It’s always heartening to see when people innovate with food to offer healthier, tastier versions of traditional dishes. So in celebration of World Food Day, which is on October 16, we bring you a roundup of three of the coolest, revolutionary food stories of the year.

Here they are, to inspire and delight you once again.

  1. A Healthy Food Vending Machine: Instead of being forced to choose from sugar-rich candy bars, packets of fattening chips or artificially colored and flavoured drinks, imagine a vending machine where you have a wide range of healthy breakfasts, snacks, salads and even proteins to select from, that are made from fresh, locally grown, organic and sustainable produce. Oh, and they just happen to be chock full of options such as gluten-free, Vegan, sugar-free, paleo, low carb, low-FODMAP, high protein and dairy free. Australian residents, Dane Blackburn and Laura Anderson launched The Fud Revolution’s first vending machine, which is custom-built from recycled timber, temperature controlled, and the food is prepared fresh every morning according to a seasonal, rotating menu and then packaged in exclusive, recyclable mason jars and time-stamped each day.
  2. An Anemia-Bashing Iron Fish: It won the award for product design at Cannes Lions this year. Anemia is the most common blood disorder, affecting 2 billion people across the globe and more than 3 million Americans. Which is why we were excited when creator Chris Charles teamed up with Gavin Armstrong and his foundation to come up a lovely solution called Lucky Iron Fish, which has helped more than 51,000 people after just 9 months of using it, and they’ve experienced a 50 percent decrease in the incidence of clinical iron deficiency (anemia). The fish is a little iron slab and all you have to do is drop it into your food while cooking. It lasts for around five years, and can provide an entire family with up to 75 percent of their recommended daily iron intake. What’s more—the ingots are made in Cambodia, out of locally recycled material, and crafted by local groups, including several Cambodians who have been disabled by land mines.
  3. Gluten-Free Flour That Saves The Planet: While there’s no denying that coffee leaves you feeling more alert and makes you feel good in general, it’s not doing the planet a favor for sure. Dan Belliveau realized that the coffee production process was a rather wasteful one—something he learned in his years working as director of technical services at Starbucks. The dried and roasted coffee beans that we grind to make our Joe, actually start out as seeds that are removed from bright red coffee berries. Several billion pounds of these pulpy berries are then discarded despite being edible, rich in nutrients and delicious. Some coffee-growing countries do dry some amount of them to make a kind of tea, but these berries are mostly allowed to rot and get sent to landfills where they pollute natural water sources. Belliveau couldn’t bear this colossal and depressing wastage, so he came up with a solution called coffee flour made from the dried and powdered waste berries. It’s delicious and gluten-free, packed with more iron than spinach, more protein than kale, and more fiber than whole grain flour. It helps impoverished farmers and coffee plantation workers earn an extra 30 to 50 percent as well.

coffee-flour

If there are any other path-breaking food innovations you’ve heard of and think the world needs to know about, let us know in the comments section below.

Image: Shutterstock

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.