Full Stack Food is a podcast about food and innovation. We cover topics ranging from plant-based meat to robot-operated vertical farms, and the impact of COVID on the startup scene. You’ll hear interviews with entrepreneurs developing new ways to produce, distribute, and consume food. We also showcase cool startups looking to change the world, and discuss some of the buzzworthy topics in food innovation. Join journalist, Aditi Roy and investor, Brett Brohl to navigate the exciting world of food tech.
"Can We Innovate Our Way Out of Global Hunger, Part 2"
A twenty pound sweet potato may not sound like a life-changing piece of produce, but it was for Ben Chesler. He, along with Ben Simon, launched Imperfect Foods, which takes ugly, misshapen, or weird looking fruits and veggies that would go to waste - and delivers them to your home. Over the last several years, Imperfect Foods has built a sophisticated logistics network. Recently, rival Misfits Market announced it is acquiring Imperfect Foods. While the news came out after we taped our interview, we did learn that the seeds of the company were planted in Ben long before he set eyes on that sweet potato.
Can We Innovate Our Way Out of Global Hunger (Part 1)?
On the face of it, the problem James Rogers was trying to solve for as a grad student is pretty simple: how can you get produce to last longer? Once the materials science PhD student started digging, he found out that nature already solves the problem…fruits and vegetables already have a natural protective coating to shield them from the elements and the effects of aging. Rogers has taken that principle and used it to come out with a natural coating that extends the shelf life of produce, all in the name of reducing food waste in the global supply chain. He named his Santa Barbara-based company Apeel, which today is worth more than 2 billion dollars. Apeel's retail partners include Costco and Kroger and its investors include Katy Perry and the one-and-only Oprah Winfrey. In this episode, Rogers explains why it took him years to develop his product, how he convinced skeptical grocers to buy it, and what it was like to pitch Oprah.
When Will Fake Meat Taste Like Real Meat?
These days, there are so many ways food entrepreneurs are making plant-based meat. There are using methods like fermentation, or culturing meat cells, or simply using a plant-based source like pea protein or mushrooms to make vegan meat. And in this space that’s bubbling over with innovation, the work Dan Riegler is doing is truly novel. Riegler is the cofounder of Karana, a startup which turns jackfruit into plant-based pork. His vision came about after living in Asia - where jackfruit is popular- and seeking to find a more sustainable and equitable alternative to industrial farming. Before he was a founder, Riegler was a traveler and a musician - not exactly the typical prototype of a food tech founder. But growing up in a nomadic and musical family which didn’t have traditional expectations for Riegler is exactly what he says allowed him to think outside the lines.
Does the Dark Matter in Plants...Matter?
Did you know that black pepper can boost your metabolic health? That's just one nugget that Brightseed, a startup that studies the compounds in plants, has uncovered. But there's so much more to learn, according to Brightseed's co-founder, Sofia Elizondo. Brightseed targets what Elizondo calls the "dark matter of plants," or the healing compounds in plants that we haven't known about until now. Using data produced by microscopes powerful enough to detect those compounds on a molecular level, Brightseed's artificial intelligence technology combs through that data to reveal medicinal and healing properties of plants, thereby shedding light on the "dark matter." Sofia explains how Brightseed's discoveries may someday turn your pantry into a medicine cabinet.
Can Farmers Use Tech to Take on Big Ag Companies?
Farmer's Business Network is one of the seminal disruptors in agriculture. Founded in 2014 by Charles Baron and Amol Deshpande, FBN's crowdsourced platform has challenged Big Ag companies - conglomerates which sell inputs like seed, fertilizer, and chemicals to farmers - by shedding light on price disparities and lack of transparency in the industry. Today, FBN is valued at more than $4 billion, and backed by Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and ADM, among others. Charles Baron tells us how the seeds of FBN were planted the first time he visited a farm, when he was in his 20's.
Can Robots Improve Food Delivery?
Amogha Srirangarajan is the founder of Carbon Origins, which develops robots to deliver food on college campuses, and hires human gamers to operate them.
Produce waste and Apeel.
Interesting episode. Have wasted plenty of produce. Trying to be better. Mango will solve the world hunger!!! Kudos to the Apeel founder. Good job Aditi.
Worth a listen!
Really engaging discussions about the biggest topics in food tech! At first I was skeptical due to Brett’s controversial opinions on brunch, but after hearing his feelings on everything bagels I came around.
Add this podcast!
Loving this new show and the great conversations. Interesting and informing!