This is the web version of our weekly newsletter. Subscribe and get all the best food tech news delivered direct to your inbox!
Normally in this newsletter, I try to tie a bunch of news threads together to present an analysis of broader trends in food tech and give you deeper insight into the forces pushing the industry forward.
But not this week.
Nope. This week I am all gimme, gimme, gimme because there are three food-related gadgets that I absolutely do not need but totally want to get. (And you might too!)
Why do I want it? Because it is a neat little single-serving meal cooker and serving dish all in one. The BonBowl uses induction heating to cook ingredients in a special bowl that can be removed and used to eat said cooked ingredients. At $149, it seems perfect for college students, single folks or people living in small spaces.
I’ve got a family to feed, so the BonBowl isn’t for me, but Spoon writer, Jenn Marston loves hers (and loves the fact that it’s a lot less dangerous than a using a hot plate).
Why do I want it? Because my favorite meals are the ones I don’t have to make, and this cooking robot promises to do most of the work for me. As Spoon founder Mike Wolf wrote, the Oliver could usher in an era of unattended cooking. You just load it up with prepped ingredients (okay, so there is some work), tell it what recipe to cook with the accompanying app and Oliver does the rest. It dispenses the ingredients at the right time, cooks and mixes everything.
While using an Oliver would let me make dinner for the family and nap at the same time, my kitchen is already chock-a-block with cooking gadgets and I don’t think I could get the go-ahead to get another one. Perhaps that will change when the Oliver ships in June of 2021.
Why do I want it? Because I am a sucker for burritos, and heaven help me, I want to back this Kickstarter project so bad. So what is this wonderous device? Think of it like the cannister you put your money in at the drive-through bank had a baby with a deodorant stick. Stick your burrito in the cannister and twist the bottom to continually raise it up as you chow it down.
The Burrito Pop will set you back $28 if you want one. That seems kinda pricey, though better than the $50 the company plans to charge at retail. But I do love a good burrito, and anything that makes eating one a little less messy might be worth it.
Well, there it is. The three gadgets that may or may not wind up in my kitchen. Have another suggestion? Drop me a line and let me know!
Food Waste vs. Food Loss
I say po-tay-to, you say po-tah-to. In either case, far too many spuds are going to waste. Or are they lost? Because there’s a difference.
The words we use to describe problems matter, which is why you should check out Jenn Marston’s piece on the difference between food loss and food waste. While it may seem like we’re being pedantic, we’re not.
Food loss happens further up the supply chain, closer to harvest and production. Food waste happens more towards the consumer end of the meal journey. Food loss is a very different problem from food waste and thereby requires a very different solution.
Hunger in the U.S. has skyrocketed during the pandemic, so being able to rescue food before rots on the field or goes into the waste bin because you forgot about it in the back of your fridge is an important topic. Thankfully, as Jenn points out, there are a number of startups working on both issues.
Read the full piece to get familiar with food loss and food waste, and then figure out what you can do to help prevent it.
Dotdash Acquires Simply Recipes and Serious Eats from Fexy Media – Terms were not disclosed but Fexy’s Co-CEO, Cliff Sharples, talked to us about the deal and why his company is getting out of the editorial game.
Plant-based protein companies continue to raise money – Daring raised $8 million for its plant-based chicken and OmniPork parent, Green Monday raised $70M.
Tastewise Launches Its AI-Powered Food Prediction in the UK – Tastewise has integrated data from 183,000 restaurants and delivery menus, over 2.8 billion social interactions, and 1.2 million online recipes from the UK into its AI trend predictor.
Kiwibot Partners with Sodexo to Roll Out Delivery Robots at the University of Denver – Kiwibot has partnered with Sodexo, a huge company that provides foodservice to colleges across the U.S. This partnership brings with it more legitimacy for Kiwibot, and also provides an entrée, so to speak, with college administrations and restaurants at potential campuses.