Browse content similar to Lettuce Entertain You. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
We are in the mood for pink herbs and green motors.
This is salad, grown the old-fashioned way.
You know, in shipping containers, under LED lights, without soil,
in an optimised water and nutrient mix.
As Farmer Spock called it, good old hydroponics.
In all seriousness, it's been suggested that the type of intense
farming going on here at Local Roots in Los Angeles could help
solve the world's food problems in years to come.
Transport costs can be reduced by growing plants
wherever they are needed, even in areas of famine where
You get higher volumes and many more crop cycles during the year, too.
Lettuce can be grown in 30 days instead of up to 90
outdoors, and a new crop can be grown immediately.
All in all, one of these containers yields the same as five acres
It's very similar to the strawberry farm that we saw in Paris
in the spring and in Miyagi in Japan in 2015, where the land had been
But this project has much bigger ambitions and this one is also
using artificial intelligence to make some quite unusual tweaks.
But before we talk about the vegetables of the future,
we are off to San Francisco where Kat Hawkins has been looking
I've come to this lab in the heart of Silicon Valley
They claim to have invented the food of the future -
a completely meatless meat made entirely of plants.
It's actually remarkably important to get that state of mind
perspective but actually it's also useful for interpreting
The aim is to reverse engineer the flavour and texture of meat
And as someone who very much enjoys their meat tasting like meat,
I wanted to find out how they're doing it.
What is it about the flavour of meat that makes it so damn delicious?
Why is it so agreeable, what is it that triggers your mind
There is a lot that goes into that and it turns out that flavour
is about 75 or 80% aroma and about 20 or 25% taste.
Impossible Foods found that the key ingredient that gives
meat its characteristic irony taste is heme, a molecule found
in most living things and especially in animal muscle.
So this is your magic ingredient, right?
And it provides the explosion of flavour you get that makes
the difference between white meat chicken with a beefburger.
The company has recently flipped the switch on its meatless
meat-packing factory as it ramps up production.
They will eventually make 4 million burgers a month,
and the next aim is to move into chicken, pork and lamb.
But it's one thing being a scientist who's enthralled by food tech
and another to be a chef, using the ingredients produced
I think we eat way too much meat in general.
So I think this is a way to be as close as possible to how
The Impossible burger is now the only one Rocco has on his menu
It seems like at this stage it might be a novelty for Silicon Valley
diners with money to spend but of course, as always,
It tastes like mushrooms, but I know there's no mushrooms in there.
But it doesn't taste quite like meat to me.
Yes, it's a little bit leaner, as a meat.
But it looks like it - it's got that kind of umami flavour
It tasted good as I was eating it but afterwards it left a slightly
strange taste in my mouth - very strong, very irony.
Still, it's healthier than meat, and has zero cholesterol
What comes across talking to Rocco, though, is how important
it is for his customers that the flavour is close to meat
But what if you could serve actual animal flesh without a single
That is what several companies, including this small tech start-up
in the heart of Silicon Valley, are working on.
They plan to grow actual fish from stem cells.
It might sound like an unnerving prospect
Fish consumption is demanding, fish demand is rising,
52% of all fisheries are fully exploited.
25% above that are in collapse, they are overextended.
So we only have 23% of the world's fisheries left that we can use
So if we still want to eat fish at the rate that we're eating it,
Finless Foods takes a small sample of cells from real
One cell can theoretically become one tonne of fish meat
We'll be on the market in three years with products that
are new versions of fish that people haven't had before and in five
or six years we'll have steaks and filets like the fish that
you currently eat at the supermarket, just like what's
inside of the fish that you'd normally see in the ocean.
And they're not the only company working on what some
Just this week, Hampton Creek claimed they will hit the stores
And around the corner at Memphis Meats, they've already
produced fried chicken and meatballs from stem cells.
But at $18,000 for a pound of beef, there's a long way to go.
Scaling up will mean finding a new medium to help
Currently, the blood of calf foetuses is used,
which is extensive and of course, if you don't want to hurt animals,
When I come into a room at a conference, I can see
in people's eyes that this is the next big thing,
a big evil corporation going to put things in my food that
And I think that is justified, in a way.
People have been given things into their food supply
People have a right to be wary of us.
We need to talk to people and really make them
understand that we are people, we are environmentalists.
We are all trying to do this together.
