20 stories

New York Times food writer Mark Bittman penned his last regular column in September this year, explaining that he intended to join the world he covered — this time as a participant as part of a year-old startup, rather than an observer. On Monday Needham startup Purple Carrot announced that Bittman would join their team. The company designs vegan meals and ships the ingredients and recipes weekly to subscribers. The New York Times notes that neither founder Andrew Levitt nor Bittman is a vegan or vegetarian: “Rather, they are what Mr. Bittman has termed ‘flexitarians,’ meaning they eat mostly plant-based diets with occasional meals with meat.”More →

Harvard University professor David Edwards offers a simple solution to the problem of waste from food packaging: Just eat the wrapping. Edwards is behind a company called WikiFoods, whose “pearls” filled with Stonyfield frozen yogurt reached the shelves of select Whole Foods supermarkets last year.More →

IBM’s Watson has a voracious appetite for knowledge. In the past five years, this cloud-based cognitive system has played trivia champ, legal aide, and cancer researcher. For the last three years, IBM has turned its smarts on food.

“Chef” Watson has a brand new cookbook out this month. “Cognitive Cooking” is a collaboration between the team at IBM and human chefs at the Institute of Culinary Education and Bon Appétit.More →

Tomatoes year round, fresh-picked fish-fed kale: These are dreams that Grove Labs claims to make real. An idea for an in-home garden nourished by detritus from a fish tank germinated in the MIT dorm room of Gabe Blanchet and Jamie Byron when they were freshmen. Five years later, after launching a company and picking up $2 million in seed funding, the duo are shipping the first of their “indoor ecosystems” to early adopters in the Boston area.More →

“Hal, order sushi for two tonight.”

A Westford startup called Every Labs is working on the artificially intelligent food-ordering app of the future. While the company’s Chef Nightly app isn’t yet publicly available, a handful of Bostonians have been testing it in recent weeks. And the company has already raised early funding from the startup incubator Blade and Boston Syndicates, a group that includes individual investors and the Cambridge venture capital firm Atlas Venture.More →