May 17, 2020

Lightning Round: Mobile Apps, Fast Food, and BBQ Chicken Pizza

Lightning Round
Los Angeles
Frazer Jones
2 min
Lightning Round: The Good, the Bad, and the BBQ Pizza
A lot of big news came from Starbucks this week. On the positive side: CEO Howard Schultz announced that delivery service will start rolling out in Seat...

A lot of big news came from Starbucks this week. On the positive side: CEO Howard Schultz announced that delivery service will start rolling out in Seattle and New York City test markets this year, along with a nationwide rollout of mobile ordering so that busy consumers can order ahead of time and simply pick up their finished drinks when they walk in. Our mornings are about to get a lot more convenient, and we can’t wait. ~ Buzzfeed Business

On the failing-at-positivity side, on the other hand: Starbucks tried to start a dialogue about race relations on the side of its cups this week, and it went over about as well as you might expect. As it turns out, race relations in the United States are a little bit too complex to discuss when there are ten people behind you in line just trying to get their morning lattes already. ~ NPR

In 2008, in an effort to improve health and curb obesity, Los Angeles placed a ban on opening new fast food restaurants in its lower income areas. But now the results of a National Institute of Health (NIH) study are in and they aren’t good: fast food consumption and obesity rates in those areas have actually increased ahead of the general population since the ban was enacted. What went wrong? As it turns out, most people in those areas were eating at local non-chain restaurants anyway, so the ban didn’t really have much of an effect. So now the question is: where do we go from here? ~ Tech Times

Other efforts to promote healthy food systems in Los Angeles seem more promising: the LA City Council just approved a new ordinance allowing citizens to grow fruit and vegetables on their parkways without a permit. ~ SCPR

French foie gras producer Ernest Soulard, taken to court earlier this year on animal cruelty charges filed by animal rights group L214, received some good news of his own (and good news for his industry) this week. Yesterday the producer was cleared of all charges of “acts of cruelty.” ~ Eater National

In good financial news, Momofuku chef David Chang’s New York City-based gourmet meal delivery startup Maple just received $22 million in funding. ~ Fortune

Meanwhile on the West Coast, Kogi chef Roy Choi’s quality accessible fast food project Loco’L successfully reached (and then surpassed!) its funding goal on IndieGoGo this week. ~ IndieGoGo

Now we’re going to spend the rest of the weekend watching Wolfgang Puck make barbecue chicken pizza at Spago in Beverly Hills, because it’s delicious and a beautiful thing. ~ Lucky Peach

Share article

Jun 17, 2021

Better Origin’s AI insect farm is a solution to food waste

Helen Adams
2 min
Better Origin, a UK agritech business uses food waste as the solution to food security

With 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted annually, a solution has come to market that recycles food waste back into feed, using insects.

Better Origin, a UK agritech business based in Cambridge, has developed a fully automated insect farm powered by AI, to naturally feed chickens. The company is reducing dependency on imported feed and helping food producers achieve net-zero. 

With the global population expected to surpass nine billion by 2050, food production will need to increase by 70% to meet this demand. Sustainably produced animal-grade protein is a part of a long-term solution to increase food supply to humans.

Launched in 2015, Better Origin started with two Cambridge graduates’ love for nature and technology and a desire to ‘bring the food chain back to its origins’.


The Better Origin X1 product reduces the need for many resources

Better Origin wanted a solution to the broken food chain. By using both nature and AI, the company is addressing the global food security problem. Their solution to food waste increases food security and improves animal welfare and sustainability. 

The product – the Better Origin X1 - uses insects to naturally convert food waste into animal feed. It reduces the need for many resources required to produce animal feed:

  • Land
  • Crops
  • Transport
  • Water 

The X1 looks like a standard shipping container, but it's a fully autonomous, modular insect farm powered by AI. The feed created by this new technology is produced naturally, is cost-effective and promotes a more circular food system, providing greater resilience and flexibility in times of need.

The Better Origin X1 recycles local agricultural waste to produce natural insect protein. This reduces the farmers’ dependency on unsustainable feeds, such as soy. The bioconversion unit grows insect feed on the farmers’ behalf, overseeing the larvae’s feeding and growth. This solution tackles waste and improves productivity, yield, and animal welfare, all while delivering a 130% ROI.


Achieving net-zero with insect protein and AI innovation

Insects farms are already operating in four places around the UK, including independent free-range farms.

“Humans are terrible at dealing with waste, while nature does it perfectly”, said Fotis Fotiadis, CEO & Founder of Better Origin. “We can have insects all around the world, addressing food waste locally. They will improve the lives of animals and make the future of food more sustainable. Our technology is on the path to becoming the mark of best practice within the food industry. We are working with farmers, retailers, and food producers to roll out this solution, with the aim to help secure the future of food.”

Share article