What is the Role of Biotech in an Ethical Food System? artwork
New Food Order

What is the Role of Biotech in an Ethical Food System?

  • S1E16
  • 1:37:02
  • February 28th 2023

New frontiers in biotechnology and fermentation are being deployed to reduce the environmental impact of our animal-based food system. But do developments in cellular agriculture, fermentation, and biotech foods – for the creation of meat and dairy analogues – take ethics into account?

In this week’s episode, we speak with four leading thinkers in the industry about how we might use biotechnology to engineer foods in a way where everyone wins.

This week’s episode is the first of our Roundtable formats, featuring a diverse panel of voices, including: Isha Datar, executive director of New Harvest, Varun Deshpande, managing director of Good Food Institute India, Didier Toubia, CEO of Aleph Farms, Errol Schweizer, former VP of Grocery for Wholefoods and host of The Check Out podcast.

We discuss:

  • How to define biotech and precision fermented foods
  • What questions we should be asking about cultivated meats
  • How you communicate with transparency the complexities of bio-foods to eaters
  • The need for open access scientific research in bio-foods development
  • Operating models for these technologies and foods in the global south
  • The ethics of IP and corporate control of research and these technologies
  • Who is investing in biotech foods - from governments to investors to multinationals

Show Notes:

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Follow us on Linkedin: @agfunder & @foodtechconnect

Thank you to Foodshot Global & New Hope Network for sponsoring the series.

And a huge thank you to everyone who helped us bring this podcast to life: 

Production: Cam Gray, Cofruition

Audio Editing: Tevin Sudi

Original Music: Rodrigo Barbera 

Art: Lola Nankin

Project Management: Patrick Carter

New Food Order

New Food Order is a podcast exploring the business of tackling our climate and social crises through food and agriculture from AgFunder and Food+Tech Connect.

Through nuanced conversation and debate, its hosts Danielle Gould and Louisa Burwood-Taylor are embarking on a learning and unlearning journey to unearth how we might design business and finance to have maximum positive impact for people and our planet.

Join us as we speak with leading farmers, entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and other stewards on key topics like:

  • Will plant-based, lab-grown meat, and regenerative agriculture save the world?
  • Is carbon neutral enough?
  • What are the most people and planet friendly business and finance models?
  • How might we best honor and learn from indigenous communities?
  • What are the unintended consequences of new innovation, and how might we avoid them?

Danielle Gould avatar
Danielle Gould

Danielle Gould is an entrepreneur and activist. She is the Founder and CEO of Food Tech Connect, the first community for food innovation as well as the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Alpha Food Labs, a consultancy where she works with some of the world’s largest companies to create products and innovation strategies that are better for people and our planet. She hopes that ultimately, her work helps unite and catalyze a movement of earth guardians.

Louisa Burwood-Taylor avatar
Louisa Burwood-Taylor

A journalist and editor, Louisa is the head of media & research for AgFunder and chief editor of its news site AFN, focused on the foodtech and agtech industry. With 10 years of agriculture reporting behind her, Louisa started her career in other financial markets working for publications like the Financial Times, Euromoney and Private Equity International, where she launched the first-ever publication dedicated to agriculture investment.