Green Queen In Conversation is a podcast about the food and climate story hosted by Sonalie Figueiras, the founder and editor-in-chief of Green Queen Media. The show’s first season, Pioneers of Cultivated Meat, explores cultivated meat, a future food technology on a mission to produce animal protein sustainably. In each of the six episodes, Sonalie interviews the pioneers of the industry, asking the hard questions about one of the most exciting food + climate innovations of our time and sharing the personal story behind each founder’s journey.
Uma Valeti of Upside Foods - Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers
In the sixth and final episode of Green Queen in Conversation - Cultivated Meat Pioneers, Sonalie Figueiras talks to Dr. Uma Valetti, founder & CEO of Upside Foods, based in California. During the recordings for this show, the US government granted the first regulatory approval for cultivated meat to be sold in the country to just 2 companies, one of which was Upside. In this very personal interview, Dr. Valeti talks about starting the first cultivated meat company in the world, his 7-year journey to achieving the regulatory milestone, how he celebrated, and how it felt to watch the first restaurant customer take a bite of the no-slaughter chicken created by him and his team.
About Dr. Uma Valeti
Dr. Uma Valeti is the CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods, the world’s leading cultivated meat company. UPSIDE Foods was the first company focused on growing meat directly from animal cells and has led the industry ever since. Since 2015, UPSIDE Foods has achieved numerous industry-defining milestones, including being the first company to produce multiple species of cultivated meat (beef, chicken and duck), to partner with the existing meat industry, and to sell a cultivated meat product in the United States. UPSIDE Foods has raised over $600 million from a diverse coalition of investors including Richard Branson, John Mackey, Bill Gates, Temasek, ADG, Softbank, Threshold, Baillie Gifford, Norwest, Cargill, Tyson Foods and Whole Foods. Uma’s vision is to enable people around the world to eat the meat they love, while transforming the food system to become more sustainable and humane. Uma has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Aspen Ideas Festival and SXSW. In 2019 he was named a “Global Thinker of the Decade” by Foreign Policy magazine. Uma is a Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist and an adjunct professor in Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University.
About UPSIDE Foods
Based in Berkeley, CA, UPSIDE Foods grows meat, poultry and seafood directly from real animal cells. These products are not vegan or vegetarian—they are delicious meat, made without the need to raise and slaughter billions of animals. Founded as the world's first cultivated meat company in 2015, UPSIDE Foods has achieved numerous industry-defining milestones, including being granted approval to sell cultivated meat in the United States in June 2023 and completing the first consumer sale of cultivated meat in the U.S. The company believes that people shouldn't have to choose between the foods they love and a thriving planet, and is working to build a better food system with access to delicious, humane, and sustainable meat, poultry, and seafood. UPSIDE Foods has won various industry awards, including the New York Times' Good Tech Awards, FastCo's Next Big Thing in Tech, and the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation by the National Association for Business Resources. UPSIDE Foods has raised a total of $608 million, including from the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), Baillie Gifford, Bill Gates, Cargill, Future Ventures, John Doerr, John Mackey, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Norwest, Richard Branson, Softbank, Temasek, Threshold, Tyson Foods, and others.
For more information, please visit upsidefoods.com.
Mark Post of Mosa Meat - Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers
In the fifth episode of Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers, Sonalie Figueiras talks to arguably the original pioneer of cultivated meat himself, Dr. Mark Post, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Mosa Meat, based in the Netherlands. This interview was recorded on the 10th year anniversary of when Dr. Post and his team presented the first-ever cultivated meat beef burger to the world, an event that set the course for the industry and truly changed the future of food and what was deemed possible in terms of how we produce meat. Dr Post remains one of the key voices for the future of the industry and in this conversation, he shares a decade’s worth of insights, learnings and inspiration.
About Dr. Mark Post
Mark Post is an MD, PhD and professor of Sustainable Industrial Tissue Engineering at Maastricht University. His main research includes the engineering of tissues for medical applications and consumer products, which has led to the development of cultured beef from bovine skeletal muscle stem cells. In August 2013, he presented the world’s first hamburger from cultured beef. He is CSO and co-founder of two companies, MosaMeat and Qorium that will commercialize cultured meat and cultured leather.
