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Recipe Networks and Combinatorial Cuisine

The field of network science continues to find new data sets for exploring technology, economics, biological systems, and social relationships. Two recent articles use recipe ingredients and foods from different cuisines to demonstrate how the lens of network science can create analytics to provide us with new insights into how we eat and what gets eaten.

Automated Nourishment

Last year, when we created our Map on the Future of Science and Technology and Well-Being, we were looking for convergences. What experimental, and seemingly disparate technologies might converge over the next decade to change how we pursue well-being?

The Importance of an Everlasting Sandwich

I have to admit, I kind of scoffed when I read the following headline: “Gas-Flushed Sandwiches Stay Fresh for Two Weeks.” The corresponding article explained that Booker Group, the UK’s largest food and drink wholesaler, is “launching chicken tikka and cheese ploughmans sandwiches, among others, it insists will remain fresh for 14 days.”

SIGNALS: Medical Data, Wind, Solar, Milk, Displays, Water, Energy, Leaf, Robots, Climate Change, Cyborgs

Sustain Saskatchewan

"Trees make the prairies tolerable." 

How much is that hot dog in the window (tax included)?

Wearing Your Medicine

Was your lunch yesterday 400 calories or 500 calories? Whatever the answer is, you probably don't know it. Which is what makes a prototype patch that offers real time data about the wearer's caloric intake--and the number of calories burned in the past 24 hours--such a potentially disruptive technology.

What Are You Printing for Dinner?

An early design prototype called Cornucopia is aimed at bringing 3-D printing into the kitchen.

Transparency informs smarter food choices. Or does it?

Business Week reports that when nutritional information is available on fast-food menus, parents choose about 100 fewer calories per meal for their children. It quotes the lead researcher's apt observation that,

One hundred calories over time is actually a significant amount in terms of weight gain, given the rates of fast food consumption and childhood obesity in our country.

A trail of breadcrumbs leads to food facts

IBM recently previewed a yet-to-be released iPhone app—Breadcrumbs—that will give consumers immediate access to information about food products while they shop.  By scanning an item's barcode with your iPhone camera, you will be able to receive a summary of a product's ingredients and learn when it was manufactured (oh, at long last, to know how old that package of Ho-Hos really is!)  Granted, ingredients are already listed on food labels, but recall information isn't, and according to this ReadWriteWeb post, Breadcrumbs will be able to put this kind of product history in the palm of your hand. 

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