Instant enlightenment—just add tech?
Neurofeedback devices, brain stimulation and synthetic psychedelics are all at the forefront of a new wave of technology that lies at the intersection of neuroscience, self-optimization and mindfulness. One huge concern about this movement, per Vox, is that altered states do not necessarily bring about altered traits in a user unless one is consistent about their use and has proper guidance throughout. That's not to say they don't have any real value, per se; the gamification of meditation, for example, can help consumers build the habit into their daily lives and keep them coming back with challenges until the practice itself is the reward.
The ‘Great Resignation’ is altering the workforce dynamic—maybe for good
Recent surveys drive home the fact that American workers are reconsidering their careers in the wake of COVID-19, leaving employers scrambling to both attract and retain talent. CNBC writes that a record 4.3 million quit their jobs in August alone, with the majority citing burnout and lack of purpose and motivation as their main reasons for doing so. Interestingly, one-third of working Americans who quit their job started their own business, so the natural products industry could benefit from an influx of motivated entrepreneurs in the near future.
Move over smart phones, smart hives are here
California-based startup Bee Hero is finding success with its Smart Hive devices; they allow beekeepers to monitor sound, temperature, humidity and magnetic field, as well as disease onset, brood frame count, queen health and hive theft. Modern Farmer notes that innovations such as Hiveopolis’s robot dancing bees, which direct a hive toward harvesting nectar or pollen and away from dangerous areas, have garnered attention in Europe. Israeli company Edete has also been taking off in the almond market with its bee-free pollination machines.
Are climate conditions affecting coffee?
In short, yes. Shifting climate conditions are already in the process of changing the taste, aroma and overall quality of coffee. Scientists want to better understand these changes because a decrease in coffee quality can lead to economic and political turmoil around the globe. Geography, altitude, light exposure temperature and water stress are all factors that need to be analyzed. The Food Institute also highlights companies working to make coffee sans coffee beans as possible heroes of the coffee sector.
Bowery Farming breaks down the community impact of their indoor farming expansion
New York-based indoor farm company Bowery Farming doubled its revenue in 2021 and is capitalizing on its local, pesticide-free angle when it comes to selling their produce. Its newest facility will produce about 20 million clamshells of leafy greens and other produce per year with a fraction of the square footage it would take to produce the same amount of food on a farm. “If we can minimize the externalities of climate change, weather events, and other disruptions that you see in the traditional food system, and can create surety of supply in a way that is more sustainable,” said Bowery’s Chief Commercial Officer Katie Seawell to The Spoon.