Lettuce Entertain You Click


Lettuce Entertain You

Click looks at food glorious food - fake kippers and burgers, plus we're in the mood for pink lettuce and biodegradable motors almost good enough to eat!


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Transcript


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We are in the mood for pink herbs and green motors.

:00:00.:00:38.

This is salad, grown the old-fashioned way.

:00:39.:00:44.

You know, in shipping containers, under LED lights, without soil,

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in an optimised water and nutrient mix.

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As Farmer Spock called it, good old hydroponics.

:00:51.:00:53.

In all seriousness, it's been suggested that the type of intense

:00:54.:00:56.

farming going on here at Local Roots in Los Angeles could help

:00:57.:01:00.

solve the world's food problems in years to come.

:01:01.:01:07.

Transport costs can be reduced by growing plants

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wherever they are needed, even in areas of famine where

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You get higher volumes and many more crop cycles during the year, too.

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Lettuce can be grown in 30 days instead of up to 90

:01:21.:01:23.

outdoors, and a new crop can be grown immediately.

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All in all, one of these containers yields the same as five acres

:01:26.:01:29.

It's very similar to the strawberry farm that we saw in Paris

:01:30.:01:34.

in the spring and in Miyagi in Japan in 2015, where the land had been

:01:35.:01:39.

But this project has much bigger ambitions and this one is also

:01:40.:01:46.

using artificial intelligence to make some quite unusual tweaks.

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But before we talk about the vegetables of the future,

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we are off to San Francisco where Kat Hawkins has been looking

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I've come to this lab in the heart of Silicon Valley

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They claim to have invented the food of the future -

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a completely meatless meat made entirely of plants.

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It's actually remarkably important to get that state of mind

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perspective but actually it's also useful for interpreting

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The aim is to reverse engineer the flavour and texture of meat

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And as someone who very much enjoys their meat tasting like meat,

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I wanted to find out how they're doing it.

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What is it about the flavour of meat that makes it so damn delicious?

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Why is it so agreeable, what is it that triggers your mind

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There is a lot that goes into that and it turns out that flavour

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is about 75 or 80% aroma and about 20 or 25% taste.

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Impossible Foods found that the key ingredient that gives

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meat its characteristic irony taste is heme, a molecule found

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in most living things and especially in animal muscle.

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So this is your magic ingredient, right?

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And it provides the explosion of flavour you get that makes

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the difference between white meat chicken with a beefburger.

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The company has recently flipped the switch on its meatless

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meat-packing factory as it ramps up production.

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They will eventually make 4 million burgers a month,

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and the next aim is to move into chicken, pork and lamb.

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But it's one thing being a scientist who's enthralled by food tech

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and another to be a chef, using the ingredients produced

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I think we eat way too much meat in general.

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So I think this is a way to be as close as possible to how

:04:05.:04:08.

The Impossible burger is now the only one Rocco has on his menu

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It seems like at this stage it might be a novelty for Silicon Valley

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diners with money to spend but of course, as always,

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It tastes like mushrooms, but I know there's no mushrooms in there.

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But it doesn't taste quite like meat to me.

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Yes, it's a little bit leaner, as a meat.

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But it looks like it - it's got that kind of umami flavour

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It tasted good as I was eating it but afterwards it left a slightly

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strange taste in my mouth - very strong, very irony.

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Still, it's healthier than meat, and has zero cholesterol

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What comes across talking to Rocco, though, is how important

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it is for his customers that the flavour is close to meat

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But what if you could serve actual animal flesh without a single

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That is what several companies, including this small tech start-up

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in the heart of Silicon Valley, are working on.

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They plan to grow actual fish from stem cells.

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It might sound like an unnerving prospect

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Fish consumption is demanding, fish demand is rising,

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52% of all fisheries are fully exploited.

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25% above that are in collapse, they are overextended.

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So we only have 23% of the world's fisheries left that we can use

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So if we still want to eat fish at the rate that we're eating it,

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Finless Foods takes a small sample of cells from real

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One cell can theoretically become one tonne of fish meat

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We'll be on the market in three years with products that

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are new versions of fish that people haven't had before and in five

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or six years we'll have steaks and filets like the fish that

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you currently eat at the supermarket, just like what's

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inside of the fish that you'd normally see in the ocean.

