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The Spoon Feed

The master podcast feed from The Spoon, the authority on the future of food, cooking and the kitchen.


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Talking Space Food With Angelo Vermeulen

Like many people, I've long been fascinated with space and one of the most interesting aspects of interstellar travel is what exactly people will eat on space and once they get up there among the stars. This is something that Angelo Vermeulen has been thinking about for a long time. After spending years focused on systems and design for interstellar travel and colonization, Vermeulen was made the commander of the first HI-SEAS mission, a NASA funded space simulation focused on researching how to keep crews happy during long missions in space. In this episode, we talk about his experience on the HI-SEAS, some of his key takeaways, and the current state of space food research. You can find out more about Angelo at via Knit
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Editor Roundtable: Gather 'Round The Botfire

The Spoon editors get together for a weekly conference call. Since we always have a fun time talking foodtech, we thought why don't we double-dip and also record the conversation! So here is the first Spoon editor roundtable podcast! The topics we discuss include: -Will fake meat (aka 'motherless meat' (thanks Chris) will be a big trend in 2019 -The spontaneous combustion of the Kiwi delivery bot -Whether food halls are the new mall food court The editors on the call include Chris Albrecht, Catherine Lamb, Jenn Marston and Michael Wolf. Enjoy! via Knit
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The AI Powered Sommelier With Amy Gross

A decade ago, Amy Gross was enjoying a glass of wine with her husband when she noticed how the same wine tasted different to different people. From there she began to think about how technology could be used to make personalized wine recommendations, and it wasn't long before IBM and others wanted to learn more about her tech-powered wine recommendation platform, VineSleuth. In this podcast, Mike and Amy talk about mapping the flavors of wine using technology, how AI could start to provide really contextual and personalized recommendations for wine, and much more. via Knit
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Smart Kitchen Show: Designing Products For The Connected Kitchen

To kick off the new season of Smart Kitchen Show, we talk to with Matt Rolandson, a partner of design firm Ammunition Group. Ammunition is one of the leading design and strategy firms in Silicon Valley, and has worked with a bunch of the future-food product companies in the space such as Cafe-X, June and Ember. Mike talks to Matt about designing technology-forward products that don't create a barrier for consumers and the act of cooking. You can find out more about Ammunition at via Knit
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Automat:'s Pieter Abbeel on Using VR to Train Robots

Pieter Abbeel is a professor of robotics and AI at UC Berkeley, startup advisor, co-founder of and this week's guest on The Automat. Covariant's (formerly Embodied Intelligence) technology gets pretty futuristic pretty quick, so stay with us. Covariant is developing a way for people to train robots using virtual reality. While this approach is new (Covariant just launched last November), as Abbeel explains, it means that some day in the not-all-that-distant-future, a Michelin-starred chef will be able to use VR to train a robot how to cook. All the nuances and technique of that chef will be captured and even better, software will record it all so you could "download" that chef to a cooking robot in your home. Abbeel was a great guest, and we covered a ton of topics including the importance of good data, advances in computer vision, and the mismatch between what people think robots are good at and what they are actually good at. via Knit
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Automat: Meet Luna the Robotic Monitoring System for Greenhouses

Produce is grown across somewhere between 250 and 300 million square feet of commercial greenhouse space in the U.S.. That's a whole lot of crops that need to be monitored to make sure they are watered, properly lit and healthy. Thankfully, iUnu (pronounced "yoo-noo") is here to help. The company makes Luna, a robot that scurries around on rails mounted to the ceilings of greenhouses. Using a variety of cameras, sensors and computer vision, Luna helps greenhouse growers better understand and manage the welfare of their crops to improve overall yield. For this week's Automat podcast, I sat down with iUnu Co-Founder and CEO, Adam Greenberg to learn more about the culture around greenhouse growing, and how Luna works to make it better via Knit
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The Automat - E-I, E-A-I, Oh! Connecterra's Deep Learning Helps Dairy Farmers

Some have called it the Internet of Cows, but what Connecterra it is so much more. Using a combination of sensors and deep learning, Connecterra's "Ida" is helping dairy farmers better understand their herd through data for improved animal welfare and productivity. Get ready for a fascinating discussion about dairy and deep learning as we chat with Connecterra CEO, Yasi Kokhar.Don't call Connecterra a Fitbit for cows. The Amsterdam-based company's "Ida" product is actually a complex artificial intelligence platform to help diary farmers manage their farms. Why does a dairy farmer need AI? Well, until now, a lot of farming practices have been passed down through generations. Today we live in the age of data, so sensors on cows and complex algorithms can help dairy farmers see which of those practices are actually useful, and which need to be changed. Connecterra just raised ?4.2 million, which seemed like a good reason to sit down with its CEO, Yasir Kokhar, for a fascinating deep dive into the overlap between AI and agtech. We touch on how Ida helps improve animal welfare (early disease detection), dairy farm productivity (improved yield!) and even the lives of dairy farmers themselves (more sleeping)! The Automat is The Spoon's weekly podcast about food-related robots and artificial intelligence. Subscribe to it for the best conversations and insight into how automation is changing the way we eat. via Knit
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The Automat - Using VR to Train AI

