A Thanksgiving spread, courtesy of a meal kit.

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Greetings all!

Here in the States, it’s the calm before the storm. I’m referring, of course, to Thanksgiving — the meal where we get together with family and friends, give thanks, and have a mild panic attack while cooking a turkey (and sides, and pie, and…).

Not this year. This year I’m following the lead of my colleague Chris and leveraging food tech to make Thanksgiving a breeze. From smart meat thermometers to alterna-meat stuffing to an eternally warm cup of coffee, he’s got the guide for letting technology help make this year’s feast the best (and easiest) one yet.

But if all that sounds too complicated, Jenn has compiled a list of companies that will deliver the Turkey Day spread to your door, in full or in part. We don’t judge.

Speaking of the kitchen, this week Brava shipped its countertop oven that cooks with light (yes, light) and can supposedly heat up to 500 °F in one second flat. Lately there’s been a wave of connected countertop cooking devices, such as the June, Tovala, Suvie, and the Amazon microwave, so we’ll have to see if Brava’s can break away from the pack and carve out space on our kitchen counters.

The kitchen may be filling up with smart devices, but in the restaurant world there be robots. And soon there will be a lot more — at least in China. This week Chinese e-commerce company JD.com opened the first of its planned 1,000 XCafe robot restaurants, in which ordering, food prep, and serving is all taken done by robots. China is jumping into the robot restaurant biz with both feet: JD.com and Haidilao, which is planning a chain of automated hotpot restaurants, have over 6,000 in the works combined. If the U.S. wants to stay relevant in the automated foodservice game, they’ll have to step up.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (no shade), you heard the news this week that Amazon announced its new HQ2 locations: New York City and Arlington, VA. Which is no doubt a big deal for things like housing prices, but we here at the Spoon are more interested in what it will mean for food tech. Hint: more Amazon Go stores, more drones.

And now onto our favorite topic: cheese. Earlier this week, an EU court presided over a case was between two cheese companies, one of whom argued that the other was copying its signature taste. The conclusion: taste cannot be copyrighted, because it “cannot be identified with precision and objectivity.” But Mike thinks that technology could change all that.

What about a nice Camembert made from cow-free milk? Perfect Day, which uses fermentation to make dairy without the animal, has partnered with food giant ADM to scale up production and enter the market quickly. Which means that in a not-too-distant future you could be snacking on cheese (or yogurt, or ice cream) made from milk created entirely without a cow.

If you’re in the LA area, we’re headed to you on November 27th! We’re putting on a half-day event with hardware VC firm Make in L.A. to explore the world of food tech, from restaurants to robots to investment. Join us for this event to hear from the CEOs of Ordermark, Kitchen United, Pathspot, Somabar & DishyDivvy, all while enjoying a free taco!

And finally, if you haven’t heard we are bringing the latest in foodtech to Vegas next year with FoodTech Live. If you want to show off your foodtech or smart kitchen product to the world’s leading business and tech journalists, you can inquire about sponsorships here. Don’t have a product to show, but just want to just come and check out the latest foodtech from the cool startups we’ve lined up? You can request a pass here.

Have a great weekend,

Image credit: Flickr user Niklas Morberg under creative commons

EU Court Rules Taste Can’t Be Copyrighted. Will Tech Someday Change That?
Can taste be copyrighted? According to an EU court, the answer is no (or at least not yet). At least that’s how they ruled this week in a court battle between two cheese companies. But will technology open up new doors to taste copyright?

My Food Tech Plans for Thanksgiving: Delivery, Caffeine, Meater and More
The Spoon Head Editor Chris plans to leverage food tech to make his Thanksgiving run smoothly, from smart meat thermometers to connected countertop ovens.

Video: To Succeed in the Smart Kitchen, “You Have to Get Multi-Model Fast”
In this video from the 2018 Smart Kitchen Summit, experts in voice and connected appliances discuss the role that voice tech will play in the kitchen of the future — and how it has to work with screens in order to be successful.

Groupe SEB Acquires Cooking Site 750g
Groupe SEB, which owns a portfolio of small appliance and cookware brands, announced this week that it has acquired French recipe site and digital media publisher 750g International.

Perfect Day Partners with ADM to Scale up Production of Cow-Free Dairy
Perfect Day, the startup which makes milk without the animal, today announced that it has entered into a partnership with global food processing company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Together the two are hoping to scale up Perfect Day’s tech and produce animal-free whey over the next few years.

There Are a Ton of Ways to Get Thanksgiving Delivered to Your Door This Year
Amazon’s not the only one peddling Turkey’s in 2018. From grocery delivery to meal kits to ordering in, there are a few ways to get some help with your Thanksgiving feast.

Would You Rent (and Return) a Coffee Mug to Reduce Waste?
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Uber Q3 Earnings: Eats Grows 150 Percent YOY, Does $2.1 Billion in Gross Bookings
Uber released its third quarter earnings this week, which revealed that its food delivery business, Uber Eats, generated $2.1 billion in gross bookings — an increase of 150 percent over the same time period last year. Uber is trying to emphasis the success of Eats as its expected to go public in 2019.

Video: Food Blockchain — Just Hype, Or True Path To Food Transparency?
Blockchain is everywhere, from currency to copyright protection. In this video of a panel from the 2018 Smart Kitchen Summit, executives from Walmart and Ripe.io discuss how blockchain can help increase food safety and promote customer knowledge in the kitchen.

Apples to Apples: Agrofresh’s Tech Optimizes Produce Freshness Along the Supply Chain
Agriculture technology company Agrofresh helps optimize produce freshness along the supply chain, from post-harvest to the grocery shelves.

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