A Great Simian or just a Monkey

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Bringing back the blog

The personal blog has for years had a decreasing impact. Many have moved to other platforms or simply only publishing on Facebook / LinkedIn et al. It is time to bring back the blog. …and sorry for the meta post.

I started my first blog 2002 as a personal blog with reflection from me moving from Stockholm to a small island. Ran that one a few years, but shut it down after it got a life of its own. Since then I have mainly blogged about internet and online communication / collaboration with sparkles of startups, ai and angel-investing. Recently I have found it fun to write again and I sense the frequency will increase.

Dopamine vs Appreciation

I also believe that when a blog post you write get appreciation it is the same as when you have a presentation at work, in school or a speech at a dinner. Something you have put energy and effort into gets appreciated and you become happy when others like it. Even if the attention sometimes is not always in a a positive manner it is still a verification that your posts are of interest and are engaging, not engagement in the same way as on social-media platforms (a like or share in your echo-chamber / filter-bubble), but engagement that sparks others to use their brain. Please note that I am referring to blogs that write content with a message or around a specific subject, not influencer blogs or celebrity blogs.

I think the blog is equally important today, if not even more so. Blogging is not only for celebrities / influencers and companies to sell its products, it is a platform for everyone to write things they care about with a personal voice. It is also “your place”, a place that you control. Today it is harder to find a persons blog compared to finding the person on Facebook or Intagram etc, but information on those platforms tend to sink rather quickly and the life of a post in social media is very short, but a blogpost can live for years. The success of a blog post is also more often dependent on the actual content than a social media post that is more often dependent on the right people sharing and algorithms etc.

I decided that for me the classic blog is the tool I like the most, so I thought why not bring back the classic design as well. Full posts on homepage and a classic sidebar with archives, search and latest posts.

I have also decided to start publishing more personal stuff and some random findings.

Menem

Menem is my random findings that I simply document and share. It is most of the time a link with an excerpt, mainly long-reads that I like. They will be shared as either an Aside (without headline) or as an ordinary post, but shorter.

The word Menem comes from Little F as a mispronunciation for the Swedish word “Nämen” from when she was a kid. “Nämen” is a surprised “really?” or “I did not know that”. I thought it could be a suitable name for this section.

Music

This is a category I have wanted to start for ages, but never found the right way to do it. Now I simply decided to do it, even if it is not implemented in a perfect way. Music will be a Swedish category, even if most music I listen to is in english, some is in Swedish and I do not want to leave that out. Maybe this will change over time, who knows.

Music will not be on the homepage, but found in the sidebar as a playlist and also as a separate category. The very first post was in english though (and therefore also in the Personal category, but the rest will be in Swedish.

Swedish Posts

I will also occasionally start writing regular posts in Swedish. These will be categorised separately and not shown in the homepage, but solely in the specific category in the menu.

Deleting Facebook

3 years without Facebook

I thought a short update on what impact deleting my Facebook account back in October 2017 have had. Facebook is still a tool that impacts the world in never before seen fashion. I am almost willing to go as far as stating it is a modern tool of war, both between nations, but probably even more so nationally, to divide groups of people agains each other. The divide between people it creates is unprecedented.

Was it a good decision to leave? Simply put, it was a great decision.

To be clear, Facebook has great impact on most peoples life, including mine, when I had an account. I think I was a quite normal user. I kept in contact with friends and family over Messenger and occasionally posted post, either a link to something I thought others might like or more often, I posted links to my own blogposts or to stuff that could elevate my ego or business is some way.

Would I recommend others to delete their Facebook accounts?

Yes, I would recommend everyone I know to delete their accounts, but I am not bringing the topic up that often. It is often a difficult topic for several reasons:

  1. Many say “I have an account, but I do not use it..”, which for most that states that is a lie, people do simply not reflect over how much they use Facebook.
  2. People do not know the impact of filter-bubbles and when people are pushing polarised links. Most would never admit this is a problem.
  3. Most do simply not care … and by that stand the risk of becoming “useful idiots”.
  4. My opinions are …. my opinions. I trust most of my peers can make their own informed decisions.

