Food For Thought - March 2024

Spotting interesting trends and finding noteworthy food facts and figures is a big part of what we do at Ceres. Here are 10 recent articles, reports and long reads that made us stop and think.

March 28, 2024
David Gough
March 28, 2024
David Gough

Do AI generated food pics look better than the real thing?

According to new research - generated food visuals excel at enhancing the appeal of depicted foods by leveraging key features such as symmetry, shape, glossiness, and overall lighting and colour. All of these are known to contribute significantly to the attractiveness of food imagery. [Source: Oxford University]

Tractors head to Westminster

Farming campaign groups are warning substandard imports and dishonest labelling were undercutting British farmers. To highlight the concerns over food security. Save British Farming and Fairness for Farmers of Kent organised a “go-slow” convoy of tractors and farm vehicles around Westminster. [Source: Independent]

Could a New York listing turn Ocado into a tech powerhouse

While the jury is still out on the success, or not, of Ocado and M&S link up, analysts are saying the future of Ocado, always considered a technology business rather than a grocer. [Source: Telegraph ]

World's first cans of cultivated pet food

Experts at London-based startup, Meatly have developed the world's first cans of pet food that use lab-grown chicken as the protein source. Could this accelerate the introduction of lab-grown meat for humans too? [Source: Daily Mail ]

Can alcohol free beer on draught improve public health?

Making alcohol-free beer more widely available on draught in pubs and bars could nudge people towards making healthier choices, new research from the University of Bristol has suggested. [Source: Sky News]

Shrinkflation strikes again

Easter Eggs are the latest product to fall victim to shrinkflation – a practice of reducing the size of a product but not the price. Poor cocoa harvests in West Africa are being blamed.  [Source: Express]

Scientists turn to AI to make beer taste better

Researchers in Belgium are using artificial intelligence to improve taste of beer but say the skill of the brewers is vital in ensuring it happens. Using different sets of data, the team constructed models based on machine learning – a form of AI – to predict how a beer would taste, and its appreciation, based on its composition. [Source: The Guardian]

Snakes on a Plate

Researchers claim snakes could be farmed for food because they are cheaper, and, of course, they taste just like chicken. Pizza Hut in Hong Kong has already sold a nine-inch pizza with snake meat ham and mushrooms. [Source: The Sun]

Dangers of drinking apple cider vinegar

The current darling of the celeb and influencer world, research has shown that apple cider vinegar does have weight loss properties, but experts warn against dangers of drinking it, which can include tooth decay, skin and throat damage, and indigestion. [Source: Mirror]

US TikTok ban threat

A new bill working its way through Congress could ban TikTok in the US. The ban centres on fears of security, due to TikTok’s Chinese ownership, and would ban if ByteDance refused to sell the US operations to non-Chinese owners. [Source: Business Insider ]