‘Colourful Shit’ Project Aims To Show How Our Food Affects Our Poo.

Colorful Shit Project - Froot Loops editionWant to know what that food dye laden bowl of Froot Loops you’re about to eat looks like 30 hours later? Gabriel Morais wants to and will show you how much the food we ingest affects our body through his “Colourful Shit” project. Mr. Morais first photographs what he’s about to eat and then captures an image of what he poo’d out 30 – 36 hours later. For his project so far, he’s downed:

  • 9.9 lbs of beet root (turnaround time 36 hours).
  • 8.8 lbs of sweet corn (turnaround time 36 hours).
  • 7.7 lbs of Froot Loops (turnaround time 30 hours).

Want to see what 7.7 lbs of Froot Loops (aka Froot Poops) will look like 30 hours later? [Read more…]

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Engineers At Lockheed Martin Create Perforene: More Efficiently Converts Saltwater To Clean Freshwater.

John Stetson - Lockheed MartinLockheed Martin has announced that they’ve created an atom-thin carbon membrane that will significantly reduce the cost and energy required to convert saltwater to freshwater. It’s called perforene and its one-nanometer sized holes are large enough to let water flow through but small enough to filter out salt from seawater. From Lockheed Martin engineer John Stetson:

“It’s [perforene] 500 times thinner than the best filter on the market today and a thousand times stronger. The energy that’s required and the pressure that’s required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less [than reverse osmosis].”

Perforene, if it reaches the market, would be a great solution for coastal areas that have limited access to freshwater and that may not be able to afford building and operating an expensive desalinization plant. The downside: mo water mo people. [Reuters]

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UK’s Horsemeat Scandal Changes 6 in 10 Shopper’s Buying Habits. 30% Buy Less Processed Meats.

Which? Graphic:  6 in 10 changed their shopping habits because of the horsemeat scandal.A poll was conducted by Which? to gauge consumer confidence in the food industry in the wake of the UK’s horsemeat scandal. Here’s a summary of the poll results (from Which?):

“Consumer trust in the food industry has dropped by a quarter (24%) since the horsemeat scandal broke, a Which? survey has revealed. 30% of shoppers are now buying less processed meat and a quarter (24%) are buying fewer ready meals with meat in, or choosing vegetarian options.

Two thirds of people (68%) don’t think the government has been giving enough attention to enforcing labelling laws, with half of consumers (47%) not confident that ingredient information is accurate.

Confidence in food safety has also taken a hit. Before the scandal broke, nine in 10 felt confident when buying products in the supermarket. This has dropped to seven in 10.”

According to the Guardian, the horsemeat scandal has been a boon for meatless-meat producer Quorn:

“As sales of frozen burgers have tumbled amid further evidence of horsemeat in a range of meat products including ready meals, Quorn – the UK’s biggest vegetarian ready meal brand – said last week that it had seen sales growth more than double in the second half of February as shoppers snapped up its burgers, mince and sausages made from a form of fungus.”

I’m sure this change in consumer buying habits to non-meat meat products is the reaction most people expected.

On the plus side, other than some people gagging and a few hurling at the thought, there haven’t been any reports of people becoming ill by eating horsemeat. Another bonus of the horsemeat scandal: it’s kind of nice to hear that consumers are working down the food chain – hopefully most will stay there. [Guardian and Which?]

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Non-Food ‘Cellulosic’ Ethanol Could Be Price Competitive With Gasoline By 2016.

Cellulosic ethanol production.According to research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), ethanol produced from non-food materials (inedible parts of plants, woods, and grasses) will be price competitive with corn-based ethanol and gasoline by 2016. It’s a second generation biofuel called cellulosic ethanol and for years, figuring out how to cost effectively produce ethanol from non-edible plants has been a challenge. From BNEF:

“The survey collected data and predictions on the production costs of 11 leading players in the cellulosic ethanol industry. All use a technique, commonly called enzymatic hydrolysis, to break down and convert the complex sugars in non-food crop matter, and a fermentation stage to turn the results into ethanol. The results showed that in 2012, the cost of cellulosic ethanol production was $0.94 per litre, around 40% higher than the $0.67 per litre cost of producing ethanol from corn, which dominates the US biofuel market and is competitive with US gasoline. By 2016, respondents thought the price of cellulosic ethanol would match that of corn-based ethanol.”

Why is the move to cellulosic biofuels so important? From BusinessGreen:

“Cellulosic biofuels are widely regarded as critical to the development of the biofuels industry, as they allow developers to produce fuels from waste material or fast-growing grasses removing the need for energy crops that have been blamed for eating into agricultural land and driving up food prices.”

Another benefit of cellulosic ethanol is that its production can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by up to 85% over reformulated gasoline according to a study conducted by Michael Wang of the Argonne National Laboratory. Starch-based ethanol made from corn reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 18-29% over reformulated gasoline. [BusinessGreen and BNEF]

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Upcycling A Pizza Box.

The Buzzfeed article states differently but I’m pretty sure these upcycled pizza box ideas assume you don’t have the cheese-grease stain that kept you from recycling the pizza box in the first place.

Pizza box cat bed

Pizza box cat bed (click on the image for instructions)

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven.

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven. (click on image for instructions)

Pizza box birds nest.

Pizza box birds nest. (click on the image for instructions)

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game.

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game. (click on the image for instructions)

What can you do with a cheese-grease stained pizza box? Rip-off and recycle the unstained lid and then save the lower cheese-greased section as a fire starter. Additional upcycled pizza box ideas are posted on Buzzfeed.


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‘Free Range Bread Farm’ Commercial For Abbot’s Village Bakery.

Free Range Bread Farm - Abbott's Village BakeryThe Free Range Bread Farm commercial is a great way for Abbot’s Village Bakery to get their message out. The only tweak that may improve the Free Range Bread commercial would be narration by Sir David Attenborough. To keep it cheap, they could lift a narration from one of his already produced nature videos. [Laughing Squid]


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