Time

I have started to be one of those crazy people sitting at the local coffee-shop staring out in the blue and doing nothing.

It sincerely scares me when I see mothers / fathers with their young kids in a park and the parents never take their eyes off the phone. A while ago I even saw a mother not taking her eyes off the phone while going into the bathroom with her toddler. Being a parent to young kids is a time that never comes back. I am very sure most parents that are glued to their phones while their kids play in the park will regret it immensely that they were not more present.

And no, I am not one of those “grown-ups” that do not understand that the world is connected and a lot of relationships only are online-based, but scrolling through Facebook all the time is not in that category.

I also realise this is not only a Facebook problem, but a society problem. Using internet and apps are not bad, but the “dumb” flipping / scrolling is really dumb, it is almost like we need to force ourselves to stop it by deleting apps, that is just weird.

Useful Idiots

The most scary thing with Facebook is that in traditional subversion, governments and intelligence services needed A useful idiot to shift opinion (could be a journalist, a politician etc). Usually ONE person that was in the right place in the society, today we are ALL useful idiots and that is not a good thing. Just look at the US election and how that played out both this election and the last and not to mention how Covid-19 and other important topics are polarised and used as weapons against the opponent.

In retrospect – Users are the product, those who pay for ads are the customers

By not having a Facebook account I am at least not a useful idiot on Facebook.

No longer in the epicentre of the filter-bubble

Nowadays I read much more long articles about topics and more important, by staying off Facebook I also get to read much more information about things I disagree with and by that gain more knowledge and a better understanding of the big picture.

I love to disagree on topics. Everyone that knows me know that I love throwing a grenade in most discussions just to spark some dialogue. I love being challenged and I love to discuss. The reason for this is that I love to learn new things and understand how others think. By being in a filter-bubble like Facebook, you are either for or against, it is so polarised that a discussion to understand the other side and become smarter is really tough.

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Probably my personal biggest fear, that I would miss important happenings or information, but totally honest, not a single time have I felt that I missed out. What is a struggle though is that so much of Little Fs activities are managed in Facebook Groups and if you are not on Facebook, you simply do not get that information, as a parant that is tricky.

FOMO is a scary thing and as a blogger since 2004 I have a slight need of acknowledgement for the things I do and write. Facebook is for many the prime personal marketing tool and I used it for that as well.

…but you are still on Instagram and WhatsApp?

Yes, I am. For me, deleting Facebook was not a political statement, even though I have opinions that point in that directions. I did not want to be their product and by that also get duped only to get my dopamine fix.

Today I am starting to sense a slight drift in Instagram that I do not like, it is moving in the direction of becoming a mini-Facebook. WhatsApp is still quite intact, but I guess it is just about time until things change there as well.

A final promise

I will now lay this Facebook rant to rest and not write about it again. It might pop up in more general posts about how information impact peoples life etc, but no more rant posts about Facebook, I promise.

Gubben Lycklig och hans vänner

Since this is my first post in the music category, why not start off with my only contribution in the music industry, the album “Gubben Lycklig och hans vänner“. An album by Anders Glenmark, recoded in the legendary Glenstudio where ABBA recorded their first albums and with a bunch of true professionals.

First, sorry for the Swedish title, but that is the name of the record and it is translated as “Mr Happy and his friends”. The album is embedded at the end of this post.