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And they're not the only company working on what some

:06:49.:06:50.

Just this week, Hampton Creek claimed they will hit the stores

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And around the corner at Memphis Meats, they've already

:06:55.:07:01.

produced fried chicken and meatballs from stem cells.

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But at $18,000 for a pound of beef, there's a long way to go.

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Scaling up will mean finding a new medium to help

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Currently, the blood of calf foetuses is used,

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which is extensive and of course, if you don't want to hurt animals,

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When I come into a room at a conference, I can see

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in people's eyes that this is the next big thing,

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a big evil corporation going to put things in my food that

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And I think that is justified, in a way.

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People have been given things into their food supply

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People have a right to be wary of us.

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We need to talk to people and really make them

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understand that we are people, we are environmentalists.

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We are all trying to do this together.

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With the population due to increase to 9.7 billion by 2050,

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many people feel current approaches to food production

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Cultured meat promises to reduce environmental impacts and meat looks

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set to be the latest thing to be given the Silicon Valley overhaul.

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Much like we expect from our phones, from our cars, that it

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will be better, cheaper, faster, safer, year by year,

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we should expect the same thing from our food.

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But once you start thinking about food, a cow, as a pure

:08:31.:08:34.

piece of technology, and you apply those same

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technological insights we use elsewhere in our lives,

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you can start really thinking about what food should be,

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I think I'll stick to the salad for the moment.

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Which is lucky, because I'm surrounded by the stuff.

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The thing that really hits you inside one of these

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It's just lovely, all this concentrated fresh lettuce.

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And you don't even get this, I don't think, in an open-air field.

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I'm inside what is called a food computer, where every aspect

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of the plant's growth cycle - the temperature, nutrient

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mix, humidity and light is monitored and controlled.

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This kind of computer-controlled hydroponics is allowing food

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scientists to not just replicate but improve on Mother

:09:26.:09:28.

So every plant that we grow has a finely-tuned growing algorithm

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to optimise its growth, its yield and its flavour profiles

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And that doesn't just mean more or bigger plants, but that experts

:09:41.:09:48.

in Artificial Intelligence can tweak plants in ways nature can't.

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By doing so we can surely improve on plants without messing with the DNA.

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We are not changing the genetic make up of the plant.

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Up in San Francisco, this man has been using AI

:10:07.:10:15.

And he has worked out how to improve the herb basil.

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During a certain period of growth, if we show them a spectrum of light

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24/7, then the volatiles for taste in the plant will go up.

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Did a chef really come and say that he wants his basil

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We had a couple of chefs come in and sample basil

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And it increases the spiciness, blue light applied to basil.

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So you can say, what kind of basil would you like to buy, and how spicy

:10:56.:10:59.

It's exciting to ask these questions that even a 30-year veteran

:11:00.:11:08.

of the culinary industry has not been asked before.

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Not only does each variety get its own unique growing

:11:11.:11:13.

conditions but artificial intelligence and computer vision

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are monitoring the plants, looking out for and treating any

:11:16.:11:17.

Local Roots hopes to place between 20 and 50 of its so-called

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'terrafarms' right next to supermarkets' local

:11:25.:11:27.

It means the veg won't have to travel so far and it will be

:11:28.:11:32.

I've always needed a dressing on my salad because I thought it

:11:33.:11:40.

tasted quite bland without it, but this is really full of flavour.

:11:41.:11:43.

I could even eat an entire bowl of this without any dressing.

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But some researchers don't like the idea

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of individual companies doing research by themselves.

:11:56.:12:00.

Putting life in a box is incredibly complex.

:12:01.:12:02.

It requires biology as much as chemistry, as much as plant

:12:03.:12:06.

And so right now it's being tackled by a lot of start-ups and it's hard

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for those start-ups to have such a multidisciplinary approach.

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This is why all of our work is open sourced -

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the hardware, software - so we can get people thinking

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on the issues and we can ask them for advice.

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And we are not stymied by intellectual property.

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At MIT's media lab, the Open Agricultural Initiative,

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or OpenAg, wants to create a worldwide collection

:12:38.:12:40.

