This strange fruit could feed the world during climate change
Ensuring food security over the coming century will be a major challenge. A new study suggests that breadfruit may be the answer.
Light pulses can stop dangerous food poisoning like Salmonella
A team at Penn State has developed a pulsed light technique capable of killing common food poisoning pathogens.
Which microbes live in your gut? A microbiologist tries at-home test kits
A microbiologist looks at how home test kits work, what kind of information they provide and if they can really help change your gut.
purslane photosynthesis
Weed’s “superpower” could help feed the planet
A Yale study focused on how photosynthesis works in the common weed purslane puts us closer to engineering crops resistant to climate change.
cultured oil
This fermented cooking oil could replace vegetable oil
Zero Acre Farms is using fermentation to create a cultured oil that’s healthier and more sustainable than traditional cooking oils.
Massive vertical mushroom farm opens in New York
Alt-meat startup MyForest Food has opened a new vertical mushroom farm in New York.
sustainable meat
The future of meat is sustainable — and a little weird
Ideas to reduce the meat industry's impact on the environment include 3D-printed steaks, cultivated tiger meat, and potty-trained cows.
Why is Singapore making beer from recycled wastewater?
“I mean, it tastes just like beer, and I like beer.”
Feeding insects to cattle could make meat and milk production more sustainable
Most U.S. adults aren’t ready to put insects on their plates but are much more willing to consume meat from livestock that are fed bugs.
3 ways autonomous farming is driving a new era of agriculture
Could autonomous tractors, drones, and seed-planters fill the growing labor shortage in the agricultural industry?
artificial photosynthesis darkness
Artificial photosynthesis lets us grow plants in total darkness
A new artificial photosynthesis technique could boost crop yields on existing farms or allow us to grow plants in new locations — like space.
reduce plastic pollution
Spray-on “peel” for produce helps reduce plastic pollution
A Bill Gates-backed startup is helping reduce plastic pollution and food waste by coating produce in an edible spray.
After millennia of agricultural expansion, the world has passed “peak agricultural land”
This marks a historic moment in humanity’s relationship to the planet.
This starchy wondercrop could help alleviate food insecurity
Enset, a perennial banana-like fruit cultivated in southwestern Ethiopia, is an underexploited starch crop with significant potential.
formo cheese
Real cheese without the cow
Biotech startup Formo uses genetically modified microorganisms to produce a completely lab-grown milk that can be made into cheese.
What foods will 9.3 billion people be eating in 2050?
Algae, fried insects, and exotic lab-grown meat could all be on the menu.
lunar soil
Scientists grow plants in real lunar soil for the first time
Lunar soil was used to grow plants for the first time, suggesting that we may be able to produce food for astronauts off-world.
‘Mad honey’: The rare hallucinogen from the mountains of Nepal
On the mountainsides of Nepal and Turkey, bees sometimes produce a strange and dangerous concoction: mad honey.
Inspired by kombucha tea, engineers create living materials
A symbiotic culture of specialized yeast and bacteria can generate tough materials able to perform a variety of functions.
Smart sensor tells you exactly when fruit will ripen — or spoil
Inside vast warehouses, millions of fruits sit and slowly ripen. To help packers know when fruit has got to go, a biotech startup is turning to small sensors.
counterfeit whiskey
Could you sniff out counterfeit whiskey?
An “electronic nose” that can accurately identify a whiskey’s brand, region, and style could help combat the sale of counterfeit whiskey.
The West Coast wants to tap into the maple sugar market
Over 75% of the world’s maple syrup production is in Quebec. But with climate change threatening their seasons, West Coast producers are looking to tap in.
ice crystals in ice cream
A new ingredient saves ice cream from being ruined by ice
Special particles in plants can prevent the formation of texture-ruining ice crystals in ice cream — and maybe help preserve donor organs.
purple tomatoes
Purple tomatoes could soon hit store shelves
Purple tomatoes modified to be packed with antioxidants found in blueberries could soon be approved for sale by the FDA.
Californian wineries turn to owls as answer for growing pest problem
Rather than turning to rodenticides to deter pests, a new study is testing the effectiveness of owls to manage the problem.
bone loss
Space lettuce engineered to stimulate bone growth
To protect Mars astronauts from bone loss, scientists genetically engineered a lettuce that produces a bone-stimulating hormone.
​A meat-free world by 2035? “Totally doable,” says ​Impossible Foods CEO
"Our mission is to completely replace the use of animals as a food technology by 2035," said Impossible Foods CEO Patrick O. Brown.