That I was part of an album was actually something I had put way back in my memory until one day a few years ago when I ego-googled myself and saw that I was registered as a singer on an album. It all came back to me……

In 1981 I was 9 years old, so it is considered ancient history I know, and my mother worked at CBS Records (later acquired to become Sony Music). When Anders Glenmark wanted to do a kids record, I was probably one of the only kids Anders had nearby at the time. So myself and his relative (cousin?) Josefin Glenmark was pulled into the studio to sing on the record…or sing, I do not know, we did what kids do, sing – talk – make noise, call it what you will. On the cover it looks like there were other kids as well, but I only remember Josefin. The others might have recorded at another time or they were adults. The only thing I really remember is that I had gotten a new watch from my father, just prior to us recording, and in a break I was bragging to Josefin about the watch. It was recorded (as most chit-chat was to be used as fill-out between songs) and to my horror it was used as one of those fill-outs between songs. I will not reveal where, but was I embarrassed? Yes!

When I hear the songs I still now the lyrics though, this to Little Fs amusement or embarrassment.

At that time I did not think much about it, given I grew up in the industry, but when I today look at the surroundings and the people involved in that record it is actually pretty cool.

  1. Glenstudio, it was recorded in Glenstudio in Stocksund, I have recorded an album in the same studio as ABBA. If you only do one record, do it with style! I didn’t actually know any ABBA record was made in that studio, it was a small studio, kind of a garage-studio in the home of Ann-Louise Hansson and Bruno Glenmark if I remember correctly. I read, by accident, just recently that ABBA recorded much of its early music there. Growing up, I did never put much into celebrity or who knew who or who did what etc. For me it was all friends or work-colleagues of mom. As a kid I remember spending quite a lot of time in Glenstudio since mom was involved in a lot of records and artists connected to Glenstudio.
  2. Anders Glenmark. I remember Anders very fondly, not only from this album, but in general. He probably does not remember me, but given I tagged along with mom on most of her work-things and I was always the only kid, I remember Anders very well given he was always extremely kind. Besides being a nice person it is hard to neglect his work as an artist, producer and song-writer. I think this record was before he started producing artists like Eva Dahlgren, Orup etc and way before he met mainstream fame with GES and the 1994 World Cup song (which he performed, co-wrote and produced) and earlier “Hon har blommor i sitt hår“. I might be wrong on this one, but I think the bass-drum on that song is a sample from him jumping in his kitchen and simultaneously hitting a door, this to get the right sound. Do not take that for a fact though, might be my old brain remembering wrong.
  3. Anders Eljas. This ABBA-connection I knew. He arranged most of the ABBA albums and was also a known orchestrator. He is a musician on this record.
  4. Michael B Tretow. Most people today (at least in Sweden) probably know Michael B Tretow for his Swedish song “Den makalösa manicken“, but his true legacy is that he was the sound engineer for most ABBA records and also in the team that build the legendary Polar Studio by the St.Eriks bridge in Stockholm.
  5. Given it was a kids-record, musicians & singers involved must be considered a bit of overkill (as well as having the above mentioned legends involved). Roffe Alex, Ted Åström etc.

To be honest the only people involved that I really remember is Josefin and Anders Glenmark. I do not even think many of the others where in the studio at the same time as us kids.

My contribution then?

I am one of the kids you hear talk in-between the songs as well as trying to sing the chorus. I did not get any further job offerings from labels or artists, I guess my dent on this album was not enough. Josefin on the other hand seems to have greater success in the industry. Might be worth noting that I still do not play any instrument and I do definitely not sing, not even in the shower. So I have never aspired for a music career. Even if I was just a “kid nearby” and dragged into the studio by mom to make this record, it is still a fun memory.

The Album on Spotify

Molecular Coffee

Is it just a fun thing to develop coffee in a lab or is it even a good thing not only for coffee lovers but also for the environment?

Seattle based Atomo Coffee is working on a coffee that is produced without coffee-beans. It is all natural ingredients like watermelon and sunflower seeds etc. It is vegan and does not need any regulatory approvals. It is also free from all allergen components.

Cnet did an interview with the founders and well as a tasting and compared Atomos cold brew with other brands.

