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Celebrity Grub Science

Bill Gates Finds It ‘Disappointing’ That People View Non-GMO Foods As Better

Last year, the Pew Research Center found that most people think GMOs are unsafe and unhealthy. Only 10 percent would trust information given to them from the industry, and less than half would trust scientists. So if the public isn’t believing the experts on the subject, maybe they’ll listen to Bill Gates instead.

bill gatesPhoto: World Economic Forum // Wikimedia Commons

The Microsoft mogul called out those against GMOs and genetically engineered foods in a recent Reddit AmA. He doesn’t stay away from non-GMO foods, but did find it “disappointing” that non-GMO is perceived as better.

There is no true reason to be afraid of GMOs, really. Hundreds in the scientific community deem the foods to be safe and beneficial for society. They can help combat disease, relieve world hunger, and give populations fighting malnutrition food that supplies the nutrients missing from their diet. GMOs are instrumental in bringing about a hunger-free future of food, despite what the general public thinks about them.

What’s really been driving the anti-GMO stigma has been fear-mongering from those who may not be fully informed on the subject (and perhaps a little dosage of Russian influence as well). There are many out there trying to replace fear with facts, like Neil deGrasse Tyson and his contributions to the GMO debate documentary Food Evolution. With a name like Bill Gates joining the pro-GMO side, maybe more people will be willing to accept them as a vital part of society.

Then again, we are talking about a population where 30% of people think GMOs don’t have genes, so there’s a whole cloud of misinformation we have to fight through first.

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Celebrity Grub Video

Bill Gates Tries His Best To Guess Grocery Prices, Fails Miserably [WATCH]

While game shows like The Price Is Right show how hard it is for the common man to guess grocery item prices, you can imagine how hard it is for a billionaire who probably just has food seemingly appear on his dining room table every day.

Bill Gates recenly appeared on the Ellen Show, and because Ellen Degeneres is the queen of trolling, she created a segment where Gates had to try and guess the prices for a box of Rice-a-Roni, Tide Pods, Totino’s Pizza Rolls, dental floss, and TGIFridays frozen spinach and artichoke dip. He was given $1 leeway on his guesses, and if he could guess three out of the five items, the audience won a prize.

Gates immediately started off badly, guessing that a 7.2 ounce box of Rice-a-Roni was $5. It was in fact $1, so you can already see where this was going.

He guessed $4 for a case of Tide Pods, which shows he has no idea how much it costs to do laundry either. Even on his second guess, he went with $10, and was shocked to learn it was actually $19.97.

He legitimately got the cost of floss correctly, but once he got to the pizza rolls and artichoke dip, he needed a LOT of help from the audience. Funny enough, Ellen showed how out of touch she is with groceries, too, calling the pizza rolls brand “Totina’s” instead of “Totino’s.”

Ellen kind of let things slide, even though Bill was treading water, and the audience still won a chance to come back for her “12 Days of Giveaways” show.

So predictably, Bill Gates had no idea how much groceries cost, to the point that he looked legitimately shocked by the prices. He now knows what us common folk pay for food and home goods.

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Celebrity Grub Hit-Or-Miss

Unusual Eating Habits Of 10 Incredibly Successful People

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Entrepreneurs and politicians are people, just like us. Sometimes we see them post a photo of In-N-Out or some other fast food spot and we think to ourselves, “Hey, I can relate to that.”

Successful people do have their quirks when it comes to food, however, and some can be the pickiest and most eccentric of eaters.

Unum created an infographic compiling a list of unusual eating habits of some of the most successful people to ever walk the planet, DesignTaxi reports. We find out facts like exactly how much Winston Churchill ate for breakfast every day to Bill Gates’ passion for ‘cheap cheeseburgers’ and spray cheese.

Check out the infographic below.

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Categories
Technology

Bill Gates’ Poop Water Machine Now Working In Africa With Promising Results

In January, Bill Gates drank water that nearly 10 minutes before consumption was feces. Gates did this to illustrate the astonishing ability of a new machine called the Janicki Omniprocessor, a self-powered machine that turns human waste into clean drinking water.

This week, Gates announced in a video blog post that the Omniprocessor will see its first action in Dakar, Senegal — a West African city with a population of 3.4 million people.

Gates and Seattle-based Janicki Bioenergy wanted to begin their mission in Dakar because over a third of its population cannot currently dispose of their waste in a safe way. They have no access to the city’s’ sewer system, which results in them having to store their waste in pits and tanks.

