The next frontier in green: vending machines?   »

If you’ve ever been to Japan, chances are you’ve seen some pretty bangin’ vending machines. Ever on the cutting edge, a company in Japan has now developed a vending machine that not only vends but grows fresh produce! The “Chef’s Farm” runs about $90,000 to purchase, but with the ability to harvest/vend 60 heads of lettuce per day (without sunlight even), the initial investment can be recouped in about five years.

Now, I don’t know a lot about food-access issues in Japan, but I know that in the U.S., access to healthy, fresh food is a real issue, particularly for a lot of people in low-income urban environments. It’s a complicated issue, and one that obviously won’t be solved by a vending machine that spits out lettuce, but the implications of this type of both farming and selling could, this Vegansaur thinks, be pretty awesome for some of our underserved communities. Where space, especially space suitable to grow food, is at such a premium, and where time is so short, having vending machines that double as gardens providing fresh, nutritious vegetables at any time of day or night seems like a pretty great idea.

Hopefully, the developers of the Chef’s Farm will be turning their attention to more of these creations. I, for one, would be stoked to be able to run out in the middle of the night and grab a head of fresh organic kale, plucked just for me by a robotic appendage. Ah, the future is delicious!

[image of “Chef’s Farm” vending machine via Tech-On!]


This week certainly has been trying; thank goodness it’s time for the link-o-rama!  »

This is Wilson, a bunny from Harvest Home Sanctuary. He could be your best new bunny pal, if you are in Berkeley tomorrow! HE HAS HIS OWN BUNNY TO CUDDLE!! Wilson is a meta-bunny! Read about where and when to find him below.

Event-y things!
Your Vegansaurus loves bunnies; what about you? This week, the SFPD confiscated 23 bunnies from a pet store—it’s illegal to sell them in the city—and you can adopt them from Animal Care and Control starting tomorrow, Saturday June 19, at noon. Harvest Home Sanctuary is also holding a rabbit-adoption event in the East Bay, in conjunction with the House Rabbit Society, on Saturday! You can meet rabbits at Berkeley’s 4th Street Shopping District, at 1824 4th St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

News-ish items!
What the FUCK: Miami is building a new stadium for the Florida Marlins, which will include two saltwater aquariums as part of the walls around home plate. “To safeguard it from impact, Lexan—the material used for bulletproof windows—will be installed in front and in back of the acrylic panels.” I’m sure that the animals living in those aquariums will totally appreciate the thickness of the material, seeing as how it has to be designed to withstand fucking BASEBALLS BEING THROWN AT IT.

On the sea creatures tip, let’s talk about whales. Japan, what is your goddamn problem? Some groups are hardcore protesting showings of The Cove, while you’re bribing the fuck out of members of the International Whaling Commission?! Just disgusting. Apparently 95 percent of people in Japan have never eaten whale—just drop it already. EVERYONE JUST FUCKING DROP IT. Norway and Iceland, you too. Maybe Pierce Brosnan will convince you? Maybe.

Egg production is supremely fucked up; for one, “egg production” is a tidy euphemism for “forcing hens to lay eggs.” Even “free-range” is a lie: the Humane Society filed a complaint against Rose Acre Farms this week because the conditions the company’s chickens live in are fucking horrific, certainly not the “humane and happy environment” full of “happy” chickens Rose Acre is selling people.

Look, they grow vegetables at the North Pole! Yes, even iceberg lettuce (not that that’s funny, per se). Here are some tips on storing your lettuce so as to keep it fresh and crispy as long as possible. Oh and try not to feed anyone juice boxes or fruit cocktails, as even the “organic” ones are full of lead.

Matt Baume "meets the city’s most unlikey pets" in the Bold Italic; the founder of Slow Food USA wants to integrate slaughterhouses, by way of mobile units, into cities. That’s what I want on my streets—the sounds of mass-murder! Definitely the solution is more, smaller slaughterhouses in urban areas. Alternatively, we could do like U.S. Designer of the Year John Bartlett and stop participating in terrible systems of death.

Terrible system of the week: wildlife photography. It is mainly a lie; the animals are bred in captivity, rented out for pictures, and often sold on the exotic-animal black market. The feature in Audubon magazine on these horrific, depressing, disgusting practices is shocking. And gross. You absolutely must read it.

OK right, everything continues to be really awful, and I’m sorry about that. Science says that good things happen to people who do good things, though, so keep on doing your part for the animals. Be as cynical as you like; the key is not losing your empathy (I think).

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