Climate change and coffee

Atomo also target the fact that the raising global temperature has an impact on how fast coffee grows (grows faster) and that it impacts the quality of the coffee-beans. Atomo wants to complement, not replace regular coffee-beans, but with the raising demand for coffee they want to provide alternatives to regular coffee-beans.

Summary

They are working or a “coffee-bean” as well, so that we still can put all the art-of-making-a-coffee to work and still use our very expensive coffee-making equipment.

Even though I am not fully convinced that a molecular coffee is something we really need (rather make a better system with focus on the farmers etc), I am looking forward to try it. Not everything that is great is needed on the other hand.

It has been a while…

My last blog post is dated 14th of August 2018, over a year ago. I have posted some Menems (more on that below), but that does not really count, or does it?

I will start to blog more often, but I will not care if anyone reads it, shares it, likes it or hates it. I will write since , for me, it is a great way to structure my thoughts…and also…I like and miss blogging.

Internet has changed…and so have I

Since deleting my Facebook account and not being as active online as I have been for the last 20 years, I have changed my behaviour in regards to what I want to consume and also what I want to share / post. Simply put, I have lost interest in internet and primarily social and online news (incl many large media outlets).

I miss blogging

I started my first blog 2002, it was a “real” blog i.e a personal blog, It was about a guy from Stockholm that moved to a small island on the westcoast in Sweden. It actually was a surrealistic experience since that blog created a lot of local controversy on this small island. Controversy takes energy and the fun disappeared, I shut it down.

At the same time I started “Next Generation Internet” that was all about how internet would impact our business environment, with a focus on web2.0 and social (this was pre-Twitter and pre-Facebook). NextGen got a lot more attention than I ever thought it would. Honestly, I do not know why I deleted NextGen, but it ended up deleted without a backup somewhere around 2012. Over the years NextGen got more and more focused on online communication and collaboration and it was also due to this focus and the feedback I got from my writing that I started my consultancy business and later Silverbakk.

When I left Silverbakk I was quite tired of online communication, but still wanted to have a blog, so this blog was born, without a clear focus, but rather a Fredrik Stenbeck placeholder on the world wide web. As with most things, you do what you enjoy and that has been mirrored on fredrikstenbeck.com over the years. Much less frequent post, but you can still see patterns and what I have been focusing on over the years.

…and then there was silence…

I think I was stuck in the idea that I had to build an audience and have a focus, most recently it was AI (in the enterprise), and that I had to stick to that focus for a while and not have different topics for every post etc. I was stuck in the SEO Google ranking game as well as dopamine seeking like, retweet, comment game to feel the rush of success.

I also think that blogging is more important than ever, bring back control over our thoughts, writing and reading as well as brake free digesting information in push-notifications, snippets and tid-bits.

I do not give a f**k if you tweet or share!

From now on, I will write what comes to mind. It could be about whatever. Also, I will not share links on Twitter or Facebook etc, not links to blogpost on this blog or links to other things online I think could inspire or be of value to others, but I will post them on this blog as Menems.

Why write if I do not care if anyone reads?

Well, for me blogging has never been about attracting an audience, but with attention that drug comes as part of the package unfortunately. Given my lack of blogging and lack of desire for attention over the last couple of years, I think I will stick to the main reason for my blogging, for me it is simply a great way to structure my thoughts and putting them into writing helps me digest and crunch my thoughts on different topics.

I have tried doing this in a dairy, but always failed. The thought that others can read what I write makes me focus at least slightly more than have notes plotted in a dairy.

Who knows, someone might find value, inspiration, or maybe spark a thought. That would be enough for me, no sharing of retweeting necessary!

Menem?

I have always loved linkblogs and for many years published linkblogposts on my blogs. Best example was from the Google Reader era, when it was easy to comment on great posts and then publish them on my own blog as a daily digest of great posts.

Menem is my version of this, but I will also use it for notes and reflections. The word Menem comes from my daughter as a mispronunciation for the Swedish word “Nämen” from when she was a kid. “Nämen” is a surprised “really?” or “I did not know that”. Some Menems will go in the main flow, but most will only be found in the Menem section.

