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Impossible Foods is Creating a Impossible Plant-based Tuna Soon

Impossible Foods, creator of the plant-based realistic “beef” patty called the Impossible Burger, is setting its sights on a lofty and bold idea to produce a plant-based tuna.

A plant-based tuna substitute may allow fish populations to recover and help restore ecological balance required to maintain a healthy global environment.

Based in Oakland, CA, the company has been making waves since it first released its meat-free patty that smells and tastes like real beef. The Impossible Burger is so revolutionary; it even bleeds like real meat. Although still a long way off, Impossible Foods aims to produce all kinds of substitutes for food products that usually come from animals.

Beyond Burgers and Beef

The technology was developed by founder and CEO Pat Brown, a biochemist, and is based on leghemoglobin or heme which transports oxygen through the bloodstream. With the development of heme, Impossible Foods was able to reproduce the flavor, aroma, taste, and texture of beef. The company is now working on adapting this technology in developing plant-based tuna from soybeans. Heme is produced using textured vegetable protein (TVG), coconut oil, potatoes, fats, sugar, salt, and other additives.

Among fishes, tuna is the prime candidate for production in the lab. It is an apex predator that is widely fished and is close to depletion. There are three species of commercial tuna fishermen catch; one of them, the Atlantic Bluefin tuna, is in grave danger due to overfishing. The problem with apex predators is that they have a primary role in the ecosystem. It is one of the biggest food fish which commercial fisherman follow all across the Pacific and Atlantic.

The Case for Plant-based Tuna

a plant-based tuna graphic

Another reason for the choice of tuna for lab production is due to its having heme in its bloodstream, giving it the distinctive dark red meat, unlike the white meat of most fishes. With global fish stock forecasted to collapse by 2048 unless drastic changes are initiated, replacing fish with soy-bean based substitutes is a wise choice.  According to Brown, the company is “working on producing all foods that we get from animals.”

Considering that there are about 1 billion people who are dependent on fish as their primary source of protein, replacing live tuna with plant-based tuna may not seem to be a complete answer. However, due to the effect of tuna and salmon on the ocean’s ecosystem, this is a necessary first step. In the United States, the average person eats 225 fishes a year. A plant-based tuna substitute may allow fish populations to recover and help restore ecological balance required to maintain a healthy global environment.

Venture Capital Funding

Impossible Foods has a large capital fund, totaling $257 million. Some of the investors include Singapore-based Temasek Holdings, Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla, and Horizon Ventures, among others.

Its first commercial product was a burger, and it was launched in premium restaurants. Through continuous development, the texture and flavor of the Impossible Burger have improved and has gotten closer to the taste of actual burgers. For diners and customers, the benchmark for openness is the sizzle and the juice “bleeding” out of the cooked burger patty. Diners have professed that they would be hard put to distinguish between a real burger and the Impossible Burger.

Nike Back To The Future Shoes Is Here

Once only a futuristic idea in the classic film trilogy “Back to the Future,” Nike’s self-lacing sneakers are finally jumping from the movie screen and into reality. This bold idea has been in peoples’ minds for over 15 years, but the Beaverton, Oregon-based shoe giant revealed they recently mass-produced the designs, with plans of selling them right across America.

“It’s amazing how many people are excited when they try it on and it’s a really interesting experience,” Hatfield said.

Nike Back To The Future Shoes – Hyperadapt 1.0

The special edition Nike’s Hyperadapt 1.0 retails for a whopping $720, making them the most expensive sneakers sold on the commercial market to date. Despite the extravagant price tag, both movie and sneaker fans have been snapping them up like hot cakes, so much so that they are now set to go global, extending out into the United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia.

Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s Vice President for Design and Special Projects, and one of the most influential designers of the past 30 years, designed the revolutionary shoe. The self-lacing sneaker marks a new era for Nike, according to GQ Magazine.

Hatfield’s Hyperadapt 1.0 design was so popular when it launched in the States that it sold out in just 8 minutes! Hatfield is also the creative mind behind great sneakers like Air Max 1, Air Mag, Huarches, Air Windrunner, Air Revolution, Air Safari, Air Tech Challenge, many Air Jordan styles, and much more.

“The Hyperadapt 1.0 is a performance shoe that aims to diminish an athlete’s primary concern – distraction,” GQ described in a feature. “An athlete, particularly in sports like basketball and running, does not have time to worry about laces, and this was something Hatfield and his team wanted to tackle.”

 

Instead of lacing the sneakers, a sensor touch system laces up the shoe for the owner. The lace pressure on the foot adapts to the movement of the shoe and close up around the foot with the right amount of pressure at any given time. Hatfield is hoping that in the future this can be taken one step further, and become a fully automatic lacing system, which means once you slip your foot in the sneaker everything will be done for you, just like in the movies.

“It’s amazing how many people are excited when they try it on and it’s a really interesting experience,” Hatfield said.

“Probably what will happen is that shoes, and other products as well, will become more adaptable and modernized through technology. Then there will also probably be an appeal to have shoes and products that are old school, which is what we continuously see in fashion. There will just be a new, modern reason for buying and performing in new athletic footwear, because it does something different,” he added.

It takes bold ideas like this to bring humanity into the 21st century. Not only are inventors able to take ideas that were given life on the big screen and turn them into reality, but are giving consumers the option to buy futuristic and technologically advanced products.

