Ten Tetris Treats

Some people play with their food, while others make a game out of cooking -literally! Tetris is great for all kinds of food preparation because it's simple, recognizable, colorful, popular, and fun. Some of these you can try out yourself!

1. Block Cookies

A batch of colorful cookies were made from dough shaped into Tetris blocks before they were baked by andromache. The icing is enhanced by a thin outline to accentuate the Tetris shapes. Photograph by Flickr user mache.

2. Pixel Cookies

Close-up on some of the cookies

Artist Eva Funderburgh mostly works in ceramics, but also made cookies with Tetris blocks built right inside! It's part of her pixel cookies project, in which she explains through photographs how it's done. How fun is it? Well, you start with a Play-Doh extruder. Really. Photograph by Flickr user Eva Funderburgh.

3. Pancakes

Jim at Jim's Pancakes says he's not good at Tetris pancakes. What he means is that he's not good at winning the game, as you can see from the gaps, but he is excellent at making Tetris pancakes!

4. Bento Box

Bento Tuesday

A bento box by Night-thing uses cut vegetables on a bed of rice to inspire young gamers to eat their lunch! Photograph by Flickr user Night-thing.

5. Truffles

Baker and DeviantART member Ana Fuji makes all kinds of geeky food art, including truffles decorated with edible Tetris blocks. Too bad the recipe isn't included!

6. Tetris Brownies

Fraske Designs posted instructions for making Tetris brownies. Make your brownies thinner than normal, and color small batches of frosting to set them off. The hard part is cutting the shapes, but at least you can eat your mistakes!

7. Waffles

Since waffles are already made in a grid, it should be relatively easy to cut out pieces to make a game of Waffle Tetris! The addition of syrup would make a real mess, though.

8. Ice Cubes

You can get a pliable silicone rubber Tetris-shape ice cube tray and form blocks of the various block shapes. Take the time to color your water and make the shapes in different colors for an impressive addition to a video game-themed birthday party.

9. Gingerbread

Joakim's gingerbread tetris (with pac-man)

Joakim cut a batch of gingerbread into Tetris shapes and, just in case someone didn't catch the video game theme, added a Pac-Man to the middle! Another picture shows the cutting process. Photograph by Flickr user Craig Morey.

10. Tetris Wedding Cake

La tarta

This clever Tetris cake was served in 2008. According to the photographer, the top of the "video screen" is to the right, so what we see is the groom figure waiting for his bride to arrive sitting on a falling tile! That idea "just fits." Photograph by Flickr user bea & txema.

Bonus: Gummi Bears

As a bonus, here's a video by Sam Q. Kim that uses Gummi Bears to recreate various video games (including Tetris) in stop-motion form. Ten pounds of Gummis were used, and then eaten.

This post is about video game-themed food. If you want to read about food-themed video games, see Playing with Your Food: Fast Food Videogames.

An Eco-Friendly Startup Is Converting Banana Peels Into Fabric for Clothes

A new startup has found a unique way to tackle pollution while simultaneously supporting sustainable fashion. Circular Systems, a “clean-tech new materials company,” is transforming banana byproducts, pineapple leaves, sugarcane bark, and flax and hemp stalk into natural fabrics, according to Fast Company.

These five crops alone meet more than twice the global demand for fibers, and the conversion process provides farmers with an additional revenue stream, according to the company’s website. Fashion brands like H&M and Levi’s are already in talks with Circular Systems to incorporate some of these sustainable fibers into their clothes.

Additionally, Circular Systems recycles used clothing to make new fibers, and another technology called Orbital spins those textile scraps and crop byproducts together to create a durable type of yarn.

People eat about 100 billion bananas per year globally, resulting in 270 million tons of discarded peels. (Americans alone consume 3.2 billion pounds of bananas annually.) Although peels are biodegradable, they emit methane—a greenhouse gas—during decomposition. Crop burning, on the other hand, is even worse because it causes significant air pollution.

As Fast Company points out, using leaves and bark to create clothing may seem pretty groundbreaking, but 97 percent of the fibers used in clothes in 1960 were natural. Today, that figure is only 35 percent.

However, Circular Systems has joined a growing number of fashion brands and textile companies that are seeking out sustainable alternatives. Gucci has started incorporating a biodegradable material into some of its sunglasses, Bolt Threads invented a material made from mushroom filaments, and pineapple “leather” has been around for a couple of years now.

[h/t Fast Company]

New Plant-Based Coating Can Keep Your Avocados Fresh for Twice as Long

Thanks to a food technology startup called Apeel Sciences, eating fresh avocados will soon be a lot easier. The Bill Gates–backed company has developed a coating designed to keep avocados fresh for up to twice as long as traditional fruit, Bloomberg reports, and these long-lasting avocados will soon be available at 100 grocery stores across the Midwestern U.S. Thirty or so of the grocery stores involved in the limited rollout of the Apeel avocado will be Costcos, so feel free to buy in bulk.

Getting an avocado to a U.S. grocery store is more complicated than it sounds; the majority of avocados sold in the U.S. come from California or Mexico, making it tricky to get fruit to the Midwest or New England at just the right moment in an avocado’s life cycle.

Apeel’s coating is made of plant material—lipids and glycerolipids derived from peels, seeds, and pulp—that acts as an extra layer of protective peel on the fruit, keeping water in and oxygen out, and thus reducing spoilage. (Oxidation is the reason that your sliced avocados and apples brown after they’ve been exposed to the air for a while.) The tasteless coating comes in a powder that fruit producers mix with water and then dip their fruit into.

A side-by-side comparison of a coated and uncoated avocado after 30 days, with the uncoated avocado looking spoiled and the coated one looking fresh

According to Apeel, coating a piece of produce in this way can keep it fresh for two to three times longer than normal without any sort of refrigeration or preservatives. This not only allows consumers a few more days to make use of their produce before it goes bad, reducing food waste, but can allow producers to ship their goods to farther-away markets without refrigeration.

Avocados are the first of Apeel's fruits to make it to market, but there are plans to debut other Apeel-coated produce varieties in the future. The company has tested its technology on apples, artichokes, mangoes, and several other fruits and vegetables.

[h/t Bloomberg]


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