It almost sounds like a side plot for Inception: train artificial intelligence by using Virtual Worlds so they are more effective in the real world. But forget any spinning top or ambiguous endings, this new technology and approach to improving AI is very real and this week, we're chatting with one of the people behind it. Daeil Kim is the Founder and CEO of AI Reverie. Hear all about this brave new world and even how it can improve agriculture and the produce supply chain. via Knit
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Building a Better Robot Barista with Briggo

Briggo Founder and CTO, Chas Studor stops The Spoon: Automat to talk about the ten year road it took his company to build a better coffee-crafting robot. Though the company builds the autonomous Coffee Haus for high-traffic areas like airports and campuses, Studor considers Briggo a specialty coffee company first. Listen in as Studor explains the complications of building a robot that can measure, mix and froth the perfect cup of coffee -- and then move it at 5 feet per second without spilling. via Knit
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Hole-y Sweet Tooth!

A new technology from Nestlé could automatically give him less sugar when he's enjoying treats. The company introduced the Milkybar Wowsome this week, which has 30 percent less sugar than comparable bars. Don't panic, candy lovers! The Wowsome, Nestlé promises, will still taste just as good as the classic Milkybars. via Knit
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Bumpy food sensor tells you when your milk is bad

A new startup called Mimica is trying to change that by developing food freshness sensors that anyone can understand. Called Mimica Touch, their small labels are filled with gelatine which is calibrated with a mathematical model to have the same shelf life as a particular product. As they deteriorate, the label's once-smooth surface becomes bumpy to the touch, providing a very hands-on way for consumers to determine if their milk is expired or not without having to use the sniff test. via Knit
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Introducing the Kelvin

So you think you're on the coffee cutting edge, do you? Whether cold brewed, nitrogen-infused, poured-over or robot-crafted, if it's a new craft coffee trend, you've tried it. But have you roasted your own beans? Don't feel so bad. Most people haven't. Now, however, may be your chance. That's because now the Kelvin, a new app-powered home coffee roaster, just launched today on Kickstarter. via Knit
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Electrolux and it's new vacuum

Just a little more than a year ago, home appliance maker Electrolux acquired sous vide startup Anova. Yesterday, we got to see some of the fruits of that acquisition as Electrolux announced it was using the Anova team to help launch the Pure i9 robotic vacuum. via Knit
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Ordering food like Picard

There is a recurring bit in Star Trek: The Next Generation where Capt. Picard orders "Tea. Early Grey. Hot." and the ship's computer magically makes one appear. Though the all-knowing, all-doing computer of the Enterprise served as the inspiration for Amazon's Alexa, right now, her food producing skills are still a bit slim. Orderscape, a young B2B startup, is looking to change that by creating a voice ordering software layer that uses smart speakers like Alexa to let people order from restaurants just by speaking. via Knit
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The Stone Notebook

For my money, paper is still the best way to take notes. But if you're a chef concocting your next big creation, the kitchen is a dangerous place for paper. Water splashes or grease smudges can turn notes into illegible junk. Bookblock is set to change all that with the new Stone notebook, the pages of which, the company says, are resistant to both water and grease. So chefs can jot down notes about recipes or whatever without fearing that an errant spill or splash will ruin all their work. via Knit
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Celebrities Eat Bugs Too!

We all know that we should be eating insects. After all, bugs are a dietary staple for billions of people around the globe, and they have a significantly lower environmental footprint than meat. But Americans are still having a tricky time getting over the "ick" factor that comes with munching on crawling critters. via Knit
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Eat Your Instagram Feed

Knorr, the powdered soup and seasoning brand owned by Unilever, has developed an AI-powered tool which scans your Instagram feed and then recommends recipes based on your photos. Dubbed Eat Your Feed, the tool uses visual recognition technology to match your food snaps with recipes from Knorr's database. via Knit
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Hello Fresh teams up with Green Chef

Meal kit delivery company, HelloFresh, announced today that it has acquired Green Chef, which offers certified organic meal kits. The move will help diversify HelloFresh's meal catalog with organic, vegan and gluten-free menus. via Knit
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A Slice of Ketchup

If you've worked in the front of house of a restaurant, chances are you at one point did ketchup bottle rotation. This task consists of emptying out one ketchup bottle on top of and into another, which somehow prevents them from exploding. But this server sidework could soon disappear if a new Kickstarter project catches on. via Knit
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Bone Broth Supplements .. now in French Vanilla!