Yes, this is a meta post

Did I just write a long blog post about blogging? Yes I did! Who cares? This post states just that, no one needs to ‘give a s**t’, I blog because I want to, this is my dance-floor and this post is a meta post about blogging, read it, or don’t!!

Deleting Facebook

I am leaving Facebook and Twitter

When presidents can publish threats and aggressive tweets on Twitter and not be closed down, I do not want to be a part of it.

When most information I see is angry post claiming all things are bad, I do not want to be a part of it.

When all discussions are polarized and you are expected to choose a side, either with or against. I do not want to be a part of it.

When you cannot say anything without someone feeling aggrieved. I do not want to be a part of it.

When information is algorithmically filtered so we mainly get information that supports our already existing opinions, I do not want to be a part of it.

Maybe the thing that makes my decision easy is that these services have a revenue-model that thrives on every single one of above topics, I do not want to be a part of it.

We have forgot that we are the product. Our information is sold to whoever pays.

It seems these platforms have become too big for us to remember that we are the product. These companies are selling you and me. We are the product and it is the data that you and I provide that they sell, that is why these services are still free.

The new normal is that we are on Facebook, if you are not there, you are odd. So, when they do not meet up to the responsibility that is required with 2B users, I do not want to be a part of it.

In my view, both these companies had a great opportunity to do good in the world (and have done so many times), but when they got listed and shareholder value became #1 priority, they lost direction. They thrive on Trump, extremists (in all directions and opinions), polarization, filter-bubbles etc. Not only does the engagement we see today have a really aggressive tone, but the worst thing is that these companies profit from it.

Regardless of above, I feel that these platforms have also lost me as part of the engagement. The ones that discuss are the loudest ones when it used to be a place for many that were not usually heard. I want these platforms to enlighten me, I want to be happy, I want to learn. All these things are lost on me on these platforms today.

I am today leaving Facebook and Twitter. Is it forever? I do not know. I know I am loosing out on some quality discussions amongst friends as well, but for me, it is not worth it anymore. I am out.

What I miss from my time in the Military

For a long time, I have sincerely felt I made the wrong decision when I left the military in 1998. I miss the passion, friendship, adventure and also how there was not an option to miss on solving the task at hand and never let things slip, not to forget the trust amongst colleagues and the constant flow of constructive feedback that was both given and taken. I know it is many years ago and a lot of things have happened since, but I really miss that job.

Why did I leave then?

There is no simple answer. When I left 1998, I had worn the uniform almost every day for 6 years (transferred from full-time officer to officer in the reserve, until 2007 when I resigned fully). At that time I felt I had to make a personal decision on how I wanted my future to look. In retrospect, I made the wrong one. Why did that happen? Well, I was young and restless…and to be honest a bit too restless to make the most sensible decision.

Simply put, I should have stuck in there and had the patience to really decide on what I wanted. I didn’t! My bad!

What I miss?

Me and one of my colleagues and friend (still in contact). From an issue of Arménytt about special forces probably in 1994.

This one is easy. I miss the comradeship, the passion, the adventure and the mental and physical challenge. I also sincerely felt I was really good at what I did. I was good at running our missions (tasks our unit worked with was terrorism, sabotage, subversion (similar to propaganda, spreading rumors, fake news etc), intelligence and crimes).

I was not a perfect military officer in any way, I had many flaws, which I guess both old colleagues and soldier can confirm. I had no ambition of becoming a general or high ranking officer, I wanted to be in the field, I wanted to be with the troops, I wanted to be in the frontline solving the tasks with the units, not behind a desk. I was probably considered by many as a soldier first and an officer second. It was certainly a lifestyle and even though I did not have much time off-duty (often by choice) I ended up at the regiment most days I was off duty as well. Simply because I wanted to….and my friends were already there.