About Mosa Meat
Mosa Meat is a global food technology company pioneering a cleaner, kinder way of making real beef. Our founders introduced the world’s first cultivated beef hamburger in 2013, by growing it directly from cow cells. Founded in 2016, Mosa Meat is now scaling up production of the same beef that people love, but in a way that is better for people, animals, and the planet. A diverse and growing team of 165 food-loving problem-solvers, we are united in our mission to fundamentally reshape the global food system. Headquartered in Maastricht, The Netherlands, Mosa Meat is a privately held company backed by Blue Horizon, Bell Food Group, Nutreco, Mitsubishi Corporation, Leonardo DiCaprio and others.
For more information, please visit mosameat.com.
George Peppou of Vow - Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers
In the fourth episode of Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers, Sonalie Figueiras talks to George Peppou, the CEO of Australian startup Vow. Peppou is one of the most compelling leaders in the cultivated meat space today because his vision for the future of food is so unique. He talks about why Vow is choosing to cultivate exotic animals, how his team approaches branding and marketing (including that mammoth meatball unveil), why he's dedicated his life to this industry and whether cultivated meat will be a mass product in the coming decades.
About George Peppou
George Peppou is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vow, Australia’s first cell-based meat company. Vow is making sustainability irresistible with cultured meat, inventing new products by growing the cells of animals rather than the animals themselves. For diners, this means tastier and more nutritious meat. For the future of our environment, this means a smaller land footprint and a fraction of the greenhouse gases produced by factory farming. It's the best possible way to make better food available to billions of people.
Vow exists to make better meat for meat lovers. Consumers are experts in the meat they love - beef, chicken and pork. To change consumer behaviour we create entirely new meats that are tastier, more nutritious or more exclusive than meat from animals. We do this using cultured meat technology, growing the best parts of meat from the cells of animals. Vow was founded in April 2019 and is now a team of over 60 people in Sydney, Australia. Vow is backed by leading investors from Australia and around the world including Blackbird, Square Peg, Grok and Tenacious Ventures.
For more information, please visit vowfood.com.
Sandhya Sriram of Shiok Meats - Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers
In the third episode of Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers, Sonalie Figueiras talks to Dr. Sandhya Sriram, co-founder and CEO of Singapore-based cultivated seafood company Shiok Meats. Sriram is a pioneer in the space who helped put Singapore on the cultivated meat map and a too-rare female voice of change. She talks about the challenges of scaling cultivated crustacean lines, why we need alternatives to serve the ever-growing demand for shrimps, crabs and lobster amidst the overfishing crisis and the depletion of marine environments and the obstacles she has faced so far on her journey. This episode was recorded as part of a webinar series by the City University of Hong Kong in partnership with Green Queen Media.
About Dr. Sandhya Sriram
Dr. Sandhya Sriram is the Group CEO and Co-founder of Shiok Meats Pte. Ltd., Singapore, the first cultivated seafood & meat company in Southeast Asia and the first cultivated Crustacean company globally. With her at the helm, Shiok Meats has raised USD 30 Million in funding since its inception in 2018, from a global suite of investors - USA, Europe, Singapore, Japan, South Korea to name a few. Shiok Meats also acquired Gaia Foods, a cultivated red meat company, headquartered in Singapore as well. A stem cell biologist and scientist by training and education, a former business development professional, a serial entrepreneur, and a thought leader - all in one - Sandhya was recently named as part of the 2021 class of Bloomberg New Economy Catalysts and as one of Forbes Women in Tech. She is also an advisor and investor to trailblazing Food Tech start-ups and has spoken at leading industry conferences worldwide. A proud mother to a 9-year-old, a conscious lifestyle blogger, and an avid traveller, Sandhya likes to call herself a productive juggler.
About Shiok Meats
Shiok Meats, established in 2018, is a cultivated (cell-based) meat and seafood company, headquartered in Singapore. It is the first of its kind in Singapore and Southeast Asia with a mission to bring delicious, sustainable and healthy shrimp, lobster, crab and meats to your table, by harvesting from cells instead of animals. Their meats are animal-, health- and environment-friendly with similar taste and texture in comparison to their traditional counterparts. Shiok Meats also own Southeast Asia’s first cultivated red meat company, Gaia Foods.