With the population due to increase to 9.7 billion by 2050,
many people feel current approaches to food production
Cultured meat promises to reduce environmental impacts and meat looks
set to be the latest thing to be given the Silicon Valley overhaul.
Much like we expect from our phones, from our cars, that it
will be better, cheaper, faster, safer, year by year,
we should expect the same thing from our food.
But once you start thinking about food, a cow, as a pure
piece of technology, and you apply those same
technological insights we use elsewhere in our lives,
you can start really thinking about what food should be,
I think I'll stick to the salad for the moment.
Which is lucky, because I'm surrounded by the stuff.
The thing that really hits you inside one of these
It's just lovely, all this concentrated fresh lettuce.
And you don't even get this, I don't think, in an open-air field.
I'm inside what is called a food computer, where every aspect
of the plant's growth cycle - the temperature, nutrient
mix, humidity and light is monitored and controlled.
This kind of computer-controlled hydroponics is allowing food
scientists to not just replicate but improve on Mother
So every plant that we grow has a finely-tuned growing algorithm
to optimise its growth, its yield and its flavour profiles
And that doesn't just mean more or bigger plants, but that experts
in Artificial Intelligence can tweak plants in ways nature can't.
By doing so we can surely improve on plants without messing with the DNA.
We are not changing the genetic make up of the plant.
Up in San Francisco, this man has been using AI
And he has worked out how to improve the herb basil.
During a certain period of growth, if we show them a spectrum of light
24/7, then the volatiles for taste in the plant will go up.
Did a chef really come and say that he wants his basil
We had a couple of chefs come in and sample basil
And it increases the spiciness, blue light applied to basil.
So you can say, what kind of basil would you like to buy, and how spicy
It's exciting to ask these questions that even a 30-year veteran
of the culinary industry has not been asked before.
Not only does each variety get its own unique growing
conditions but artificial intelligence and computer vision
are monitoring the plants, looking out for and treating any
Local Roots hopes to place between 20 and 50 of its so-called
'terrafarms' right next to supermarkets' local
It means the veg won't have to travel so far and it will be
I've always needed a dressing on my salad because I thought it
tasted quite bland without it, but this is really full of flavour.
I could even eat an entire bowl of this without any dressing.
But some researchers don't like the idea
of individual companies doing research by themselves.
Putting life in a box is incredibly complex.
It requires biology as much as chemistry, as much as plant
And so right now it's being tackled by a lot of start-ups and it's hard
for those start-ups to have such a multidisciplinary approach.
This is why all of our work is open sourced -
the hardware, software - so we can get people thinking
on the issues and we can ask them for advice.
And we are not stymied by intellectual property.
At MIT's media lab, the Open Agricultural Initiative,
or OpenAg, wants to create a worldwide collection
One of the things that we've invented here we call the personal
food computer and it's like a hacker kit for plants.
What we've done is distributed all the plans, all the materials,
We now have a community of over 40 countries, over 1000 people.
The great thing is that their experiences are being
Because to use any of our advanced tools, like machine learning or AI,
Artificial intelligence can look for patterns among these data points
which are the results of thousands of experiments and the more
wide-ranging those experiments, the better.
We might learn inside of a food computer what set of climate
attributes causes the best expression of protein in a snow pea.
Now we might say, hey, where in the world are these collections
And then we should plant that genetics, those
So not only might food computers improve on nature
but they could also teach us more about how to get the best out
It has been a week when suspicions were raised a global cyber attack
may have been caused by accountancy software.
Security researchers suspect that a corrupted update to some Ukrainian
accountancy software may have been the cause of the global infection,
although the company behind the software denies these claims.
Plus: A team at MIT has created drones that can drive and fly.
Although these drones are diminutive, one day
they could be the foundation for technology which facilitates
And it was the week that researchers at a university in Madrid revealed
they have been teaching a robot to iron clothes.
Teo's designers hope that eventually it will be able to perform a whole
Hopefully a bit quicker than this, though.
Famously, they say dedication is what you need if you want
It is also what you need if you want to recreate that teaser
trailer for the next Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, on a 30-year-old
That is exactly what New York artist Wahyu Ichwandardi has done,
hand-drawing each frame with an old-school touch tablet,
saving them all on 48 floppy disks - remember them?
And then transferring them to a contemporary computer
Despite our quest for new ways of creating more food,
we do actually have a huge issue with food waste.