How would you like to have your bone broth and drink it too? Ancient Nutrition, a company best known for its bone broth-based protein supplement powder, just snagged a $103 million investment. The funding round was led by private equity firm VMG partners along with Hillhouse Capital and Iconiq Capital. It also included participation from over 100 current and former players in craft food companies such as Noosa Yogurt, The Honest Company, and Stone Brewing. via Knit
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Byte Smart Fridge vs. The Vending Machine

It's hard to get amped about the food options inside an office building. Unless you work for a Google-like company and get subsidized or free meals, you're probably stuck with vending machines. And we all know Fig Newtons do not a healthy lunch make. via Knit
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Weight Watchers meal-kits without the delivery

Weight Watchers is trying to carve out a space in the meal kit market-they're just skipping the whole delivery bit. via Knit
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Insect-Protein Bar Maker Exo Gives Bugs a Boost

Last week, Aspire Food Group announced that it had acquired Exo, a company that makes protein bars from crickets. Exo will, under the terms of the acquisition, become Aspire's consumer-facing brand. Aspire's Aketta line, which launched in 2016, will be rebranded as Exo products. Exo, meanwhile, will exclusively use cricket protein from Aspire. "Aspire is the Procter & Gamble and Exo is the Gillette - on a much more humble scale right now," Aspire cofounder and CEO Mohammed Ashour said last week. via Knit
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Print Your Own Food .. For A Price

While the big 3D printing companies have yet to deliver on food printing, a small Spanish startup called Natural Machines has been quietly working on a 3D food printer for five years and started shipping it in small batches in the last couple of years. via Knit
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VitaCup Serves Up Vitamins

We normally think of caffeine and vitamins as coming from two different sources in the morning. The folks at VitaCup think otherwise, and they have a product that could change the rest of our minds, too. The company makes Keurig-compatible coffee and tea pods infused with vitamins and available in a range of flavors you'd find with any other line of Keurig cups. And we'll likely see the company's offerings expand in the near future, as VitaCup announced last week that it has raised an undisclosed round of funding led by First Beverage Ventures. via Knit
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Make your own hooch!

Ever want to distill your own spirits? That job may have gotten a little easier, at least if you own a PicoBrew brewing appliance. That's because the company announced they've started shipping the PicoStill, an add-on to the Pico brewing appliance that will convert beer into the hard stuff, to their Kickstarter backers. via Knit
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Robot Shopping Carts

Yesterday, U.S. Patent No. 9,908,760 B2 was awarded to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. for "Shopping facility assistance systems, devices and methods to drive movable item containers." Translation, robot shopping carts could be making their way to Walmart. via Knit
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Verb Energy's Human Touch

When dealing with any type of customer service online these days, I just assume that I'm talking with a chatbot. Companies like chatbots because they take the place of actual people who need things like paychecks, healthcare, etc. But if you reorder product from energy bar startup Verb, you will be texting back and forth with an actual human, and according to the company, it will always be this way. via Knit
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Vivino the wine app

It's a good day for wine lovers (and wannabe lovers) everywhere. Vivino, the world's most downloaded wine app and largest online wine marketplace, just raised $20 million in series C funding. via Knit
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Amazon's mind reading ordering app

You know the time between when you order a meal for delivery or takeout and when it arrives? The 'hanger gap'? Well, Amazon wants to eliminate that waiting time between when you get hungry and when the food arrives by predicting exactly when you want to eat and preemptively ordering a meal for you. via Knit
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Grocery packing robots to the rescue!

We already know that robots can harvest our crops, cook us a medium-rare cheeseburger, bring us our takeout, and even make us a cappuccino (extra foam). In fact, it seems that every time we turn around there's another story about some company making robots to perform some task within the food system (or a podcast!). And now they're coming for your groceries-and then they're going to deliver them to you. via Knit
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The Tale of Chef'd and The Slow Cooker

What do you get when you take a meal kit marketplace, cover it with the contents of a can of Cream of Mushroom, and let the two simmer over low? Probably something like this new partnership between Chef'd and Campbell's. via Knit
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Growtainer growing on-site produce

For just about a year now, Central Market in Dallas has tested out offering produce that was grown on-site in a Growtainer. Evidently, that partnership has gone so well that Central Market is making the relationship more permanent and expanding it with the addition of another Growtainer. via Knit
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Here Comes A New Sugar

Though it sounds like a hardcore street narcotic in some rain-soaked cyberpunk noir story (apologies, I've been binging Altered Carbon), Nucane, a new sugar product, is actually quite sweet. And if it works as promised, the sweetest part could be a new industrial approach to making sugar... I don't want to say "healthier," but at least less bad for you. via Knit
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Flippy Robot To Flip More Burgers