For more information, please visit shiokmeats.com.
Didier Toubia of Aleph Farms - Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers
In the second episode of Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers, Sonalie Figueiras talks to Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, a cultivated meat company based in Israel. Didier cuts a very unique figure in the space- the conversation was a real eye-opener about his background and how he started working with food and development agencies in Africa and how that informed his worldview about food systems, equity and food Justice, and how in turn that led to starting a cultivated meat company specialised in beef steak, which he believes will help right the wrongs inherent in our food systems.
About Didier Toubia
Didier Toubia is the Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, an Israel-based cellular agriculture leader active in the food technology space. It designs new ways to grow quality animal products that improve sustainability, food security and animal welfare in our food systems. Under its first product brand, Aleph Cuts, the company markets cultivated steaks grown via cellular agriculture from non-modified cow cells. Prior to Aleph Farms, Didier co-founded and led IceCure, which went public in 2010, and served as the CEO of NLT Spine, which was acquired by SeaSpine in 2016. Didier was trained as a Food Engineer and Biologist at AgroSup Dijon, gained a specialized master’s degree from ESCP Business School, and holds a joint executive MBA from Kellogg and Recanati. Didier holds over 40 patents. He is also Co-Founder of BlueTree and Yeap.
About Aleph Farms
Aleph Farms, an Israel-based cellular agriculture company, enhances sustainability, food security and animal welfare by diversifying the supply and decentralizing the production of quality animal proteins and fats as a complement to sustainable methods of conventional animal agriculture. Founded in 2017, the company unveiled the world’s first cultivated thin-cut beef steak in 2018, the world’s first cultivated ribeye steak in 2021, and cultivated collagen in 2022. Under its product brand, Aleph Cuts, the company is launching its first product, the cultivated Petit Steak, grown from non-modified cells of a
premium Black Angus cow. For its contributions to climate leadership, including a net zero commitment made in 2020, it has received top accolades from the World Economic Forum and the United Nations.
For more information, please visit aleph-farms.com.
Josh Tetrick of GOOD Meat - Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers
In the first episode of Green Queen in Conversation: Cultivated Meat Pioneers, Sonalie Figueiras talks to Josh Tetrick, the founder and CEO of Eat Just Inc and GOOD Meat, both based in California. Tetrick set himself a goal to be the first cultivated meat company in the world to gain commercial approval, and achieved it, in a very short amount of time, which changed the game for the entire industry. He talks about being the first cultivated meat company in the world to gain commercial approval and how it felt to make history, why he went for cultivated chicken when he was already doing really well at plant-based eggs, why he chose to debut in Asia and whether the industry has progressed enough.
About Josh Tetrick
Josh Tetrick is CEO & co-founder of Eat Just, Inc., a food technology company with a mission to build a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system in our lifetimes. The company's expertise, from functionalizing plant proteins to culturing animal cells, is powered by a world-class team of scientists and chefs spanning more than a dozen research disciplines. Eat Just created one of America’s fastest-growing egg brands, which is made entirely of plants, and the world’s first-to-market meat made from animal cells instead of slaughtered livestock. Prior to founding Eat Just, Tetrick led a United Nations business initiative in Kenya and worked for both former President Clinton and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. As Fulbright Scholar, Tetrick taught schoolchildren in Nigeria and South Africa and is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School. Tetrick has been named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” Inc.’s “35 Under 35” and Fortune’s “40 Under 40.” Eat Just has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies,” Entrepreneur’s “100 Brilliant Companies,” CNBC’s “Disruptor 50” and a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.
About GOOD Meat
GOOD Meat is a new brand from Eat Just, Inc., a food company that applies science and technology to create safe, healthy and more sustainable foods. GOOD Meat is cultivated meat, a process of making sustainable, safe meat from animal cells instead of slaughtered animals. Our company also makes plant-based egg products under the JUST Egg brand, which millions of families enjoy today from San Francisco to Shanghai.
For more information, please visit goodmeat.co.
Excellent in depth Cell-ag content
I’ve loved this series! Highly recommend to anyone in or interested in the history and current state of our industry.