Portland Workshops Tackle Transportation

New technology is continuously being developed by both private companies, universities, and federal and state government. In time, these tech developments make their way to the consumers. Sometimes, it takes time for these technologies and bold ideas to become reality due to strict testing standards, or due to existing regulations, or even because there are no existing rules to implement.

…the workshop aimed to discuss ways the program and its partners can: support new technology that reduces or minimizes single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips; ensure tech advances are distributed equitably; and address Portland’s transportation needs.

This problem is almost universal, and there are instances when the technology is badly needed but there are institutional roadblocks that hinder adoption. In other instances, the problem is getting away while the technology meant to solve that problem has become stagnant and cannot adjust or adapt.

In the transportation industry, there is a need for a quick implementation and adoption because the problem is growing at a very fast clip. There is a tenet in software engineering that a completed program or system is obsolete. The reason for this is due to the time it takes to finish the project. While the project aims to solve a problem, the problem itself has grown or evolved. By the time that the software is ready, it is no longer in a position to solve the problem, which has moved on, evolved, or has become obsolete.

Metro’s Regional Travel Options recently hosted a workshop in Portland, Oregon as part of the Regional Travel Options strategy update. The strategy update itself was meant to guide the program in creating a community which is safe, vibrant, and livable, with the support of partners’ work to motivate an increase in walking, bike riding, ridesharing, telecommuting, and the use of public transit.

Portland Transportation Options

The aim of the workshop was to discuss transportation technology for the Greater Portland Area. Specifically, the workshop aimed to discuss ways the program and its partners can: support new technology that reduces or minimizes single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips; ensure tech advances are distributed equitably; and address Portland’s transportation needs.

The workshop emphasized on 4 themes where technology can help reach the goals:

  1. Local partners. Going local means that the partner knows the area, specific problems, and concerns, and have a stake in the solution. This helps facilitate the assistance and cooperation between public agencies and the private sector. Public agencies can easily collect data, but the technology development is faster with the private companies. The workshop also encourages ways that allow for flexibility of funding as well as the nexus for collaborations.
  2. Innovate for travel options. The above travel options are the current list of available technology, but they are expected to change along the way to 2035. The technologies to be developed have to make some leeway for other dependent or supplementary technology being developed by other entities. In addition, there might be options which are best or applicable in some situations, while others would work better in a different scenario. These have to be taken into consideration.
  3. Collect and share data. There is a lot of available data from traffic conditions, to volume of passengers, foot traffic and others. Government agencies are the best source of data, and a centralized repository would allow for private companies and other stakeholders to access and use the data for their tech development, in line with the goals of the program.
  4. Access for all. Transportation and technology to be of the most use has to address how it would be used by low income communities. Developing for these communities would ensure a wider acceptance of technology, and a better chance of success for the program.

Tech Transforms Food Industry

Many industries are embracing technology, with unprecedented successes everywhere. It has even changed the landscape of doing business, including finding customers and in streamlining business processes. Various bold ideas have helped tech become a staple in the food industry where it can be seen as a game-changer.

GMOs and Fake Meats

There are some bold trends in food which on their own seem like paradoxes, in that they are happening at the same time. For instance, the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) is growing due to the need for more productive food strains. At the same time, GMOs have created a backlash, where it is not only fashionable to be GMO-free but also imperative that the food is organically grown.

Beside the GMO dichotomy, there is also the increasing interest in vegetable-based meat products. These fake meats, technically meat substitutes, are formulated and manufactured in the lab, however, the creators have striven for authenticity in flavor, texture and eating experience.

Farm to Market and Restaurants

Tech has made all of these possible, but tech is doing more with other food industry processes as well. These tech developments are meant to bring efficiencies in the manufacture, farming, and post-harvesting of food products, as well as transporting them safely and quickly from the farm to the marketplace or the restaurant. In the restaurant, there are other improvements which involved more tech and less hands on in processes, procedures and management.

Smart Farms

Restaurants are directly affected when they choose to buy from sources that use new food technology. Top notch restaurants seek the best and freshest ingredients directly from farms. It is to their advantage if they can have the assurance of quality from their suppliers.

Tech at stages in food distribution.

Farms have seen a lot of improvement with tech products from traditional farm equipment suppliers like John Deere US, Trimble and AGCO Corporation. Telematics products from these companies help farmers get the most out of their agricultural equipment. These products include monitoring and analysis systems which provide real-time updates on field conditions, weather, potential of hydrogen (pH) levels, humidity, moisture, soil conditions, with the aim of making the best use of water and decrease any potential yield loss. Some sensors serve as monitoring systems which measure reflected light off crops to determine nitrogen levels, and then trigger another system to apply the correct amount of nitrogen to the plants.

Food Transportation and Distribution

Tech in food distribution can bring more efficiency by helping to make sure that the produce is kept fresh while in transit. Food can now be tracked via apps, as well as the conditions of these ingredients while they are being transported. Restaurateurs can feel at ease to know that their orders will reach them in the best conditions.

In The Restaurant

There is a lot of data in the restaurant, including orders and feedback from customers. Knowing the amount of food to be ordered for any given night allows food establishments to take advantage of seasonal availability, as well as optimized ingredient ordering based on food costs. Driving revenue is also much easier if you know what the customers keep on ordering.

Technology for restaurants and the farms have gone a long way, and there have been great inroads to more use of varied apps. This helps farm and restaurant managers more opportunity to use their data to better deliver quality food and service to customers.