Miso Robotics, the company behind Flippy, the hamburger flipping robot, announced today that it has raised a $10 million Series B round, led by Acacia Research. In a press release, Miso said it will use the new funding to expand its suite of kitchen robots and broaden the applications for its Miso AI machine learning platform. via Knit
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The Noisy Restaurant App

One of the more frustrating elements that crops up in bad restaurant experiences is noise. via Knit
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Machine Learning For Fish

It was estimated at one point that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ate upwards of 821 pounds of cod per year. He's certainly an outlier, but as global demands for seafood increase, fish farms are rising to meet that challenge, with the aquaculture market projected to reach $219.42 billion by 2022. Already, half the seafood eaten in the U.S. is farmed, and a startup called Aquabyte is using machine learning and computer vision to make those farms more efficient and productive. via Knit
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Dairy Farmers Meet Machine Learning

There is a milk glut in the U.S.. Technology has allowed dairy farmers to produce more milk than ever, but all this abundance has caused milk prices to plummet. It's getting so bad that some farmers face selling off their cows. While technology helped create this crisis, perhaps SomaDetect's technology can help struggling dairy farmers get out of it. via Knit
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2 Hour Delivery Is Here!

Amazon and Whole Foods today announced that they are rolling out two-hour delivery, in a move that ratchets up the ongoing retailer battle royale over who can get you your groceries fastest. via Knit
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The New PicoBrew Z

Today PicoBrew teased the release of a new beer brewing appliance called the PicoBrew Z. via Knit
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Connecting Excess Food To Non-Profits

When you talk with startups trying to combat food waste, you hear a common refrain: you can't get to absolute zero-there will always be some waste in the system. While we may never hit zero food waste, Copia is a software company fighting to get as close to that as possible through a combination of prevention and recovery. via Knit
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The Keurig of sodas?

We have banned the headline "X company hopes to become the Keurig for Y" here at The Spoon. But perhaps we should make an exception since it could literally be applied to today's news that Keurig Green Mountain plans to buy Dr Pepper Snapple Group in a deal valued at $18.7 billion. Will the addition of Dr Pepper make Keurig the, uhhh, Keurig of sodas? via Knit
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Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler alert! The enterprise software startup, Spoiler Alert, works to help large food manufacturers, distributors and grocery distribution centers better manage their inventory to help reduce food waste and recoup potentially lost revenue. via Knit
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Smell-O-Vision is back .. sorta

Companies that make electronic programming guides have figured out six ways from Sunday to optimize recommendations for what your next binge-watched TV show should be. But what if your TV could recommend shows based on the smell of pizza or curry wafting through the living room? via Knit
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Snacks in your Uber

There was a strong ethos of community when startups like Lyft and Airbnb helped kickstart the "sharing economy." Lyft had passengers sit in the front seat and fistbump their drivers, and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky once remarked that his company was "in the business of meaningful experiences." But it looks like the kumbayah days of simply renting your spare room or backseat for some extra cashe are giving way to the capitalist world we are all familiar with. One where in addition to paying for your space, guests and passengers pony up for snacks, treats and other sundries. via Knit
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Amazon Go is finally a go!

After more than a year of waiting, Amazon's mini-mart of the future, Amazon Go, finally opened today in Seattle. With the long-awaited launch, Amazon's finally gets to test its retail store of the future with real consumers (and not just employees), where customers can simply pluck items from shelves and exit the store without ever having interact with a cashier or other store employees. via Knit
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Dunkin Donuts Mobile Drive-Thru

Last week, Dunkin' Donuts cut the ribbon on its "next-generation concept store" in Quincy, MA. The site will act as a pilot store of sorts, where Dunkin' can test out new store concepts and branding efforts before deciding to roll the changes out to more locations. The Quincy store opened about a mile away from the original 1948 Dunkin' Donuts location. via Knit
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Robots Who Harvest

Of all the uses for robots, harvesting plants seems like one of the most practical and therefore promising ways to put these machines to work. via Knit
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Want to buy some wine at your next Airbnb?

Since Airbnb hosts are really just hotel operators on a micro-scale, it makes sense they'd eventually start to selling things to add to their bottom lines. That's the idea behind the Qvie, a tiny connected vending machine the size of a small mailbox that allows hosts to offer bottles of wine, snacks or pretty much whatever a host can fit inside. via Knit
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The Tetra: A new smaller dishwasher

The reason why the dishwasher is one of those everyday conveniences most of us don't think about is because we don't have to; after all, today's dishwashers pretty much all come in the same size, use roughly the same amount of water, and all take about an hour or more to run through a wash cycle. But here's the problem with one-sized fits all machines: not every task - or dish load - is the same size. via Knit
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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