Dakar’s inhabitants also can’t afford trucks to remove their waste, so they have to do it by hand, which is extremely dangerous as it exposes them to contamination and disease.

With the arrival of the new Omniprocessor technology, current waste management processes in the city will become obsolete. In addition to disposing of waste in a safe way, the machines also create clean drinking water, electricity and ash all at once.

Here’s how the Omniprocessor machines work: waste in the form of compounded sludge travel through the machines, generating enough electricity to not only self-power the processor, but also creating additional electricity to send to nearby power plants. The water vapor culled from the waste is then cycled and filtered until it is safe to consume. The ash that is left over can be molded into brick or be used for a variety of constructional purposes.

The new Janicki Omniprocessor will not only save the city money, but it will save thousands of lives and increase the overall living conditions.

There are currently 2 billion people globally who are in similar situations to the one faced by Dakar locals. According to Gates, the toxic living conditions resulting from poor sanitation kills over 700,000 children a year.

Written by Riley Schatzle of NextShark 

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Technology

Bill Gates Just Drank Poo Water Out of the Greatest Machine Ever Invented for Planet Earth

“I watched the piles of feces go up the conveyer belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water.”

That’s how Bill Gates described the Janicki Omniprocessor, which he visited last November, in his blog yesterday.

A human waste problem has been solved. The Omniprocessor, a creation of Janicki Bioenergy, is an ingenious, self-powered machine that turns human waste, in the form of sewage sludge, into clean drinking water and produces more electricity than it takes to run. It can send the excess electricity back into the community as it recycles sewage waste. According to Gates, the water is indeed fit for a billionaire.

“The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle. And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It’s that safe.”

Not only is the machine exactly what both the developing and developed world needs, it’s also great for entrepreneurs because between the sewage waste removal and the electricity produced, you would be making money — yes, you can actually make a profit off of something that helps the world. And the machine Bill Gates visited is only a prototype.

“The next-generation processor, more advanced than the one I saw, will handle waste from 100,000 people, producing up to 86,000 liters of potable water a day and a net 250 kw of electricity.”

The Omniprocessor, if distributed throughout the developing world, would create water and electricity for the over 2 billion people worldwide that still use latrines to rid their waste — waste that contaminates water sources that the very same people rely on.

“Diseases caused by poor sanitation kill some 700,000 children every year, and they prevent many more from fully developing mentally and physically.”

There is no word yet as to how much the next-gen processor will cost. With all the other tech news we get swept up in as a developed society, it’s refreshing to hear about the great strides being made towards fixing the real problems affecting the world.

Written by Sebastian Dillon of NextShark

Categories
Features

This Startup Is Trying to Replace Eggs — Bill Gates and Peter Thiel Are Already Supporting It

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Nowadays, it seems like many aspiring entrepreneurs are mainly thinking of business ideas to disrupt the tech space, like building the next big app or social network. This is not the case for entrepreneur Josh Tetrick, as his startup Hampton Creek Foods aims to replace eggs with quality plant-based substitutes.

Who would be interested in associating with this type of startup, you ask? Hampton Creek Foods has been able to attract known investors including Bill Gates, Peter Thiel, and Vinod Khosla. If that’s not enough to convince you of the potential of this market, check out what the New York Daily News had to say about Tetrick’s company and the growing food startup scene:

[Hampton Creek Foods], which just started selling its first product — Just Mayo mayonnaise — at Whole Foods Markets, is part of a new generation of so-called food-tech ventures that aim to change the way we eat.

“There’s nothing to indicate that this will be a trend that will end anytime soon,” said Anand Sanwal, CEO of CB Insights, a New York firm that tracks venture capital investment. “Sustainability and challenges to the food supply are pretty fundamental issues.”

Venture capital firms, which invest heavily in early-stage technology companies, poured nearly $350 million into food-related startups last year, compared with less than $50 million in 2008, according to the firm.

Plant-based alternatives to eggs, poultry and other meat could be good for the environment because it could reduce consumption of meat, which requires large amounts of land, water and crops to produce, backers say.

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Josh Tetrick, Hampton Creek Foods’ Founder over the phone. Here, we discuss the conception of his business idea, how he got such notable investors, and disrupting the egg industry.

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Give us some background of yourself and your business experience

“So I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and I was all rearing to be a professional football player my whole life and then realized after a little bit that I probably wasn’t good enough to play in the NFL.

