Oct 19, 2007

Take a picture

Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new. The crazy new thing for today is called Quick Response Code. They have this technology in Japan, which apparently allows you to take a picture of a store window, poster, or advertisement with your cell phone and it takes you immediately to their website where you can find a ton of information. For example, you can take a picture of a movie poster and have the theater show times and ticket prices right at your fingertips, as well as buy tickets right then and there. It allows you to take a picture of a clothing store window poster and see if they have your size or color preference in stock. It even allows you to find out about your meat ! lol... get this:

"Somebody can go to the meat section of some supermarkets in Japan and use a QR code to find out what the cow ate, where it came from and where it was processed," said Junn Chanoki, the Tokyo-based head of food and agribusiness research for Rabobank, a Dutch investment bank. "Ninety percent of Japanese have a mobile phone, and most phones are connected to the Internet, so the number of potential users is enormous." [ from http://searchquant.blogspot.com/2006/10/quick-response-codes-japans-waaaay.html ]

Of course we don't have any such thing in North America because all the major cell phone companies are trying to come up with their OWN code instead of working together to make this happen. The only reason it happened in Japan is because the cell phone companies and businesses co-operated and accepted the inventor's code as the standardized version. My economic prof pointed out that this is the same reason why Microsoft has 95% of computer sales and Mac only 5% because everyone accepted Microsoft's programs as the "standard".

Anyways I thought this was a pretty cool little piece of info to share.. AND it ties in to the whole animal welfare thing in that you'd be able to tell where your food is coming from, how it was raised, etc.. for those that are cruelty-conscious or even those that are health conscious. I think if we had that technology here, more people would start thinking about where their meat is coming from, and consumer trends MIGHT shift to a more humane level.

I do believe that a day will come where we will catch up to the UK in our animal production methods.. and I think this sort of technology might not only help us to catch up to them but to even exceed them in innovating ultra-humane ways of raising animals for whatever reason.

Personally, I would rather see everyone stop eating meat altogether.. not just for animal-rights reasons (because killing is never cool) but also from an environmental perspective (the higher up on the trophic level, the less ecologically efficient you are!!!.. in other words, a lot of the energy captured by plants, ingested by the herbivore, then ingested by the first carnivore or the top carnivore... it's a lot of energy wasted. We could feed all of the starving children in the world with the amount of water and crops grown to raise animals for food). But I have to keep a realistic perspective about things.

I think a little change at a time is what's realistic. The whole world isn't going to go vegetarian or vegan overnight. I'm trying to make suggestions for the general public to become more aware of these issues and make conscious choices reflecting responsibility to our environment and to influence consumer choices that will promote better treatment of animals.

1 comment:

Roger said...

QR Code is an ISO-standard not only used in Japan, but in Taiwan, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Canada, UK, Germany as well.

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