A civilian workplace is a strange place for a former officer

In the military, I felt that I shared my passion and expertise with every single officer I worked with in those units. This is one of the things that is so flawed in the civilian workplace. Colleagues get away with being lazy and not doing their job. How the hell can that happen? ..or be allowed, for that matter. It simply seems people go to work to get a salary, not due to passion (at least a little) or that they like what they do.

Just look around yourself today, I am 100% sure you have a few colleagues that you sincerely think are lazy fucks and / or simply bad at what they do. The scary thing is that it is allowed.

Yes, we had different levels of ambition between my colleagues in the military as well, but I can honestly say that none of them let things slip, lacked ethics or lacked passion. A work like that is almost impossible to do without passion and ethics.

This created a huge respect amongst colleagues which I have not seen since. I miss that dearly.

I have never felt the same trust and comfort in my colleagues as I did during those years.

Don’t misunderstand this, I have had great colleagues and partners over the years, but it is hard to replicate that trust you build amongst colleagues in the military.

I also miss constructive feedback. This was a big challenge for me as a manager when I left the military, giving constructive feedback to colleagues and employees, it created a few strange situations, to say the least. Even given it is almost 20 years ago since I left, I still see this as something that the private sector can learn from the military. If no feedback (or bad feedback), it just creates backstabbing, confusion, rumors and bad work environment. I have seen it quite a few times.

What I did wrong after I left

Me and Anna probably 1997.

I did not keep in contact with my former colleagues, even though many of them really tried to keep in contact with me. That I regret deeply. At that time I decided I had finished that era and needed to move on. Many of my friends that also left, returned to the military after short stints in the private sector and many, that now have left, today work in sectors that are very close to the military (private security companies, chief security officers at large corporations etc). Many have naturally left for other sectors as well.

I am very confident that a military officer is a special individual, by that I mean, he / she is a tricky beast, not a simple individual. If you chose that line of work, you are different, simple as that. This is especially feasible in units like the one I belonged to and similar units.

This “different” thing also makes you an outsider at most workplaces, it often feels like you do not fit in. You get frustrated when co-workers don’t deliver on time or simply ignore tasks assigned from meeting etc. You can’t ever get your head around why we do things without a goal and why it is OK to simply let things slip between the fingers.

Most of the time my experience from the military have been highly appreciated by the companies I have worked with and the co-workers I have had, and I am grateful for all the knowledge and experience I gained. I think the experience a military officer has is an extremely valuable asset for any company, not always comfortable for the company, but very valuable.

What I brought with me from that time

I have still worked best in the frontline with the units (in this case co-workers or co-founders), utilizing my personal skills, but now in business development, sales, management etc. Similar in many ways, but also very different. I have enjoyed building my own companies / startups, and always worked towards large corporations as clients. I have always been the one building the business and closing the contracts.

Still in the field with the soldiers solving difficult tasks.

Realistically then, what should I have done differently?

The main thing I should have done was to keep in contact with my colleagues from that time. I still have contact with a few, but most are in the wind. It would mainly have kept the friendship going, but it would most certainly also have opened up for opportunities to work with these former colleagues. This in private companies as co-workers, starting companies together or simply work together in whatever business. Instead, I choose to venture off in tech and entrepreneurship without much contact with my previous life. I am 100% sure I excluded opportunities that would have given me the stimulation similar to what we had in the military if I would have stayed in closer contact with my former colleagues. Again, my bad!

I think I just needed to get this out of the system after all these years. And it is never to late to re-connect!

Top image: The medal you get when leaving Försvarsmakten. The one in the image is mine.

Am I rich?

A recent trip made me reflect on the life we live and what we are searching for or trying to achieve with our lives.

