manifestation of agricultural technology is expected to come to fruition this fall. From the remains of an abandoned steel mill in Newark, New Jersey, the creators of AeroFarms are building what they say will be the largest vertical farm, producing two million pounds of leafy greens a year.
Whether it even qualifies as a “farm” is a matter of taste. The greens will be manufactured using a technology called aeroponics, a technique in which crops are grown in vertical stacks of plant beds, without soil, sunlight or water.”