One of the things that we've invented here we call the personal

:12:41.:12:45.

food computer and it's like a hacker kit for plants.

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What we've done is distributed all the plans, all the materials,

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We now have a community of over 40 countries, over 1000 people.

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The great thing is that their experiences are being

:13:04.:13:05.

Because to use any of our advanced tools, like machine learning or AI,

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Artificial intelligence can look for patterns among these data points

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which are the results of thousands of experiments and the more

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wide-ranging those experiments, the better.

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We might learn inside of a food computer what set of climate

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attributes causes the best expression of protein in a snow pea.

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Now we might say, hey, where in the world are these collections

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And then we should plant that genetics, those

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So not only might food computers improve on nature

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but they could also teach us more about how to get the best out

:13:49.:13:52.

It has been a week when suspicions were raised a global cyber attack

:13:53.:14:06.

may have been caused by accountancy software.

:14:07.:14:12.

Security researchers suspect that a corrupted update to some Ukrainian

:14:13.:14:15.

accountancy software may have been the cause of the global infection,

:14:16.:14:18.

although the company behind the software denies these claims.

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Plus: A team at MIT has created drones that can drive and fly.

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Although these drones are diminutive, one day

:14:32.:14:33.

they could be the foundation for technology which facilitates

:14:34.:14:36.

And it was the week that researchers at a university in Madrid revealed

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they have been teaching a robot to iron clothes.

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Teo's designers hope that eventually it will be able to perform a whole

:14:49.:14:51.

Hopefully a bit quicker than this, though.

:14:52.:15:01.

Famously, they say dedication is what you need if you want

:15:02.:15:04.

It is also what you need if you want to recreate that teaser

:15:05.:15:09.

trailer for the next Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, on a 30-year-old

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That is exactly what New York artist Wahyu Ichwandardi has done,

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hand-drawing each frame with an old-school touch tablet,

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saving them all on 48 floppy disks - remember them?

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And then transferring them to a contemporary computer

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Despite our quest for new ways of creating more food,

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we do actually have a huge issue with food waste.

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In the UK alone, in 2015, consumers threw away ?13 billion

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worth of food that could have been eaten.

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But we are getting more creative with ways to solve the problem.

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This community fridge in London's Brixton allows

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businesses, or indeed anyone, to drop off or help themselves

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But big companies like Sainsbury's are taking on the challenge as well.

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This week, various stores are trialling some new packaging

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With 1.9 million slices thrown away each day,

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the supermarket want to find a way of being able to reassure customers

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once they are at home and they have opened the product.

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Because sometimes people throw it away, not remembering

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when they opened it, so they don't know whether it is fresh or not.

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But the underneath of this piece of smart plastic is sensitive to air

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and temperature, so it will start to react as soon as the package

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It will turn from yellow round to purple when it is telling

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you the meat is not good to eat anymore.

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Some other companies have focused on preserving food longer.

:17:04.:17:06.

Edipeel is an invisible, natural, plant-based coating that aims

:17:07.:17:08.

It has recently been trialled by some farmers in the US.

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This is also this fresh filter paper, which aims to limit the gas

:17:14.:17:16.

It has progressed to consumer packaging in supply chains,

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and is now even being used in restaurants.

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Of course, for eateries, buying the exact amount of produce

:17:25.:17:27.

So, while it won't help for financial loss, there are some

:17:28.:17:31.

It is late afternoon in the office, and I am feeling a bit peckish,

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so I sneaked out to get something to eat.

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Too Good To Go will put restaurant leftovers to good use,

:17:45.:17:52.

while also giving you takeaway for as little as ?2.

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What could I go for now, mid-afternoon?

:17:55.:17:56.

The one issue here is that you can't actually be fussy

:17:57.:18:04.

You don't know what you are going to be getting.

:18:05.:18:08.

So going for juice, well, in my view it can't really

:18:09.:18:11.

OK, I get it may not be easy to see the bargain factor with a juice,

:18:12.:18:17.

I am just here to collect my juice, please.

:18:18.:18:22.

But, of course, it is not just restaurants who can end up with more

:18:23.:18:26.

If you have food in your house that you want to avoid wasting,

:18:27.:18:30.

or you want to claim some from the neighbours,

:18:31.:18:33.

