Food Lab Talk

Michiel Bakker

A better food system starts with one thing: vision. Food Lab Talk gives global food system changemakers a platform to articulate their vision for the future of food. The series features interviews with inspiring individuals who are working on the frontlines of many of our most pressing food issues: reducing food loss and waste, enhancing food system transparency, facilitating shifts toward more balanced plant-forward diets, enabling informed individual choices for sustainable lifestyles, and accelerating the transition to a circular food economy.  Join Google’s Michiel Bakker to meet the leaders taking bold action and answering what each of us can do to create a better food system for us all. read less
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Episodes

27. Clancy Cash Harrison, Food Dignity Movement
5d ago
27. Clancy Cash Harrison, Food Dignity Movement
Clancy Cash Harrison is a food equity advocate, registered dietitian, TEDx speaker, and international thought leader who challenges the way food insecurity is approached and discussed. Her mission to demolish the stigma around food access places her on the cutting edge of advocacy. Clancy is the founder of the Food Dignity® Movement, a strategic program for leaders who want to shift how they approach nutrition outreach by making healthy food access a priority.Clancy Cash Harrison: “How can we create solutions that work? First, I had to be humble enough to say I was wrong. One of the questions I started asking myself is, where am I wrong so I can be right? Now we have our volunteers asking the same question. What are we here to learn today from the people that we're working with?”00:24 Intro to Clancy01:49 How uncovering personal bias began the Food Dignity Movement04:56 Breaking down silos to collaboration 07:32 Defining hidden hunger 09:04 Why changemakers should adapt solutions to each unique audience11:33 Creating solutions that work: “Where am I wrong so I can be right?”14:19 Taking hunger out of the charity box16:30 Driving systems change through local agriculture17:41 How to use skepticism and appreciation to fuel changemaking19:10 The material impact of one $8,000 walk in cooler21:23 People are the experts in their life 22:50 Uncovering the “why” instead of judging food choices25:16 How admitting what you don’t know can fuel personal growth27:46 Call to action: find the cracks and be the glue 29:17 Takeaways for changemakersLinksFood Dignity MovementClancy’s TEDxFood Dignity Movement Podcast Food Dignity Challenge Food Dignity Documentary Keep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
26. Walter Willett, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Feb 15 2024
26. Walter Willett, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Dr. Walter Willett is a physician and Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He also co-chairs the EAT-Lancet Commission, a group of 37 world-leading scientists working to determine how to provide a healthy diet for a future population of 10 billion people while respecting planetary boundaries. Dr. Willet’s career has centered on the development of methods to study the effects of diet on the occurrence of major diseases. His research has provided unparalleled insight into the long-term health consequences of our food choices.Walter Willett: “Look at where you are and start off working there. Ultimately at a much larger scale, you'd like to have an impact. But if you don't have control of the dials and the levers at that level, your own food service and wherever you happen to be working or studying can often be improved a lot, and you learn a lot from that experience. I certainly have. Almost everybody has part of their life in a workplace or in their community that they could be making some improvements. And a lot of times that's where the biggest changes start.”00:22 Intro to Walter02:43 Connecting human health and the climate crisis04:24 The Great Acceleration Theory06:29 Three pillars for food systems transformation08:47 Harnessing community action to catalyze systems change10:30 The history of our food choices and related complexity of shifting diets13:31 Levers to positively influence population diet quality16:21 What global consumption habits tell us about public health trends18:02 Lessons from effective grassroots movements20:50 Building trust, providing better data, and acknowledging uncertainty24:01 Integrating justice into food systems solutions26:37 Generational awareness and action on sustainability28:28 Embracing disciplinary diversity for systems transformation29:36 Why patience is the #1 skill for change management31:40 Takeaways for changemakersLinksThe EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, HealthThe Great Acceleration TheoryScientific Review: Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systemsSummary Report: EAT-Lancet Commission Summary Report (includes Five Strategies for a Great Food Transformation)Research Article: Improvements In US Diet Helped Reduce Disease Burden And Lower Premature Deaths, 1999–2012; But Overall Diet Remains PoorVideo: What is a healthy and sustainable diet? The EAT-Lancet Lecture - Johan Rockström & Walter WillettEAT-Lancet 2.0Keep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
