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Technology

Japan Created The World’s First Robot Farm And Here’s What It Can Do

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Japan is really pushing forward with robotics. First, we got the pancake flipper, then the Sushi Robot and now a farm that’s fully operated by automatons will soon make its debut.

Tech Insider reports that Spread, a lettuce production company, will have a farm that only hires robots to harvest lettuce. About 30,000 heads of lettuce will be ready for shipment every day, reportedly. That’s nearly 11 million a year.

The machines, however, will be more like conveyor belts with arms attached than the cybernetic farmers we were picturing in our heads. Ah well, it’s probably for the best.

Scheduled to open in 2017, Spread’s Kameoka Plant will increase productivity. The robotic farm will also reduce labor costs by 50 percent, cut energy consumption by 30 percent and use 98 percent recycled water for the crops.

All these benefits will potentially lower costs for consumers, said a spokesperson for Spread.

Spread’s robotic farm is set to open sometime next year.

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Hit-Or-Miss

This Is Ryan Gosling’s Response To Costco’s Shocking Egg Video

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Celebrity Ryan Gosling wants Costco to buy chicken from a supplier that doesn’t suck. CNN Money reports that the former Young Hercules wrote a letter to Costco in response to an undercover video of a farm the company gets its chickens from.

Recently, footage was uncovered showing the state of Costco’s chicken supplier. The footage showed the birds locked in rows of cages and featured dead chickens housed with live ones. The live chickens would then lay eggs on top of the corpses. It was pretty disturbing.

The egg cartons sold at Costco, however, feature chickens frolicking in green pastures.

Gosling, working alongside the Humane Society, has reached out to Costco’s CEO Craig Jelinek. In a letter, Gosling puts Jelinek on blast for working with an abusive chicken supplier. He also asks that the chickens be released from their cages and kept free ranged.

The chicken farm in question, Hillandale, claims that the footage from the undercover video was an isolated incident.

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Hit-Or-Miss

You Can Win A Goat Cheese Farm By Writing An Essay

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If you’ve ever wanted to own a fully-functioning goat cheese farm, here’s your chance. An Alabama couple is apparently accepting essays to decide who will inherit their goat cheese farm complete with 85 goats. Doesn’t sound to baaaaad, right?

The farm will come with all the tools and equipment one needs to profit from the farm.

It seems the couple plans to move to Costa Rica to build even more goat farms as a way to help the needy. While they initially tried to sell the Alabama property, they discovered most folks can’t afford the $350,000 cost.

After running the idea through a lawyer, the couple has begun taking essays from anyone who cares to explain what they’d do with the farm. Their current goal is $2,500 to cover the rest of the mortgage on the house and hope to give the new owner $20,000 for start-up costs.

The couple believes debt is the worst thing you can have as a farmer. Before jetting off to Costa Rica the farmers say they plan to hang around a bit to help the new owners get the hang of running a goat cheese farm.

Anyone interested can enter here. All you need is a persuasive essay and a $150 entry fee.

 

Categories
Fast Food

Burger King Drive-Thru Terrorized By Escaped Pig

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So a porker walks up to a Burger King drive-thru… Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Actually, it’s a little more literally this time.

An escaped pig cause quite the commotion at a Pennsylvania Burger King. It was reported that the swine broke free from a local farm and wandered around until it reached the fast food restaurant. There, it blocked the drive-thru of the establishment and ran amok around the premises.

The pig allegedly bit one customer as they were trying to get its attention. Despite this incident, reports say that the pig was very friendly to the burger patrons.

One worker even took advantage of the pig’s amicable demeanor and tried feeding it bacon. The manager, however, advised against it.

Eventually, the pig was captured and returned to its owners.

 

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

An Intimate Look at Dinner on a Pizza Farm

Written by Tucker Gerrick

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Made where it’s grown” is as much the mantra as it is a rally cry or a figurative flag in the sand for the folks behind Stockholm, Wisconsin’s A to Z Produce and Bakery. Opened in 1998 and more commonly known in the last 10 years as “The Pizza Farm” it has spawned many recent imitators, but is the long-standing original in this neck of the woods. For me, as a certifiable pizza freak, when I finally heard about it the first time some 8 or so years ago, it seemed as if there might actually be a heaven, and if so, it was only a couple hours’ drive up and around the St. Croix river into Wisconsin. The trip had to happen, and had to continue to happen again and again as the years went by. This summer marks my bazillionth visit and my 7th year making the trip (I only missed one while living in Long Beach, for the record).

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The farm is only open for pizza nights on Tuesdays from 4:30-8pm and only between March and October. (Though, both March and October are likely too cold/wet for most to attend. Consider yourself amongst the diehards if you find yourself visiting then.)

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Rain or shine, pizza night goes down every Tuesday. The grounds surrounding the various buildings are typically littered with anyone from couples on dates, entire extended families, rotary clubs, and a broad selection of hip young folk from all the relatively close-ish metro areas. In other words, everyone loves pizza (duh).

