A Review of Fascinating Bits of News from the World of Science and Technology
Part of our Hey! Look at That! Science Series
Trees, Glorious Trees
This space has more than a few times lamented our march toward the cliff of global warming. I am among those who have come to think we may well have already crossed the Rubicon. It may be too late to avoid catastrophe. Given what passes for political leadership these days, we would seem doomed.
But, a ray of hope appears. It is one so simple in concept and elegant in execution as to be a wonder to behold. Not that it would be easy to carry out, but it does seem doable. Our savior? Trees. About a trillion of them, to be more specific.
Reputable scientists have reached an interesting conclusion. If we plant enough trees, we could change the climatological balance. This would be enough to buy us about another decade or so to fix what we are doing more generally. This is not quite as simple as I have made it sound here. We are talking about over a trillion trees. They must be the correct types, planted in places and in concentrations that will do the job.
But the task, it would appear is doable. Think about it. The beauty and other benefits of trees might also save our species. A good, short read on this is at: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/03/21/planting-trees-benefits.aspx And at this link: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-best-technology-for-fighting-climate-change-isnt-a-technology/
Australia has already committed to planting a billion trees. School children in India recently planted over a million in a few days. So, the scale is huge, but this is acheivable. After reading a few articles about this, one is left thinking, “Why the heck would we not do this? We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” I hope we are wise enough to give this a serious run. It may save our lives.
So, I Was Talking to This Tomato the Other Day…
I recently read a fascinating article in Fortune that I want to share with you. Some entrepreneurs are sure they can convince people that a great salad is a great meal. They can, in so doing, improve people’s health, ease the burden on the environment, and help change society. Oh, and along the way, make a ton of money.
This is not your grandmother’s salad. These are made of produce grown with remarkable technology. They use WiFi monitors and blockchain processes, in close cooperation with their farmers. They have made believers out of farmers who were skeptics. They have more abundant crops with less overhead and everything tastes better. Items are picked on the single best day for that tomato or whatever it is. Others are using new technology to flash freeze premade vegetable dishes. When heated up, they taste like the vegatables came out of the ground an hour ago.
This is fascinating, fun reading. Don’t miss it. They are all on to something that will change how we eat and how we think about food. Read for yourself and see what you think: https://fortune.com/longform/sweetgreen-tech-eat-more-vegetables/
Scotty, Beam Me Up a Burger
We have commiserated before about evolving plant-based meat, such as the Impossible Burger. By the way, I tried an Impossible Whooper at a local Burger King this week. They are testing them nationwide. Not bad at all, and they seem to be selling well.
So, several people are hard at work perfecting the nonmeat hamburger. But where, pray tell, is our steak without a cow? Viola, it is about to arrive. Enter Guiseppe Scionti, Founder and CEO of NovaMeat. This fellow has a background in cell generation used for medical purposes. It occurred to him much of what he was developing might have other applications. The result is a steak, created in short order by a 3-D printer. He is aiming to produce almost a quarter of a pound of plant-based meat in five to 10 minutes at a cost of less than 50 cents. Think of the economic and ecological implications of that.
It is not near perfected yet for taste, although texture is close. It seems he is making very good progress. He has a solid track record with other products. The betting is that he should be able to pull this off.
Not all that different from the Star Trek replicator, is it? Imagine a time in the not too distant future wherein you ask for a food item and it appears. Magic times are coming, folks. You can read more about this idea at https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6218069/3D-printed-steak-unveiled-Barcelona-scientist.html
In so many ways, Science offers us hope and opportunity.
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