25. Sara Burnett, Burnett Strategy and Communications
Feb 8 2024
25. Sara Burnett, Burnett Strategy and Communications
Sara Burnett has more than 18 years experience developing brand-building strategies and campaigns. As Vice President of Food Beliefs, Sustainability & Public Relations at Panera Bread, Sara was responsible for the company’s policies on food issues ranging from sustainability to food additives. She also provided menu labeling and education to inform customer choice. Throughout her career, Sara expertly blends her communication skills with a deep understanding of policy, social responsibility, and sustainability, authoring, and managing bold ESG strategies. She is currently the Principal at Burnett Strategy and Communications.Sara Burnett: “As food professionals, we can all find a way to convince ourselves that we're not part of the problem and we're not part of the solution. And we see it on both ends of the spectrum. When you're at a big food company, you're saying, oh man, it's hard to move this behemoth of an organization... [On] the small side of things, you might say, my voice isn't that big. But the reality is it is a very complicated and connected food system, and there is a role for everyone. So whether you're small or big, you're private or public, you're an NGO or a government… [we] all have an impact, and collectively we can do a lot more together.”00:27 Intro to Sara01:27 Sara’s career shift from health and wellness to sustainability 03:05 Collective action and impact: critical elements to a truly sustainable food system05:15 Coolfood menu labeling to nudge better-for-you choice07:54 How post-purchase education influences future decisions10:25 The surprising indirect impacts of calorie menu labeling 14:06 Building trust with customers by working with credible partners 17:04 The levers to support choice: transparency, demonstrating material impact, pursuing authentic solutions19:40 Merging emotion and science for successful change management23:20 Why a clear business plan can support resiliency and longevity for sustainability professionals26:56 Takeaways for changemakersLinksPanera Food BeliefsWRI’s CoolfoodCoolfood Menu Labeling at PaneraHowGoodJanet Ranganathan Food Lab Talk EpisodeKeep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
24. Ravi Dhar, Yale School of Management
Feb 1 2024
24. Ravi Dhar, Yale School of Management
Ravi Dhar is the George Rogers Clark Professor of Management and Marketing and director of the Center for Customer Insights at the Yale School of Management. He is an expert in behavior and branding who brings psychological insights to the study of consumer decision-making. Ravi’s research investigates fundamental aspects about the formation of our choices and preferences. His 4Ps Framework for Behavior Change outlines evidence-based “nudges” that can help make healthy choices easier, aligning behaviors with intentions.Ravi Dhar: “This notion that providing information leads to better choices – there's very limited evidence for that. Providing information doesn't work because of information overload and because of distraction. It will not get their attention. That's where the researcher has to come in and say, when are people most receptive to this information? And that may not be at the moment of choice. It may be at other moments when they have a little bit more free time and they get this information.”00:22 Intro to Ravi01:36 Translating business challenges into research questions03:36 Understanding what meta preferences reveal about consumer behavior07:33 Three factors that might sabotage our choices 11:25 What, how, and when to provide information 15:20 Persuasion: “Making it fun”18:35 Process: “Making it easy” 19:51 Possibilities: “Choice architecture” 21:11 Person: “Cost of delaying” 22:54 Understanding the reasonable reasons why people do what they do26:09 Differentiating between fact-based and feeling-based choices27:58 Takeaways for changemakers LinksCenter for Customer Insights at the Yale School of ManagementWhy Choosing Healthy Foods is Hard, and How to Help: Presenting the 4Ps Framework for Behavior ChangeMaking Sustainable Choices PossibleGetting Sustainability to Stick: Driving Long-term Habits in ConsumersUnpacking the Climate Change Communication ChallengeChallenging Assumptions: The Theory of Choice and ControlHow We Buy When Time Is ShortHow Much Are Millennial Engaged in Retirement Annuities?Keep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
