You made it to the weekend! Hopefully you don’t have too much of a candy hangover from Valentine’s Day festivities. Over here at The Spoon, we’re laser focused on Customize, our food personalization summit coming up in a little less than two weeks (!) in NYC. (Wanna come? Use code SPOON15 to get 15 percent off tickets.)
But conference or no conference, cool food tech news keeps on happening. This week we’ve rounded up stories about recyclable-sorting trash bins, space mac & cheese, and a plant-based burger taste test featuring Bill Gates. Enjoy!
TrashBot automates recycling and waste sorting
It’s something most of us do every day — try to figure out whether our cup/bowl/utensil belongs should be thrown into the trash, recycling, or compost. Startup CleanRobotics is trying to automate that choice for us with its TrashBot, a metal bin that will automatically sort your garbage for you. FastCompany wrote about the company this week, which is trying to streamline the waste management process and also gather data on what we’re throwing away. To use the device, just toss in your item and the robot uses a combination of camera and sensors to determine in which internal bin — recycling, landfill, etc. — it should go.
Scientists develop mac & cheese for space travel
It looks like astronauts’ menu might now include mac & cheese. Scientists at Washington State University (WSU) announced that they have developed a way to make macaroni and cheese shelf stable for up to three years (h/t IFT). And not the boxed stuff either — this is the ready-to-eat version. The new offering, which uses thermal sterilization and a special protective film, has triple the lifespan of your typical ready-to-eat mac and cheese. WSU is currently testing the product with the Army.
Bill Gates taste tests plant-based and beef burgers
This week Bill Gates appeared in a video by YouTube star Mark Rober (h/t GeekWire). In it he talked about meat alternatives and, most importantly, did a mini taste test between two offerings: one plant-based Impossible burger, and one burger from Seattle classic Dick’s burgers. Gates, who has invested in both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, said that the plant-based burger was “quite good” and “light years away from what they used to like.”