Video: How Your Sandwich Changed The World

What if you could go back in time and follow your food from the farm to your plate? What if you could see each step of your meal’s journey — every ingredient that went into its creation, and every footprint it left behind?

Back in February, The Salt reported on English researchers who did just that: They rigorously investigated the origin of a single loaf of bread, from wheat field to supermarket. Their report is full of incredible detail. How big a field would you need to grow enough wheat for a loaf of bread? Seven square feet. How much fertilizer? About a third of a cup. How much greenhouse gas is released in the creation of a loaf? The equivalent of 1.7 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Now, NPR’s science YouTube channel Skunk Bear has tackled a BLT in the same way. The latest video walks through the myriad steps involved in creating this simple sandwich, drawing on research into the production of bacon, the lettuce, the tomato and the mayonnaise. Scientists have estimated the carbon footprint for each ingredient.

The video is a reminder that every product we buy or consume has traveled a long way before it enters our lives. By understanding those journeys, and the impact each step has on carbon emissions, we can figure out how to change our own impact on the world.

Watch video at You Tube (3:05 minutes) . . . . .

Video: Five Generation of Making Soy Sauce the Traditional Way in Japan

Japanese shoyu, or soy sauce, was traditionally brewed in vats over two years in a process that dates back to the 7th century.

Over the past 60 years, global demand gave way to industrialization, and today less than one percent of shoyu is produced in the old way.

But on the island of Shōdoshima, Yasuo Yamamoto ferments soy beans traditionally in bamboo barrels similar to the ones his family has built for the past 150 years. And while it takes four times longer than the modern way to produce, the results are undeniably delicious.

Watch video at You Tube (3:42 minutes) . . . . .

Video: Chemistry-fueled Food Hacks

This video brings chemistry to the kitchen, and features science-backed tips to cook rice with fewer calories, get extra juicy chicken (when you don’t have time to marinate) and keep sliced fruit from browning too quickly.

Watch the video and find out how to use chemistry to give your food a flavor boost.

Watch video at You Tube (3:55 minutes) . . . . .

Walmart Field Tests a Giant Vending Machine for Groceries

Walmart is trying to make it easier to pick up online grocery orders.

The retailer is testing a giant self-service kiosk in the parking lot of a supercenter in Warr Acres, Oklahoma, where customers can pick up online grocery orders without interacting with employees.

Customers purchase and pay for groceries online, then Walmart employees pick and pack their orders and store them in bins in the 20-foot-by-80-foot kiosk.

The kiosk has refrigerators and freezers inside that keep the groceries fresh.

When customers arrive to pick up their orders, they walk up to the kiosk and type in a code and their groceries appear within a minute.

Watch video at You Tube (1:31 minutes) . . . .

Gadget: Grillbot – The Grill Cleaning Robot

Before and after cleaning

Watch video at You Tube (1:32 minutes) . . . .