Blasting mushrooms with UV light boosts vitamin D by 4,600%
Roughly half the world population, including in America, has insufficient levels of vitamin D. UV irradiated mushrooms can help.
vertical farming companies
Innovative vertical farming companies to watch
Here are five vertical farming companies to keep an eye on — and a bonus nine that are selling food you can buy right now.
calorie restriction
Why calorie restriction may be the key to a healthier life
A new study suggests that people appear to benefit from a moderate calorie restriction the same way we know many animals do.
cannabis cooking
Traditional Thai cannabis cooking is back on the menu
Cannabis cooking has long simmered in Thailand. With the ruling junta’s new drug policies, the traditional dish is now making its way onto restaurant plates.
Smart food packaging keeps food fresh and reduces waste
A new "smart" type of food packaging promises to eliminate food poisoning by emitting chemicals that reduce harmful bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, allowing meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables to last longer.
TikTok recipes
Viral TikTok recipes fill the menu at virtual restaurants
The new virtual restaurant TikTok Kitchen will feature menu items inspired by viral TikTok recipes, including baked feta pasta.
cultivated meat
Inside the world’s most advanced cultivated meat facility
UPSIDE Foods (formerly Memphis Meats) is offering consumers tours of “the world’s most advanced cultivated meat production facility.”
food insecure seniors
Autonomous Ford delivers produce, milk to food insecure seniors
An autonomous shuttle developed by Ford delivers fresh produce and milk to food insecure seniors in Detroit as part of a new pilot program.
peanut allergy
A patch to treat peanut allergies appears safe to wear for years
A peanut allergy can be debilitating at best, and life threatening at worst. A new possible treatment looks to be safe to wear for at least three years.
Can CRISPR keep the beer flowing?
Researchers are turning to CRISPR to create barley better able to remain dormant in climate change — while being still ready to make beer.
McDonald’s McPlant takes plant-based meat mainstream
McDonald’s McPlant, a burger with a plant-based meat patty, is now available at select locations in the U.S. for a limited time.
Fungus-based “mycoprotein” may be the next future food
Startups around the world are racing to get mycoprotein — food based on fungus — to plates.
Using AI to help save wine from wildfires
California startup Tastry is using its wine “tasting” AI to help save wines impacted by wildfire smoke.
underground farm
New startup takes vertical farming underground — literally
GreenForges is building an underground farm it thinks will deliver the benefits of vertical farming without two of its major shortcomings.
robotic kitchens
Are robotic kitchens the future of food?
Restauranteurs are using robotic kitchens to cut real estate costs, opening up room in their budgets for higher quality ingredients.
Vertical Farm
Inside Europe’s largest vertical farm
At a massive vertical farm in Denmark, food tech startup Nordic Harvest is demonstrating the benefits of moving agriculture indoors.
milk proteins
Lab-grown milk proteins prove more environmentally friendly
It’s less environmentally costly to produce milk proteins in the lab than to source them from cows, according to a new report.
synthetic starch
Scientists convert CO2 into synthetic starch
A process for making synthetic starch from CO2 eliminates the need for growing resource-intensive starchy plants.
gene-edited tomato
This gene-edited tomato may help lower your blood pressure
A gene-edited tomato that may be able to lower your blood pressure is the first CRISPR-edited food to be sold commercially.
sustainable coffee
Scientists make sustainable coffee from lab-grown cells
Finnish researchers are making sustainable coffee in the lab to combat the negative environmental effects of coffee production.
preserving food
Study suggests preserving food using tech developed for organs
By preserving food with isochoric freezing, we could improve quality and decrease energy usage in the frozen food industry, say scientists.
lab-grown beef
3D printing gives lab-grown beef Wagyu marbling
Japanese researchers have created a morsel of lab-grown beef with the distinct marbling of fat found in Wagyu steaks.
McDonald's Ice Cream
Fighting for the right to repair McDonald’s ice cream machines
A judge has issued a victory to Kytch, a startup that makes it easier for fast food franchise owners to repair McDonald’s ice cream machines.
Series | Challengers
The plant-based startup taking on food giants
Kelp is a superfood that’s grown totally sustainable. But will people be willing to replace burgers with seaweed?
cultured meat for pets
Cultured meat for pets is about to hit store shelves
Biotech startup Because, Animals is creating cultured meat for pets, using mouse cells to grow the meat found in its new cat treat.
food sharing
Pandemic prompts surge in food sharing, app says
Food-sharing app Olio is combating food insecurity by making it easy for those with extra food to get it into the hands of those in need.
rice plants
Adding one gene to rice and potatoes increased yields by 50%
The insertion of a gene found in animals prompted potato and rice plants to produce 50% more food and exhibit drought-resistant qualities.