I played some college football for a little bit at West Virginia and then ended up transferring to Cornell and studying sociology and government, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but knew I wanted to get the hell out of America and started working in Sub-Saharan Africa.

I spent in total about seven years in Sub-Saharan Africa everywhere from Nigeria to South Africa to Kenya to Liberia, doing everything from working with the United Nations to the Liberian government, and kind of through those experiences I realized that I wanted to focus on things that the world actually needed. There’s a lot that I think we can do that matters and there’s a whole lot that I think the world really needs and kind of through those experiences in Africa, I was more aware of the little girls living on the street without an education, a billion people that go hungry every single night, 79 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are dumped in our atmosphere likes its an open sewer, animals live behind the walls of factory farms, and it felt like all these urgent needs are out there and there wasn’t a whole lot happening with the government or non-profit organizations to deal with it.

So I got back to the United States and started thinking about using capitalism for good and had a good call with my best friend in the world, a guy named Joshua Balk about using capitalism for good and he started telling me about food. And the more he told me about our food system the more I was just stunned at how brutal and environmentally degrading it is and that began the journey to do what we are doing right now which is trying to create a model that makes an element of the food system, the global intensive egg industry, completely obsolete.”

When I first read about your product, I completely imagine that your company were literally creating a plant-based egg. But seems like your only product currently is Mayo…

“So we kind of start with the idea that there are 1.8 trillion chicken eggs that are laid every year– 1.8 trillion. And those chicken eggs, 99.9% of the time, come from places that are the epitome of disgusting, chickens crammed in cages shitting all over each other. I mean, it’s really gross, whether someone likes animals, hates animals, or can pronounce vegan the proper way instead of saying “vay-gen,” it doesn’t really matter.

Most human beings look at the situation and it’s like, this is just gross, and about a third of those chicken eggs in America end up in food products. They end up in muffins, in cookies, in mayonnaise for example. The other two thirds, people use them in scrambled eggs and omelettes or things like that.  So our approach is to attack all the markets that caged chicken eggs play in.  So we go along with that, we develop something that can work in sauces and dressings because that’s where chicken eggs play.

We also developed something that’s going to be coming out next year called “Just Scrambled” which is a scrambled mix too.  So we are going full throttle in all these big markets with chicken eggs, this highly unsustainable thing, and again that’s the mayonnaise and even the scrambled eggs.”

 

Most people in this day and age are thinking about creating apps and impacting the tech space. Did you get any negative feedback from anyone when you decided to go into eggs?

“The only people that respond negatively to it, to be honest with you, is the U.S. egg industry. So this industry where 99% of the eggs come from are these pretty atrocious collectives, they aren’t necessarily our biggest fan. The pushback has been from them.

The egg is the epitome of all things natural and nothing can replace the incredible edible egg.  But just like with cigarette companies in the past, and people who endorse all kinds of things that are bizarre and the antithesis of our values, we think they are doing the exact same thing.”

Walk us through how you began building your business. What was the first thing you did?

The first thing I did was I started calling around to food companies asking them what they thought.  So asking them why they used the egg in the first place, to places like General Mills or Heinz, and finding contacts within those companies, and just being like, “What do you think?,” you know, “Is this something interesting?,” just kind of learning more about it.

The second thing I did was, I just started reading about plants, the functionality of plants, and just googling “Can plants function like an egg?” An egg has 22 different functions and I just started reading about what plants can do. There’s kind of a combination of understanding through reading the literature that plants are highly functional and through talking to these people that have a lot experience in food, they aren’t using the chicken egg always because they love the chicken egg.

They are using a chicken egg because it’s functional, it emulsifies, it binds, it aerates, it chills, it crystallizes, and then after that I started putting a  plan together and eventually got an introduction to Khosla Ventures and pitched the plan to them.”

How did you get the likes of Bill Gates, Peter Thiel, and Vinod Khosla to invest in you? Were these cold calls or did they come to you?

“Khosla Ventures was an introduction via another entrepreneur in their portfolio.  Bill Gates we met through Khosla Ventures, he’s friends with Vinod Khosla and that interaction happened at an event we had with Khosla Ventures.

Peter Thiel and the Founder’s Fund read about us, or heard about us, and approached us initially with an email.  And in terms of convincing them, you know, Peter Thiel is investing in Elon Musk and SpaceX because we need private spacecraft to Mars one day, you know they are investing in electric cars, investing in advanced medical technology to solve the world’s most urgent diseases.