23. Janet Ranganathan, World Resources Institute
Jan 25 2024
23. Janet Ranganathan, World Resources Institute
Janet Ranganathan is the Managing Director and Executive Vice President for Strategy, Learning and Results at World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization that addresses the urgent sustainability challenges related to food, forests, water, climate, energy, cities and the ocean. She leads the development and execution of WRI’s five-year strategy and oversees WRI’s Research Integrity, Managing for Results, and Data Lab teams. Janet Ranganathan: “One of the most important lessons I've learned is you can't do anything on your own. You have to do everything together through partnerships and collaborations. You know, if you wanna go far, take many people with you, but don't expect to get there too fast. If you wanna go fast, go alone, but don't expect to get very far. So true.”00:25 Intro to Janet01:21 30 years of changemaking02:02 WRI’s method for impact: Count it. Change it. Scale it. 03:48 Feeding people, addressing climate, protecting land05:54 Produce, protect, reduce, restore07:03 A production and consumption problem07:52 Education to enable change09:44 Empowering food companies 12:06 Overview of the Shift Wheel 15:32 How the Cool Food Pledge put the Shift Wheel into practice 17:50 From outputs to outcomes to impact20:40 How WRI connects food and climate change21:44 Establishing collaborative partnerships for long term success23:12 Design and act for impact25:02 Learning from the past to inform the future27:15 Urgency as a motivator28:22 Takeaways for changemakers LinksWRI Report: Creating a Sustainable Food FutureWRI Shift Wheel FrameworkCool Food PledgeWRI Greenhouse Gas ProtocolWRI Strategic Plan 2023-27Keep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
A Special Message from Michiel Bakker
Dec 21 2023
A Special Message from Michiel Bakker
Michiel Bakker: “Over the course of this season, we’ve explored why we need to shift diets, the many ways of doing that, and identified some of the things that need to happen on a systems level to make these changes sustainable and inclusive.This time of year is often one of reflection and gratitude. As I reflect on all the incredible conversations from Season 2, I must admit I am truly inspired by all the changemakers who are stepping up and getting things done. This is what it takes to make a tangible, positive impact. I also want to express my gratitude to you, for listening to the first year of Food Lab Talk. I truly appreciate your support of the show and its community of changemakers. Thank you.We’ll be back in the new year with more episodes of Food Lab Talk. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and follow us on LinkedIn and YouTube for updates on our next season, which is all about enabling individuals to make informed, and personally relevant food choices.For now, I invite you to keep pursuing your own bold vision for food systems transformation. Imagine what that would look like. Believe in yourself, because you can make a difference. And, most importantly of all, Act! I hope that you have a joyful holiday season and a bright new year.”Keep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
22. Ann Cooper, Chef Ann Foundation
Dec 14 2023
22. Ann Cooper, Chef Ann Foundation
Chef Ann Cooper is a celebrated author, educator, and enduring advocate for better food for all children. She has been a relentless champion of school food reform for improved child nutrition. Known as the “Renegade Lunch Lady,“ Chef Ann founded the Chef Ann Foundation in 2009, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping schools take action so that every child has daily access to fresh, healthy food.Chef Ann Cooper: “In the beginning, I just kind of thought, I know what's right. This is what I want to do. I'm going to push, I'm going to push, and I'm going to push and yell and scream and jump up and down and people will listen. And I think maybe, you know, 25 years ago, there was a place for that, but I've come to learn that system change has to be really inclusive. It has to be collaborative. Doesn't mean I can't jump up and down and yell and scream, but I have to listen as much as I yell and I have to bring everyone to the table. And when you do that, it's maybe slower, but then this change becomes more sustainable and more people come under the umbrella.”00:20 Intro to Chef Ann01:14 How a digital lunch box could