Tag Archives: Farming

How Feed Supplements Could Solve Cow Farts and Fix the Planet

It’s time we acknowledge an uncomfortable truth: everybody burps and farts.

But amongst all animals, cows are the reigning champions. Those charming emissions contain methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Indeed, cows produce more greenhouse gases than Brazil or Germany. But an innovative startup may have found the solution.

Mootral produces a garlic-based product that farmers can mix into cow feed. It cuts methane emissions by 20 to 38% and boosts milk production by as much as 5%.

Best of all, it doesn’t hurt the cow or change the flavor of the milk or flesh. Think of it as Beano for cows.

As far-fetched as it may sound, Mootral’s product is backed by numerous peer reviewed studies. UK farmers can even get the supplement for free if they share their methane data.


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Mootral isn’t the only startup tackling this pungent problem.

Blue Ocean Barns has created a seaweed-based supplement that may be even more potent than Mootral. Their product reduced methane emissions by 52% in a recent study.

A young lady I spoke with recently told me that the world is doomed because of climate change. I couldn’t disagree more.

Bit by bit, innovative scientists and companies are figuring out this problem. A feed supplement here, a wind turbine over there, and we may soon be amazed at the progress we’ve made.

What do you think of Mootral and Blue Ocean Barns? And what are the most interesting environmental technologies you’ve seen recently?

Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know.

Have a fantastic week everyone!

More on tech:

Growing Veggies on Mars

Coffeebots and the Search for the Perfect Cup

Male Contraception With an Ultrasound Device?

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Growing Veggies on Mars

NASA intends to put the first man on Mars in the 2030’s. But once he’s there, what will he have for lunch?

Perhaps veggies grown in a BioPod.

This incredible new device from startup Interstellar Lab could finally allow us to cultivate crops in space. It could also revolutionize agriculture here on Earth.

The BioPod is an inflatable dome about 20 feet wide, 33 feet long, and 15 feet tall. It uses aeroponics, precision nutrient delivery, and careful climate control to produce the ideal growing environment for plants.

This means it can grow high value crops like flowers and microgreens. It can even grow plants that can’t be grown with traditional agriculture, like vanilla.

It’s also remarkably efficient, reducing water consumption by 98% while boosting yields up to 300-fold.

The BioPod is designed not just to feed humans in space, but on an increasingly unpredictable Earth. From a recent interview:

“Climate change is a real emergency for Earth, and we only have a small window to bring about positive change. We are developing a new framework for sustainable living on Earth and a testbed for future space missions,” Barbara Belvisi, Founder and CEO, Interstellar Lab said.

The BioPod is currently in production. You can even pre-order one now!

But at $250,000 each plus a monthly subscription fee, it’s a bit out of reach for most gardeners. Oh, and shipping’s not included.

However, if the BioPod can reduce inputs and boost yields as radically as Interstellar claims, I could see rapid adoption in the agriculture industry.

Already, companies like Bowery Farming are taking agriculture from farms to urban warehouses using hydroponics. They seem like a natural customer for Interstellar Lab, and I’m sure there are many more.

Long term, perhaps the BioPod will be deployed on Mars to support astronauts brought there by a SpaceX Starship. It’s a beautiful future I look forward to.

In the mean time, I’m itching to try a BioPod salad! 🙂

What do you think of the BioPod? Would you try its food?

Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know.

Have a great day everyone! 👋

More on tech:

Coffeebots and the Search for the Perfect Cup

Robot Pizzas and the Future of Fast Food

Male Contraception With an Ultrasound Device?

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Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Robot Hands, Vertical Farms, and the Future of Food

On Saturday, I stood in the produce section of a nearby Whole Foods. My eyes were drawn to tiny packages of delicate microgreens. The producer: Aero Farms.

Agriculture faces a difficult environment. Climate change is making weather more extreme and unpredictable. Workers are harder and harder to find. But a new model of farming is emerging, and it looks like nothing else we’ve ever seen.

Aero Farms grows greens in vertical stacks in what was once an abandoned steel mill. The farm is in gritty Newark, NJ, just a few miles from the Whole Foods where I encountered their product. They use 95% less water and 99% less land than a traditional farm. And unlike other farms, they can grow year round.

Technology is also revolutionizing how produce is picked. A company called Root AI makes soft, robotic hands that can pick anything from a hearty cucumber to a fragile strawberry. Alongside the robotic hands is a camera enabled with AI, which can identify the ripe produce and leave the rest to grow.  

Seeing it in action feels like seeing the future:

These robots are now being put to use in giant warehouse farms that you could easily mistake for an Amazon Fulfillment Center. These are a project of AppHarvest, which claims they use 90% less water and are 30 times more productive per acre than a traditional farm.

Is that an Amazon Fulfillment Center in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Even if the company’s projections are a bit optimistic, there’s strong evidence from numerous producers that indoor farming uses dramatically less water and space. And with the farm just a few miles from its customers in major cities, transportation costs and emissions are cut to the bone.

Putting robotics and indoor farming together, I think we are headed to a future that produces more output (food) with far fewer inputs (labor, water, land). And unlike human labor, electronics tend to rapidly decrease in price. That will only speed their adoption and lower food prices further. 

To quote Lincoln Steffens:

“I have seen the future and it works.”

More on tech:

CHINA’S TECH CRACKDOWN MEANS ECONOMIC DECLINE

HOW TO GET INTERNET TO CUBA

INSIDE A STARTUP ACCELERATOR DEMO DAY

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