Originally published January 25 2014
Mark of the Beast for your feast? Microchipped food texts you when it spoils
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Technology continues to improve our lives, but as we've often reported here at Natural News, technology - the Technology Age, for lack of a better term - is also a double-edged sword.
Consider new technology that essentially allows your food to notify you when it is spoiled. No, we're not making that up.
Some analysts wonder if it is akin to the mark of the beast for your dinner table.
As reported by Britain's The Telegraph:
Computer chips in futuristic food packaging could warn consumers when their food is about to go off, it has been reported.
Scientists have developed the gadget that can be inserted into packets of perishable foods, which will be able to assess when the contents are nearing their use-by date, an EU committee of peers has heard.
In a separate report, Britain's Daily Mail said the technology would enable your food to - get this - text you when it is approaching its shelf life:
If you have trouble deciding what to have for dinner, help could soon be at hand - with your food texting to tell you it needs eating.
Scientists have developed a computer chip that can be inserted into food packaging and is able to assess when the contents are nearing their use-by date.
'The new technology could be far more effective than sell-dates'
Reports said computer chips that are able to tell when food is approaching its sell-by date could soon find their way into food packaging. A European Union committee has already heard about the proposal.
In addition, the chip technology could potentially alert owners by texting them that they need to eat the food before it spoils.
"The new technology could be far more effective than traditional sell-by dates which do not account for the conditions it is being stored in," the Daily Mail reported. "It could also radically reduce the amount of food which is thrown away."
Every year, tons of food spoils and must be thrown out. Much of the waste occurs at the market, but millions of tons of produce and other foods also spoil in American and British homes. In the UK alone, the cost of the spoilage runs at about 12 billion pounds sterling, or more than $19.9 billion.
Baroness Scott of Needham Market, the committee chair, told environment minister Dan Rogerson that one witness giving evidence to the committee in the Netherlands said, "We're quite close to commercial production of a small chip which would go into packaging which would measure the actual deterioration of the rate of food."
Food waste does more than deprive the starving
Scott added that current convention of the best if used before date "assumes that everything's equal. It just assumes that you all keep your food at the same temperature whereas this would actually respond to what the real conditions are."
"I should be intrigued to know the range and amount of resource that would have to go into producing it," Rogerson responded.
"I'm having enough trouble with my text messages without the fridge texting me. Realistic or not, it's interesting to see where innovation can lead," Scott said.
Restaurants are another major source of food waste, reports added.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP, one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year - approximately 1.3 billion tons - gets lost or wasted.
And that's not all. There is, of course, an environmental aspect to this problem as well:
The impact of food waste is not just financial. Environmentally, food waste leads to wasteful use of chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides; more fuel used for transportation; and more rotting food, creating more methane - one of the most harmful greenhouse gases that contributes to climate change. Methane is 23 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
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