Olio searches your local area to find food being given away,

:18:34.:18:38.

and you can post what you have to offer.

:18:39.:18:40.

OK, I get that this isn't everybody's cup of tea,

:18:41.:18:43.

but this location-based app will show you everyone around

:18:44.:18:46.

you who is trying to donate unwanted food.

:18:47.:18:50.

So, on my way home from work, there is some hummus,

:18:51.:18:53.

That seems to be left over from a shop, actually.

:18:54.:18:57.

Somebody is offering a frozen banana, which does kind of seem

:18:58.:19:00.

And of course, in true sharing-economy fashion,

:19:01.:19:10.

The most important factor here is that we learn

:19:11.:19:18.

But of course, the easier that is made for us to do,

:19:19.:19:26.

So, throughout the programme, we have been looking at technology

:19:27.:19:41.

But how about food that creates technology?

:19:42.:19:48.

Sounds crazy, I know, but Dan Simmons has been to Holland

:19:49.:19:52.

This is a small twist on a classical Dutch dish.

:19:53.:20:03.

Yes, this year's Dutch MasterChef winner has baked a car.

:20:04.:20:40.

This is sports steering wheel, firm suspension on the seats?

:20:41.:20:43.

Is it right to say that nobody has driven this car before?

:20:44.:20:46.

I will take good care of it, I will take good care of it.

:20:47.:20:51.

Most of Lina is organic, including these almost-edible panels

:20:52.:20:53.

made from sugar beet, sandwiched between coatings

:20:54.:20:55.

of natural flax, mixed with bio-plastic.

:20:56.:21:06.

So we are just going to reverse this back down the track.

:21:07.:21:10.

I have got my foot fully to the floor now.

:21:11.:21:12.

It is about four times more efficient with its energy

:21:13.:21:16.

I knew there was a reason to pick this car.

:21:17.:21:31.

We cooked up the flax ourselves, and then we just started trialling.

:21:32.:21:34.

And we had to do a lot of tests, fresh material, find the boundaries

:21:35.:21:38.

and the limits to the material, and eventually we came up with -

:21:39.:21:41.

And that is what we have used in Lina.

:21:42.:21:51.

In fairness, it is a different kind of performance that Lina offers.

:21:52.:22:09.

The team says cooking this car uses about 20% of the energy that

:22:10.:22:13.

aluminium or carbon fibre panels take to produce,

:22:14.:22:15.

and this week, Lina passed a road safety test.

:22:16.:22:17.

She is expected out on public roads by the end of July.

:22:18.:22:25.

So I would not make a statement that currently the automotive industry

:22:26.:22:29.

is thinking about the portfolio of making biodegradable cars,

:22:30.:22:31.

but I'm sure they are thinking about the circular economy.

:22:32.:22:34.

They are thinking about how can they take apart the current cars

:22:35.:22:37.

and the future cars, and to reuse them to build new cars,

:22:38.:22:40.

so to really make a circular, green economy.

:22:41.:22:45.

To make Lina a lean machine, the team have taken a sort

:22:46.:22:48.

OK, we don't have the modern-day luxuries, like maybe a glove

:22:49.:22:58.

compartment, or somewhere to place my coffee.

:22:59.:23:01.

So I can't wind down the windows in this model?

:23:02.:23:08.

And the key advantage of it is not just in driving,

:23:09.:23:27.

but when you park it for the last time, a lot of this car

:23:28.:23:30.

Now, the electric engine, batteries and suspension are not

:23:31.:23:37.

organic, but the team hope Lina will inspire carmakers to think

:23:38.:23:40.

beyond electric, to make our cars even more eco-friendly.

:23:41.:23:51.

That was Dan, in the Netherlands, and that is it from my

:23:52.:23:55.

You can follow us on Twitter, @BBCClick.

:23:56.:23:57.

Thanks for watching, and we will see you soon.

:23:58.:24:25.

We've got more of that hot and humid weather coming up

:24:26.:24:31.

Yesterday we had temperatures of 30 degrees in both Heathrow and Wisley

:24:32.:24:35.

in Surrey, and we're going to see temperatures again getting to those

:24:36.:24:38.

kind of levels later in the afternoon.

:24:39.:24:41.

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