Series | Hard Reset
The underdog challenging McDonald’s and Wall Street
Everytable is scaling access to wealth through a healthy fast food revolution.
lab-grown foie gras
Lab-grown foie gras eliminates force-feeding
Gourmey is developing lab-grown foie gras, using stem cells to produce the delicacy without subjecting birds to the practice of gavage.
lab-grown chocolate
World’s first lab-grown chocolate made in Switzerland
Swiss researchers have developed a way to make lab-grown chocolate, using a single cocoa bean to create unlimited chocolate.
lab-grown chicken
Series | Hard Reset
Murder-free chicken nuggets: Real meat grown in a lab
Would you eat lab-grown chicken meat? This Singapore restaurant is the first to serve cell-cultured meat to diners.
plant-based tuna
Finless Foods prepares to launch plant-based tuna
Plant-based tuna might be inside your next sushi roll.
cultured meat production
Cultured meat is now being mass-produced In Israel
Israeli startup Future Meat Technologies’ industrial-scale cultured meat production facility is designed to get lab-grown meat onto consumers’ plates ASAP.
healthy sugar
Can we hack sugar to be healthy?
Is there such a thing as healthy sugar? Food scientists in Israel are hacking the sugar molecule itself – eliminating the need for subpar alternatives.
Microfarm startup brings fresh produce to food desert
California startup Crop Swap LA has planted a “microfarm” in an LA resident’s front yard and is now distributing the crops throughout the local community.
fridge for astronaut food
Fridge for astronaut food aces first flight tests
Purdue University engineers have designed a fridge for astronaut food that could double its shelf life, potentially overcoming a barrier to longer missions.
grocery delivery
10-minute grocery delivery service to debut in U.S.
German grocery delivery startup Gorillas, which delivers orders within 10 minutes, is bringing its ultra-fast operation to the U.S.
shelf-stable french fries
These shelf-stable French fries last 90 days at room temp
Startup Farther Farms has developed a pasteurization process that allowed it to create shelf-stable French fries that last 90 days at room temperature.
lab-grown lobster
Startup aims to put lab-grown lobster on the menu
Wisconsin startup Cultured Decadence is developing lab-grown lobster meat in the hopes of meeting a demand currently threatened by climate change.
cultured meat delivered
Cultured meat is now available for home delivery
People in Singapore are the first in the world to have the option of having meals made from cultured meat delivered directly to their homes.
malnutrition cure
Food supplement appears to “cure” malnutrition in children
A food supplement designed to cure malnutrition in children doesn’t just deliver calories — it also helps promote a healthy gut microbiome.
edible insects
We don’t have to eat insects. But feeding them to animals could save the planet
Edible insects could more than make up for the world's protein deficiency while cleaning up waste and using fewer resources. But we don't have to eat them. We can use them in animal feed instead.
digital price tags
Digital price tags auto-discount groceries to avoid food waste
A startup called Wasteless uses dynamic pricing and electronic shelf labels to help minimize food waste at grocery stores.
hologram dining
Hologram pizzeria brings virtual happy hour to a new level
Virgin Media’s hologram dining experience, Two Hearts Pizzeria, let people feel like they were sharing a meal with loved ones located in another city.
lab-grown meat
Spinach skeleton becomes base for lab-grown meat
After spinach leaves were stripped of their plant cells, the skeletons were used as a scaffold for lab-grown meat.
food insecurity
These movers fight food insecurity one home at a time
The nonprofit Move for Hunger works with local moving companies to collect and donate food people would normally throw away during a move.
allergy immunotherapy toothpaste
This startup is creating a toothpaste for your peanut allergy
Immunotherapy for allergies can help reduce allergic reactions, but it needs to be daily. Could toothpaste provide a solution?
food insecurity
Austin is facing food insecurity. this student is on a mission to solve that.
A med student thinks the key to reducing food insecurity is through transportation. He launched Good Apple, a healthy food delivery service for families in need.
lab-grown vegan milk
This ice cream is made from lab-grown vegan milk
Disappointed by available milk alternatives, the startup Perfect Day developed lab-grown vegan milk that’s molecularly identical to the kind from cows.
cultured meat
Cultured meat gets first greenlight for sale
In a world’s first, Singapore has approved the sale of cultured meat, a major win for the meat alternatives industry.
insect farming
A French company is building the world’s biggest insect factory farm
Ÿnsect is building the world’s largest insect farming facility in Amiens, France. The mealworms grown there may end up feeding your pets and the salmon on your plate.
