Upicnic | What was the Food Loves Tech Expo in New York City all about?

What was the Food Loves Tech Expo in New York City all about?

BY MARTA
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6/15/2016

Ultimately, they absolutely nailed the name for the event – Food Loves Tech was an entire expo dedicated precisely to bringing together businesses in the exact sweet spots that merges food & technology.

When you consider how food is produced, sourced, processed, distributed and ultimately consumed, it’s easy to see how many opportunities there are for innovation. Especially because, well, the hunter-gatherer model is due for a tech upgrade.

 

Heading back to the farm.

Really, it seems like we’ve spent the last few centuries stepping away from growing our own food, and now we’re trying to go back to the farm – but without the inconvenience of, you know, actually living on the farm. Seems ironic after generations and generations of energy, time and resources spent on creating systems allowing fewer and fewer people to have to work in agriculture. Hello Monsanto.

But never fear, organic food is here: that’s right, after investing in large scale operations of food production, we ended up letting supermarkets overcharge us for food not treated with pesticides and cows who have been fed grass. As if grass was, in fact, a premium, revolutionary superfood just recently discovered.

And you know what, I get it. You want to eat beef, but not the antibiotics they are given. And, well, you live in NYC, so guess what – you don’t have the space to keep a cow…or a pig…or even a chicken. Enter: home cricket farming. You can raise crickets at home in a very cute little plastic home, feed them organic scraps, then when you get hungry simply freeze them and use them as you will in your food preparation. Fried and salted for a healthy protein-filled snacks, in your classic Bolognese sauce for a delicious lasagna – I bet you could even caramelize them if you felt like having a sweet treat.

If sourcing your own protein first-hand sounds like a lot of work – how about growing your own veggies. Sounds easier than it is. Again, it’s New York – who has a backyard?? Even balconies constitute quite the outlandish luxury in most of Gotham. The year I tried to grow my own tomatoes indoors I ended up buying 4 UV lamps and still managed to get cherry-sized beefsteak tomatoes. Enter hydroponics systems that let you grow your own personal produce right on your kitchen counter.

Oh, right, and you can also 3-D print your own edible pizza.

 

Reclaiming control of the food chain.

The point being – you probably wouldn’t be able to survive on crickets and home-grown zucchini… or at least not for very long. However, many of the innovations at Food Loves Tech established clear trends pointing at urban dwellers taking control of the food chain by producing their own food. A trend that, in a city like New York, certainly restores your faith in the future of humanity.

And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Food Loves Tech is a hub of innovators and next-generation food & tech disruptors. Had it been around just a few years ago, you might have seen Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Plated there exhibiting too. These companies are getting people closer to the kitchen by providing pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes. The next generation of Food & Tech innovators will go a step up the food chain and get people closer to growing their own ingredients.

 

In the end, it’s all about the experience.

Grow your own vegetables. Savor that taste. Get your hands dirty. Splatter your apron with sauce. Accidentally cut a finger, ouch. But OMG, did you see how tall those tomatoes are getting???

NYC is such a food-obsessed city - creating memories around the food we eat is what we do best. And, well, that’s what we at Upicnic like to enable. Family, love, memories – experience a day of leisure, food and fun with the people you love with the convenience of having to drag absolutely nothing around. That’s what picnics are all about.

You don’t go food shopping, you order FreshDirect. You don’t walk to restaurants to pick up dinner, you use Grubhub. You don’t even bother with measuring cups anymore, you just use the amounts Blue Apron sent you. So why on earth would you plan, prepare and shlep an entire picnic to the only places in New York where Uber can’t drop you off?

And that’s why Upicnic was at Food Loves Tech to begin with: because we provide the convenience of having everything you need for a picnic experience at your fingertips in one easy-to-use tool.

 

Food, games, blankets, sunscreen – everything comes together effortlessly and arrives directly at whatever place you want your picnic experience to be. It’s easy for you, convenient for your friends, simple to organize, a no-brainer.

We effectively bridge the divide between New Yorkers’ thirst for convenience and their longing for memorable picnic experiences – all through an exceptionally designed user interface that is intuitive and simple to use.

Participating and exhibiting at Food Loves Tech was an amazing privilege and we loved every single minute of it – can’t wait to see where the future of food & technology is headed!

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