When you tell them that the cheapest most abundant animal protein on the planet comes from female birds crammed body to body in rusty cages shitting all over each other, they’re like, “give me some of that”.

Let me disrupt that, that’s crazy.”

How involved are they with you? Are they simply just investors, or do they advise you as well?

“Both. They are very involved, they are connecting us and advising us, and helping us… It’s all of the above.”

Have they taught you any new lessons so far?

“I think we think pretty big, but I think you know, CV and the Founders Fund, they don’t want us to think small, they don’t want us to think in terms of being a billion dollar company, they want us to think in terms of monopolizing the market and transforming the world and that vision then pushes me forward and gives me energy. That’s probably the biggest thing.”

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Josh Tetrick (right) — Hampton Creek’s offices and test kitchen

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far from your personal experience as an entrepreneur?

“That all the rules that we have set, all the rules about how fast we can build a brand, all the rules about who we can raise money from, all the rules about how many people we can hire or not hire, how fast you can go in terms of research and development, every single rule that you think exists, is probably wrong and was probably created by people no smarter than you and no smarter than me. We can look at all those rules and totally ignore them and do whatever we want. We can build a brand in six months. We can have 70 million people hearing about us in a day as we did yesterday. We can sell four times the amount of product than an individual Whole Foods, than the the next closest competitor, not because we look at what the existing date is, or the existing constructs of how fast you can sell something, we can create our own rules. Pretend as if there are no rules and then what would you do? It’s very matrix style. It’s like, you know, when Neo got up there on that building and was able to jump off that building when he realized he’s not constrained by any rules, that he creates it.”

How long do you think it will take for your startup to disrupt the egg industry?

“Certainly in the next 12 months, were going to be-  I mean the egg industry has already launched a campaign against us, so I think they’re feeling we may be about ready, and I think in the next five years, I don’t think you’re going to have a world where chickens are crammed body to body in cages anymore.

I think that is a relic of the past.  Every once in a while you’ll see a horse and buggy on the street, on special occasions. Every once in a while someone might buy a land line for their home, but well, most people buy mobile phones now and people aren’t traveling around in a horse and buggy and I think in five years we are going to be saying the same thing about where we get our eggs from.”

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Hit-Or-Miss

There Are Over 20,000 Twinkie-Related Sales Being Attempted on Ebay

You really think someone’s going to buy your Twinkie for $15 million, huh? I’m sure Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are trying to outbid each other as I write this, and that free shipping surely makes it more enticing.

If I was a ridiculously rich dude, I’d already have a vault filled with the delicious cream-filled sponges. Hell, I’d go Scrooge McDuck and dive into a pool of Twinkies every day.

That $15 million box of Twinkies better be one of the first ever made, better be purified in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, signed by the cast of Zombieland, and come with an alternate ending to Magic Mike where Channing Tatum takes off a mask and reveals that he is really Twinkie The Kid.

Sure they aren’t all selling for this much, but it’s still crazy to think that there are currently over 20 thousand Twinkie-related sales being attempted on eBay.

Is it not too soon for the crazy Hostess snack selling, especially since it is likely that someone will buy Hostess Brand Inc. and keep the snacks in tact?

What am I talking about, of course it’s not too soon to try to make a quick dollar. A better question might be, ‘Is it not too soon for your gullible online-shopping self to be buying them for $50 a pop?’

Hostess made an estimated $2.5 billion a year in revenue, had been around for over 80 years and just made people go nuts enough to wipe out store shelves. So I’m going to go out on a limb and agree with the notion that they’ll be back sooner than you think.

I didn’t exactly raid any stores like a lot of people did, but I did buy a couple boxes of Zingers just in case I want to conduct a ceremony of sacrifice to the snack gods, as me and a few close friends have some Zingers and Kool-Aid for one last time. But my intentions were not to do something completely insane like try and sell them for millions of dollars online.

They’re just sponge cakes. You can’t even find a mint condition, Babe Ruth rookie card selling for over $1 million, so I don’t think anyone is going to spend that much on Twinkies.

It’s discouraging to see how quickly we blow things out of proportion. Whether it’s the next online craze, the Mayan end-of-the-world theories, or even ‘Twinkie Apocalypse,’ it’s never a bad idea to take a deep breath and just wait things out.

via HuffPo