Robot Cook
Robot cook could help restaurants recover from COVID-19
Miso Robotics is making Flippy ROAR available for $30,000 in the hopes the robot cook will help the restaurant industry recover from the pandemic.
ghost kitchens
Ghost kitchens are saving restaurants during the pandemic
Ghost kitchens are thriving during the pandemic, as more restaurants rely on online delivery orders for their income.
fall armyworm
Can genetic engineering stop the fall armyworm invasion?
The fall armyworm is devastating African agriculture, eating millions of pounds of crops. Can a genetically modified version control their advance?
fine dining drive thru
Truffle pomme fondue sound tasty? Visit this fine-dining drive-thru.
The Resy Drive-Thru could help the restaurant industry survive the pandemic by serving as a creative new revenue stream for fine-dining chefs.
Food Contamination
This edible sensor can alert you of food contamination
A microneedle patch made of silk changes color if it senses food contamination or spoilage, making it easier to know when food’s gone bad.
Farm Robot
This massive farm robot is helping secure the future of food
A massive farm robot is analyzing crops in Arizona, helping identify ones that could grow in hotter climates to help secure the future of food.
GMO Food
This genetically modified cow could transform beef production
Cosmo the bull calf has an extra SRY gene, which makes him more likely to sire male cows — and also makes him a strong candidate for use as a GMO food.
Community Fridges
“Community fridges” are helping fight food insecurity
Community fridges stocked with donated food that’s free for the taking are helping neighborhoods across the U.S. overcome food insecurity.
vegan steak
3D-printed vegan steak is heading to restaurants in 2020
Israeli startup Redefine Meat has announced the Alt-Steak, a plant-based vegan steak that it claims mimics the texture and taste of beef.
sustainable fertilizer
Fertilizer feeds half the world. Can we make it without fossil fuels?
Fertilizer is needed to feed the world, but its production comes with a carbon footprint. This solar-powered strategy may reduce that.
healthy fast food
Series | Challengers
Healthy fast food start up takes on the McDonald’s empire
This LA-based business wants to radically alter the fast food industry by selling healthy fast food at the same low cost as competitors like McDonald’s.
Chefs work together to end child hunger.
Chefs fight child hunger with No Kid Hungry
A group of culinary professionals in Chicago is volunteering their talents to end child hunger in the US, and some are going all the way to Capitol Hill.
sustainable agriculture
Floating farm takes sustainable agriculture to the next level
Inspired by the food shortages witnessed in New York City following Hurricane Sandy, this husband and wife team came up with the idea for a sustainable farm that floats on the sea.
The world's first floating dairy farm
In the search for more sustainable methods of global food production, one couple in the Netherlands is taking an unconventional approach: they have become the operators of the world's first and only floating dairy farm.
Inside the world of gourmet lab meat
A future of eating meat without ethical or environmental implications is more real than ever before. But will people eat it food grown in a lab?
Clean meat: A new protein is making its way onto the chef's table
Clean meat is becoming a more widely known, and much loved food category. But do you expect to see it on your gourmet plate any time soon? These chefs think yes.
It’s time to embrace the frankenfish
Would you eat fish that was genetically designed in a lab? What if it was your only option? Like it or not, GMO salmon and other futuristic foods are revolutionizing the global food system right in front of our eyes.
The first GMO salmon is coming to a store near you
After a 30-year struggle, Atlantic salmon modified with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon has been approved by the FDA. Its producers say it solves problems related to climate change, ocean pollution, and food scarcity. Skeptics call it playing god. Both call it the Frankenfish.
This woman is on a mission to turn beer into food
Jacquie Berglund is using the profits from her beer company to buy organic produce from local farmers and distribute the produce to food banks in the area.
These pioneers are building the sustainable food systems of tomorrow
In a new Freethink original series, Michael O'Shea goes around the world to introduce us to the scientists who are working hard to ensure that we can feed our future world.
A look inside farms of the future
With a growing population, changing consumption behavior and a climate crisis, how will we feed our future world?...
How NASA’s space food lab will feed the farthest journey in history
These food scientists are making it possible for us to explore space in ways we haven’t yet as a species.