In the UK alone, in 2015, consumers threw away ?13 billion
worth of food that could have been eaten.
But we are getting more creative with ways to solve the problem.
This community fridge in London's Brixton allows
businesses, or indeed anyone, to drop off or help themselves
But big companies like Sainsbury's are taking on the challenge as well.
This week, various stores are trialling some new packaging
With 1.9 million slices thrown away each day,
the supermarket want to find a way of being able to reassure customers
once they are at home and they have opened the product.
Because sometimes people throw it away, not remembering
when they opened it, so they don't know whether it is fresh or not.
But the underneath of this piece of smart plastic is sensitive to air
and temperature, so it will start to react as soon as the package
It will turn from yellow round to purple when it is telling
you the meat is not good to eat anymore.
Some other companies have focused on preserving food longer.
Edipeel is an invisible, natural, plant-based coating that aims
It has recently been trialled by some farmers in the US.
This is also this fresh filter paper, which aims to limit the gas
It has progressed to consumer packaging in supply chains,
and is now even being used in restaurants.
Of course, for eateries, buying the exact amount of produce
So, while it won't help for financial loss, there are some
It is late afternoon in the office, and I am feeling a bit peckish,
so I sneaked out to get something to eat.
Too Good To Go will put restaurant leftovers to good use,
while also giving you takeaway for as little as ?2.
What could I go for now, mid-afternoon?
The one issue here is that you can't actually be fussy
You don't know what you are going to be getting.
So going for juice, well, in my view it can't really
OK, I get it may not be easy to see the bargain factor with a juice,
I am just here to collect my juice, please.
But, of course, it is not just restaurants who can end up with more
If you have food in your house that you want to avoid wasting,
or you want to claim some from the neighbours,
Olio searches your local area to find food being given away,
and you can post what you have to offer.
OK, I get that this isn't everybody's cup of tea,
but this location-based app will show you everyone around
you who is trying to donate unwanted food.
So, on my way home from work, there is some hummus,
That seems to be left over from a shop, actually.
Somebody is offering a frozen banana, which does kind of seem
And of course, in true sharing-economy fashion,
The most important factor here is that we learn
But of course, the easier that is made for us to do,
So, throughout the programme, we have been looking at technology
But how about food that creates technology?
Sounds crazy, I know, but Dan Simmons has been to Holland
This is a small twist on a classical Dutch dish.
Yes, this year's Dutch MasterChef winner has baked a car.
This is sports steering wheel, firm suspension on the seats?
Is it right to say that nobody has driven this car before?
I will take good care of it, I will take good care of it.
Most of Lina is organic, including these almost-edible panels
made from sugar beet, sandwiched between coatings
of natural flax, mixed with bio-plastic.
So we are just going to reverse this back down the track.
I have got my foot fully to the floor now.
It is about four times more efficient with its energy
I knew there was a reason to pick this car.
We cooked up the flax ourselves, and then we just started trialling.
And we had to do a lot of tests, fresh material, find the boundaries
and the limits to the material, and eventually we came up with -
And that is what we have used in Lina.
In fairness, it is a different kind of performance that Lina offers.
The team says cooking this car uses about 20% of the energy that
aluminium or carbon fibre panels take to produce,
and this week, Lina passed a road safety test.
She is expected out on public roads by the end of July.
So I would not make a statement that currently the automotive industry
is thinking about the portfolio of making biodegradable cars,
but I'm sure they are thinking about the circular economy.
They are thinking about how can they take apart the current cars
and the future cars, and to reuse them to build new cars,
so to really make a circular, green economy.
To make Lina a lean machine, the team have taken a sort
OK, we don't have the modern-day luxuries, like maybe a glove
compartment, or somewhere to place my coffee.
So I can't wind down the windows in this model?
And the key advantage of it is not just in driving,
but when you park it for the last time, a lot of this car
Now, the electric engine, batteries and suspension are not
organic, but the team hope Lina will inspire carmakers to think
beyond electric, to make our cars even more eco-friendly.
That was Dan, in the Netherlands, and that is it from my
You can follow us on Twitter, @BBCClick.
Thanks for watching, and we will see you soon.
We've got more of that hot and humid weather coming up
Yesterday we had temperatures of 30 degrees in both Heathrow and Wisley
in Surrey, and we're going to see temperatures again getting to those
kind of levels later in the afternoon.