For many of us, this week has been stressful, draining, and/or discouraging. And while just because the weekend is here doesn’t mean you can escape from the news (though you can press snooze a few times), it does mean you can maybe make a little bit of space to focus on other things — more encouraging, inspiring things — even if just for a while.
So after you’ve snoozed, take a few minutes to catch up on our weekly food tech news roundup. It’s where we aggregate all the stories that caught our eye this week, but we didn’t quite have the bandwidth to cover. Yes, that does cover a piece about a French cabin made of chocolate.
Upcycled food company ReGrained raises $2.5 million
ReGrained, the company which turns spent grain from breweries into high-protein energy bars, announced this week that they had raised a $2.5 million seed funding round. The round was led by Griffith Partners, with participation from Barilla’s innovation arm BLU1877, Telluric Foods, and others. The San Francisco-based company plans to use the funds to scale up their processing tech and commercialize their business selling food byproducts to upcycled CPG companies.
Dairy Farmers of America and Walmart embrace blockchain
The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) will team up with Ripe.io, the tech startup working to create a blockchain for food (h/t Crowdfund Insider). Together, the two will launch a pilot program to track dairy along the supply chain. This news comes just a few weeks after Ripe.io raised a $2.4 million seed round.
Also this week, Walmart announced that they were asking all their suppliers of fresh, leafy greens to use blockchain. They hope that this emerging tech will help them track supply and ensure safety, especially in the wake of this year’s outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce. (Psst — Frank Yiannas, Walmart’s VP of Food Safety, will be speaking about blockchain and food at the Smart Kitchen Summit. Get your tickets now!)
You can now rent a French cabin made of chocolate
The witch in Hansel & Gretel would have a field day. Guests on Booking.com can now rent a lovely cabin in Sèvres, France — that’s made entirely out of chocolate (h/t Travel & Leisure). Designed and built by artisan chocolatier Jean-Luc Decluzeau, the cottage is 18 square meters, sleeps four guests, and is made of roughly 1.5 tons of chocolate. The best part? Guests are allowed to sample the many edible parts of the house. Sweet.
Beyond Meat releases environmental impact study
Most of us already know that eating a plant-based diet is better for the environment. Just how much better? That’s what Beyond Meat set out to show the world with its recent Life Cycle Analysis study. The startup commissioned researchers at the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems to compare how the environmental impact (carbon emissions, land use, etc.) of its plant-based burgers stacks up against a traditional beef burger. The results are even more striking than you might expect.
Hormel Foods launches new podcast series
This week Hormel Foods announced the launch of their new podcast series entitled Our Food Journey (h/t FoodDive). The series is meant to be a part of the food company’s larger social responsibility initiative and will feature conversations with Hormel employees, professional chefs, food entrepreneurs, and others. The first season has ten episodes, all of which are available wherever you get your podcasts.
Did we miss any stories? Tweet us @TheSpoonTech to clue us in!