Yum! This Is The Vending Machine You Want To Have Around
When you think of vending machines what comes to mind is probably processed sugar, saturated fat, and colorful plastic packaging. Chicago-based startup Farmer’s Fridge is turning this notion on its head with a kiosk (or a “veggie machine”) that dispenses healthy, fresh salads and snacks, that according to customers, rival those sold at restaurants.
Seeing that high upfront costs and convenience are the main obstacles to the distribution of healthy food, chef and founder Luke Saunders set out to prove that great tasting food can not only be good for you, but can also be easy to get in a convenient and eco-friendly way.
The way I look at it, we are not offering healthy vending machine meals. We are offering healthy, fast casual dining. It just happens to be in a vending machine. The importance of offering healthy food this way is that it makes it more accessible to people, and hopefully that helps them live a happier, healthier life.
Each salad (SPE certified) that goes into the machine is made fresh each morning in a fully licensed, shared kitchen, and delivered to the kiosk by 10 a.m. Locally sourced ingredients are layered in an airtight jar (which you can bring back and recycle, reuse, or repurpose), in such a way as to keep the veggies inside fresh and crispy.
Salads come in fun names, such as The Cheater a.k.a Guilt-Free Gluttony and Crunchy Thai Salad a.k.a Hello, Hot Stuff and in addition to them you can order sauces as well as protein sides (chicken, tuna, salmon or tofu). At the end of the day, unsold salads are donated to a local food pantry.
Customers are already raving about the service on Yelp, calling the salads "crazy-fresh, super-crunchy, and full of goodness". The few complaints are related to the price ($8 for the basic salad) and the fact that the machines often run out of salads before 2 p.m.
We like to think of our salads as a sort of edible vitamin - a delicious vitamin you eat with a fork from a jar. We research which ingredients promote the health benefits we want from each recipe, then mix and match textures and tastes until we find the salad sweet spot.
Currently, there are three machines in Chicago, and additional options for delivery and catering. Farmer's Fridge is also looking for more local farmers to work with.
Can we, please, have these machines in every school and airport?
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.
- Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
- Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
- The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.