Posts Tagged ‘ Cost of Chicken Labs ’

Lab Meat Burgers

As eating real animal meat becomes more and more unsustainable, scientists are turning their labs into food laboratories. CNN did a report on a lab-grown meat. Note that this meat was grown from real cow cells. One burger cost about $300,000. The lab meat has no fat — this affects its taste. And it only looks like meat due to added food coloring — lab meat is white! Yam!

Safe Chicken

The US Agriculture Department is looking to improve chicken safety and reduce the number of Salmonella outbreaks:

Salmonella outbreaks expose weaknesses in USDA oversight

Federal regulators and poultry companies are scrambling to find new ways to reduce salmonella contamination, which sickens a million Americans annually. And the Agriculture Department is planning to expand rules to limit salmonella on chicken parts, not just whole birds.

Tradition Versus Progress

Cindy Sui Taimanise handmade noodlesCindy Sui of BBC News wrote an article examining the economics of producing traditional food: “Calling time on Taiwan’s handmade noodles.”

Hand-pulled string noodles, called mian xian in Mandarin, have been made for around 2,000 years. … Today only about 50 noodle makers are thought to remain in Taiwan.”

The economics of producing the noodles by hand changed — a family making the noodles for 14 hours each day can make only $100. And the hand-made noodles are sold for $2 to $3 per bag. It’s too much effort for too little reward — not enough to feed a family and to provide for all the other basic needs. And so another food tradition has to die. There will still be people making noodles by hand, but it will be something very special (and very expensive) and so an average person might never taste “the real thing!”

Follow the Frog

Early on in our project, we considered making a “follow the chicken” stamp of approval aka Eco-Footprint Tracker — it you buy food with a chicken stamp on it, it was produced well, in a sustainable manner that didn’t hurt the environment.

Today, we saw “Follow the Frog” ad that summed up our idea. So follow the FROG!

Cost of Chicken Video

So here it is: The Cost of Chicken video! This is our 2 minute video submission to the EDF Sustainable Design Challenge. All the kids you see in this video worked hard to make this project happen!

Scientific American Article: How to Feed the World While the Earth Cooks

Scientific American just published an article: How to Feed the World While the Earth Cooks.

In it, there were a few interesting facts that will help up develop the Cost of Chicken App:

It takes 8 kilograms of feed to make one kilogram of cow, 4 kilograms of feed for one kilogram of pork and two kilograms of feed for one kilogram of chicken. “The number one thing you can do if you care about climate change is cut down on meat consumption,” as Dawn Moncrief, executive director of meat reduction group A Well-Fed World, noted the following day.

Cost of Chicken App Idea

So we’ve started the design of our Cost of Chicken App: Eco-Footprint Tracker. (We’re still working out the name.)

It would work something like this:

  1. Work with food producers to place QR Codes on their products. Each code provides a URL with information on the true cost of food: how far it has been trucked to be available locally; how long it has been stored (e.g. apples are stored for months prior to being delivered to supermarkets); how much energy it took to produce the food; and how much the packaging costs. Distance, production and manufacturing, storage, and marketing are all factors that contribute to the total expenditure of our planet’s resources.
  2. Once we have the QR codes, we can quickly add up all of the groceries that are being purchased and generate an approximate size of the eco-footprint for that consumer for that day.
  3. Each person (or family) could have an account that tracks all of their food purchases. This data could be graphed (or displayed in other ways) to allow people to visualize their choices in terms of the ecological consequences.

The app could work even without the QR Codes: a consumer can just enter the type of food they bought, and the app calculates the approximate eco-footprint.

It could look something like this:
QR code tracks the cost of chicken to generate eco-footprint

Living off the land in New York City

Sometimes, food is found in Central Park, right under our feet! Learn how to “live off the land” if you are city dweller — very cool video.

Edible Sensors Let You Know If Your Food Is Spoiled

gold and silk spoil food sensor
Do you know how to pick a ripe watermelon? Our mom hits it like a drum — if it sounds deep and empty, then it’s good. …or not. Sometimes, definitely not good. So now there are sensors that are stuck on the skin of the food directly to tell how far along its ripeness (or foulness) the fruit is! Check out the article from Gizmodo: Edible Sensors Let You Know If Your Food Is Spoiled.

The Carbon Footprint of our Diets

Does it make a difference what we buy and what we eat? YES! Time Magazine did an amazing collection of photographs of families from around the world gathered around their dinner tables (or blankets) with a collection of all the things they eat. People’s choices make a difference. Here in US, on an average, we generate 22 tons of Carbon Dioxide per person per year! Of that, 8.1 metric tons of greenhouse gases are generated by food consumption choices.

Check out this interesting presentation with lots more data.

The carbon footprint factors this presentation lists is almost a perfect match for our Cost of Chicken map categories:

  • how far did the food travel to reach you? (transportation accounts for 11% of the total green house gas emissions from food)
  • how was your food produced? (food production and harvesting accounts for 83% of the total green house gas emissions from food if done in a conventional, big agriculture business way)
  • what kind of food did you get? (delivery from the producer to the store accounts for 4% of the total green house gas emissions from food)

So here’s a break down:

  1. Red Meat is the number one source of greenhouse gases from food and is responsible of 30% of the total.
  2. Milk and other dairy products come in at number two at 18% of the total.
  3. Cereals and Carbs at 11% of the total; as are fruits and vegetable — 11%.
  4. Chicken, fish, and eggs are responsible for 10% of the total.
  5. Beverages are 6%; and so are sweets and condiments — 6%.
  6. All the other food stuffs make up the rest — 9%.

By looking at the data coming in from the Cost of Chicken crowd map, we can see how much green gas we are generating.

We believe if people knew that their food choices make a difference to the environment, they would choose more wisely.

Check out this data (and see the whole presentation):

Food Carbon Footprint Analysis

And check out this video — “Cheeseburger Footprint: from Six Degrees” by Jamais Cascio