As a person, I see my life as a journey of change and constant learning. I see the term rich quite equivalent to being able to choose, having freedom and be happy. As a westerner, choice and freedom often come connected with a financial situation that actually admits being able to pay for those choices. In the best of worlds, we work with things we love that makes your world and others a little bit better whilst also giving you the financial opportunity to pay for the choices you make. Yes, pay for, since most of the choices we make in the free and democratic world come connected with a cost.

But what happens if you do not have freedom, not the opportunity to choose or the financial situation to do whatever you want, are you less happy then!

If you read the picture I paint of what I consider ‘a rich life’ I would consider a life without the ability to chose or the financial situation to make changes a not so very rich life. Naturally, this is if you read what I write as the devil reads the bible, but in essence, it is actually correct.

So, after spending time in a village where they have freedom, but not the fortune to chose and not the fortune to be able to pay for their extravaganza (as if that was a goal), what happens?

I remember reading Dalai Lamas book “Happiness” and in the foreword, the author wrote that there is no connection between money and happiness, just an initial joyful feeling when you realize you can do all the things you previously dreamed of, after that the happiness clings off.

With that in mind, it is not hard to realize that my friends are far happier than most of us reading this post. Why? What I realized with the way they lived was that they are happy “in the now”. They are happy for what they have. Most of them live with their entire family, grandmothers, grandchildren and most of the time a few aunts and cousins as well. They all help each other and always without any claim for something in exchange, they work their asses off, but they do it with a smile.

They live in simple houses, their kitchens and toilets are all outside, they sleep on the floor and the food is all grown nearby as is the chickens and the fish eaten. The mother of our friend only eats things from her own farm, this to save all the money earned from the rice fields to buy more land to grow more rice.

Did I miss something whilst there……naturally I did, I missed a comfortable bed, I missed some food etc. Did I miss something really substantial? Honestly not a thing. My family was there with me and how they lived their lives made me so relaxed and comfortable that I enjoyed every single second there, we already want to go back and spend more time with these wonderful friends of ours and be more enlightened by their way of life, learn, learn and live in the now. Happiness comes from actions nothing else. Actions can be many things, but actions that enlighten us and actions that bring happiness will never be a bad thing, purely a good thing, then how we actually put these actions into the world we currently live in is entirely up to each and every one of us. Our friends sincerely made me realize that my actions are too small and too materialistic driven, they need to be driven by the right triggers in life.

This is probably the most fluffy post I have ever written and I can imagine that many of you who read this, just shake your heads and wondering what I am babbling about. Not to worry, I am still the same guy, just that I see life in a bit different and happier way and that I am very certain that the last couple of days have changed how I look at all the actions made in the world, nothing that probably will be feasible in my daily activities, but in my heart and brain it will always be present.

I am forever grateful to our friends that invited us and showed us such hospitality and also enlightened us about some really important things in life.

 

impossible foods burger (photo from Impossible Foods)

We need to change what we eat!

Lets change the way we eat or we will destroy the planet. We need to act now and food tech could be a large part of the solution for a better planet. Food innovation has already found ways to replace meat and eggs with plants and also insects.

Animal agriculture and livestock is the biggest environmental problem we have!

Not all of us are aware on how bad the situation is for our planet, and even if you are aware, you might not know that the biggest problem is that we eat too much meat and eggs. This is a bigger problem then all the transportation and CO2 emissions that everyone is talking about. We need to decrease the amount of food from animal significantly, that is a fact and all researchers and studies agree. The numbers wary in studies and research, but between 10%-35% of total global emissions (GHG) is what most studies say can be traced to meat agriculture, of those 80% is from livestock. It is not CO2 that is the gas in this sector, it is CH4 (methane) and N2O (nitrous oxide). .

This is not meant as a doomsday post, rather the opposite. Naturally there are companies and entrepreneurs that have realised this and started to find solutions to this problem.

We need to eat differently

Few of us want to give up eating hamburgers, a nice steak, baking bread etc. Since I have a hard time seeing all of us becoming vegans, we need to find other ways, and we need to act now! 