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The bathrooms are more like outhouses. There’s a bucket of bran in one of them to keep it natural and fresh in there. Depending on the # of your business, it’s 1 or 2 scoops, FYI.

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Having tested the fences on prior trips, I had to grab a wire this last visit to prove to a friend that they were, in fact, not live. Well, I was wrong this time.

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As a rule from the beginning, it was always BYOE or bring your own everything. Tables, chairs, cutlery, drinks… all of it. And you even have to bring your trash home with you. Sadly, “The Man” finally caught onto the extraordinary time folks were having out here bringing their own alcoholic drinks and enjoying them under the radar. Last season, the farm acquired a beer and wine license, so you can pick from quite a selection right on site now (hella affordable, too, I might add).

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They’ve even got bubbles! The perfect pizza companion and a definite first choice when you bring a sommelier with (though, can we get some Roederer up in here?).

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Everyone loves a patio, a porch, or some sunny little corner they can post up and grab a relaxing bite or drink at. But I can’t think of a better background for enjoying pizza after pizza from an outdoor, wood-fired grill. The whole experience from start to finish is pretty epic.

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All the ingredients are grown on the farm. All of them. If it’s not ready or ripe, it’s not on the menu. The pizzas taste and smell so fresh you can only assume what you’re eating was still hanging off a vine or stem hours earlier. I always joke that it’s “so fresh you can taste the dirt still.”

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Arguably, the pizzas are sizable enough for 2-3 people. But no one drives all this way for just one.

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Crowds get to be so large that the wait to get your pizza by mid-July (peak season) can be upwards of more than an hour. Keep in mind these pizzas only take about 3-4 minutes to bake in the first place. A few years back, they added another oven to keep up with things.

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CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are a pretty big deal in the Midwest, and A to Z offers a weekly one for pick up. They even do a couple for the holiday season.

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It really is a picture perfect scene. See you next summer!

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A to Z Produce and Bakery can be found in idyllic Stockholm, WI, at N2956 Anker Lane.

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More fun stories from The Hundreds:

– CHEF TOMMY ORTEGA OF AMOR Y TACOS ON THE FOOD BUSINESS

WHY FOODBEAST’S BEEF IS NOT MONGOLIAN

DIY TRUFFLED THEATRE POPCORN

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Pay $2,500 To Eat This Big Black Cock, I Mean Chicken

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Fancy all-black poultry for dinner? Perhaps the Ayam Cemani from Indonesia will get you pondering a purchase.

The Ayam Cemani is “my most requested bird, ever,” touts Paul Bradshaw of Florida’s Greenfire Farms.

The unique bird features black feathers, skin, muscle, bone and organs — and, not surprisingly, it’s incredibly rare. In Asia, the Ayam Cemani is not only regarded for its beauty but also for its supposed “mystical powers.” Of course, all those unique qualities come at a high price tag — $2,500 per chicken to be exact.

Bradshaw is the first and only US breeder of the Ayam Cemani as of right now, and he’s planning on selling chicks early next year at $5,000 a pair. Yup, 5,000 buckaroos. If that number’s a little cringe-worthy, just think — you can’t really put a price on having a magical chicken running around your house, can you?

If you’re interested in adding this rare bird to your family, head on over to Greenfire Farms for all info.

H/T Food and Wine + PicThx Greenfire Farms

Categories
Health

Infographic Ruins Our Favorite Childhood Foods by Linking them to Cancer

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We know, we know, we know. Preservatives are bad for us. Our snack food is saturated with chemicals. If we keep eating pesticides our organs will turn into cancerous lumps of toxic goo . . . or something like that. We’ll be honest, we’ve never really listened to the health food lecture because that double sleeve of Oreos just kept calling our name. Besides, how much damage could a few cookies and some artificial food coloring actually do? Turns out, kind of a lot of damage. Like, big, cancer-causing, brain-toxifying, you’re-really-gonna-need-that-health-insurance damage. And American kids are ingesting more and more of it every day.

The organization Healthy Child broke down exactly how much of our food contains additives and chemicals, how many of our plate-bound farm animals are fed manure and plastic, and explains why the oranges in our orange juice were probably bathed in acid. Let’s just say it’s not exactly uplifting.

By the time you get to the bottom of the infographic and see how many of your favorite childhood foods are linked to cancer or neurodevelopmental deficits, you’ll probably just want to lock yourself in a room with some organic kale and cry until it’s all over. But just remember that pretty much everything (including boba) has been linked to cancer. It can’t hurt to keep track of the more chemically laden foods in our diets, but a few cookies or acid-bathed oranges probably won’t kill you any more than breathing the air in most major cities will.

Peep the infographic below (click for larger view):

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H/T HealthyChild