Technological advances aimed at enhancing your dining experiences are everywhere these days. A device that interferes with Wi-Fi connections to give you peace at dinner is disguised as a pepper grinder, while a pill with all the health benefits of chocolate but none of the calories is also in the works. Thanks, science.
What Monsanto is up to is all of our beeswax
The long-demonized agricultural behemoth Monsanto is rearing its head in a bee-friendly light, according to Wired. It’s been reported that the pollinators have been dropping dead in alarming rates, and one point of blame has been the pesticide-spraying Monsanto. The company, however, has been working on fighting a major enemy of the bee: the varroa mite. Wired reports that the mite is a parasite that “drains the life out of bees and delivers a deadly cargo of viruses.” A genetically specific mite killer, RNAi, was soon developed and incorporated in Monsanto’s chemical wheelhouse. Unlike traditional pesticides that rid their targets while harming humans and animals, RNAi is engineered to target specific genetic codes while leaving other organisms unharmed. Jerry Hayes, a former big name in the Florida beekeeper community, was hired by Monsanto to sell the bee savers on the idea of this possible save-all. Hayes tells Wired that the treatment is nearly a decade away from market.
Would you like to shut off Wi-Fi with your dinner?
We’re all aware that our pocket-size bright screens are taking over our social lives, especially when it comes to dining. Simply turning a phone off or leaving it in one’s pocket is not longer a foolproof way of going off the grid for an hour or so at mealtime. A European food company, Dolmino, has figured out a way to fight fire with fire and make dinnertime a less wired event. According to Fast Co. Design, the company created a pepper grinder that temporarily bars TVs, computers, phones and other Wi-Fi-capable devices from being used with a twist of the top as a commercial campaign. “Frustrated moms” tested the Pepper Hacker and endured some fearsome tantrums at first, but then sat down to some wholesome family dining soon after. The pepper grinders, and they really do grind peppercorns, were such a hit that Dolmino will be giving away a few thousand in a contest only open to those Down Under.
New Jersey is for cheap coffee lovers
A recent study found that more than half of people surveyed at one New Jersey mall prefer $1 deli coffee to $3.25 “gourmet” brew in a blind taste test, according to Mic. This survey, performed by Today investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen, is supposed to mirror the tastes of the rest of the country. Other Today personalities, including Samantha Guthrie, Al Roker and Matt Lauer, also preferred the inexpensive cup of joe. Lauer even said that the pricier cup was “very bitter.” Mic reports that higher-priced items can seem to be of a higher quality.
A chocolate pill full of health benefits is in the works
Say it ain’t so: Dark chocolate is actually not all that great for you. However, scientists are working on a pill that contains all the reportedly good stuff that helps fight against cardiovascular disease without all the added calories from milk, fat and sugar, NPR reports. The pill made of cocoa extract is currently going through a four-year trial with women 65 and older and men 60 and older. The pill will not, however, taste anything like chocolate.