What we need to do is to find replacement for meat and eggs. Not only replace the taste, but also the ingredients, since they are important for our well being. Mainly it is about replacing protein. 92% of the plants on our planet has not yet been analysed, we are now starting to find out that we actually can do some really cool things with plants (see below), but also many insects have significantly less impact on the environment, so crickets are starting to be a trendy bug to eat.

80% of the worlds population already eat insects, but it does not happen that frequently in the western world, maybe we should change that. One of the worlds best restaurants actually have crickets on their menu. The Copenhagen, well awarded, restaurant Noma, serves pancakes with fermented crickets.

When we visited our Thai friends near the Laos border, the family had their own crickets farm so obviously we had to taste. I was about to post a photo of me eating, but it is not in favour of the post to give you a hint. Below are two pictures from that trip, the first one is how it was served (just fried in a pan with some spices and herbs) and the second one is from the cricket farm.

Food tech

How to replace eggs?

Hampton Creek is a San Francisco based company that create products like cookie dough and mayonnaise to be able to replace eggs, more products will come over time.  their products are sold on Whole Foods and others. Hampton Creek have made it possible to get bread to grow while in the oven and make omeletts tasty as well as great mouth feel. Pretty amazing. The below TEDx talk by the Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick, is not a product presentation but rather about how bad the chicken industry is, well worth a watch.

How to replace meat?

Several companies have produced meat replacement products. Some do it based on plants, which naturally is the best, others do it by using real meat cells.

Memphis Meats does it with meat cells, but I am more in favour of making it from plants. That is what Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods does. In the below Beyond Meat video they explain how they do it.

https://youtu.be/RSDiCoEag9s

Naturally we want to continue to have our burgers etc and the top picture is how a burger from Impossible Foods looks like (photo credit to Impossible Foods).

Protein?

Above examples on how to replace meat and eggs are solved by innovation and research of plants (except Memphis Meat), but we also have other areas that provide a much lower environmental footprint even given that they are living things, that is insects and especially crickets. This is nothing new, we have been eating insects since the very beginning of time I assume, but lately we have been to posh for it in the western world. Well, now is a good time to change that. One way to apply insects is to create a protein flour from crickets. This what Bitty Foods does. the CEO Megan Miller also held a TEDx talk, this one in Manhattan, where she describes why and what they do.

A piece of honesty

I consider myself a fairly average individual with a decent intellect and I am also fairly involved and interested in trying to contribute to protecting our planet and keeping it safe for the generations to come. With that said, I admit that I, up until recently, had no clue to what extent the animal agriculture and livestock impacted our planet. Since then I have gained an interest and trying to decide what I, as an individual, can do. This both how I eat as an individual / family but also how I might be able to contribute in a bigger way.

If it was new to me, it is most certainly new to many others as well.

The Perfect Coffee Cup

As every single person that knows me know, I love coffee. Even though I was aware of the impact of a great cup, I have to admit I am a novice. Thanks to my coffee loving collegues Peter and Svante I have now entered the world of coffee cups.

The dynamics and design of a coffee cup

Who thought the cup was so important? Well, it is. The below picture is pretty clear on the important stuff. I especially like the “Great Mouth Feel”, that is never to be forgotten. When you think of it, most of the design facts are pretty straight forward, but how many of us, do actually put weight into that when we are about to buy coffee cups? From now on I am.

percect coffee cup

notNeutral – The Perfect Cup

After the coffee cup discussion had surfaced a few time, Svante realized what I needed and brought a notNeutral Cappuccino cup with him to one of our meetings. I was sold, now trying to enforce a complete rewamp of our coffee cup inventory, going all in on notNeutral. notNeutral supplies all cups needed for an addict like me. Actually counted our coffee cups at home to over fourty, only three of those (one being the notNeutral gift from Svante and Peter) fulfill the “The Perfect Cup” criterias. I will succeed in convincing the rest of the family that it is worth it and absolutely necessary.

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