change the world04:02 The role of parents, educators, farmers in school food reform04:50 From renegade to mainstream 06:42 Why collaboration is essential to sustainable systems change 09:10 Pushing from the inside vs. hammering on the outside 10:16 Future opportunities for shifting school foodservice operations12:05 Working on a continuum to evaluate partners and focus efforts13:55 The catalyst for change comes from within15:04 Levers for changemaking: food, finance, facilities, human resources, marketing17:02 Shedding light on the nuanced school food rules and regulations 19:26 Changing behavior through ownership and education21:14 The two things that would change everything: free school meals for all and higher reimbursement rates22:21 What partners, policy, and patience have to do with changemaking24:43 How to become a leader and changemaker26:59 Reflections from founding and scaling a social impact organization31:13 Takeaways for changemakers LinksChef Ann FoundationFood Lab Talk Episode: Stephen RitzFood CorpsUSDA School Meal StandardsKeep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
21. Joseph Yoon, Brooklyn Bugs
Nov 14 2023
21. Joseph Yoon, Brooklyn Bugs
Chef Joseph Yoon is an Edible Insect Ambassador, a world renowned thought leader in entomophagy, the practice of eating insects. He founded Brooklyn Bugs in 2017 to normalize edible insects through delicious, creative, and educational programming. From kitchens and classrooms to stages around the world, Chef Yoon shares the incredible potential of not only edible insects, but the burgeoning innovation in Insect Agriculture to create resilient solutions for our global food systems.Joseph Yoon: “One of the ways is not to take it from a theoretical dogmatic approach of... ‘We have a sustainable nutrient dense food. It will solve the climate crisis. All we have to do is eat some bugs, friends.’ That would not work. And I think that that's what a lot of the scientists were actually doing. My approach was entirely from the opposite side. ‘We have this delicious, incredible food source that happens to also be sustainable, incredibly nutrient dense, and we can prepare any single dish you can possibly imagine with it.’ The only limitations with insect protein lie with our imagination.”00:23 Intro to Joseph01:10 Bugs and sustainable nutrition02:13 Metamorphosis from fine dining to food justice04:42 Exploring the wide variety of flavors and functions of edible insects06:10 Shifting negative thoughts to acceptance and celebration08:10 Changing our food system is like interdisciplinary calculus 10:42 Regenerative circular nature of insect agriculture13:18 Following the data to find scalable solutions15:37 “Bugifying” familiar foods to connect with people19:28 Balancing marketing, education, and regulations23:06 Importance of regulatory frameworks, policies, and incentives24:57 Insect agriculture to improve livelihood26:16 Elevating the deliciousness of edible insects29:38 Takeaways for changemakers LinksBrooklyn BugsFAO Report: Edible Insects Future Prospects for Food and Feed SecurityInternational Fund for Agriculture Development Keep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
20. Bernhard Kowatsch, UN World Food Programme
Nov 7 2023
20. Bernhard Kowatsch, UN World Food Programme
Bernhard Kowatsch is founder and head of the Innovation Accelerator at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world's largest social impact incubator dedicated to ending hunger worldwide. The Innovation Accelerator offers 15 annual programs to the broader ecosystem on multiple social impact and sustainability issues, such as hunger, climate change, primary healthcare, gender equality, and emergency response. On this episode of Food Lab Talk, Michiel speaks with Bernhard about how tech solutions  can support shifting diets, the importance of centering lived experiences in the change-making journey, and how to balance risk-taking and acute needs to fulfill a long-term vision. Bernhard Kowatsch: “What I would advise my younger self is to really embrace risk taking and not worry as much. There's inherent risk in so many aspects of entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial decision making. And sometimes, that may mean that you're taking risks that are really, really feeling uncomfortable. However, if you're working hard, if you're smart, if you're working with the right people, if you have the right partners, if you're looking for advice... I think there's so much impact that you can make. Just try it out. Make experiments if you don't know what the right solution is. Take one step at a time.”00:46 Intro to Bernhard 02:30 Overview of the WFP and Innovation Accelerator03:59 How the WFP helps close the impact-making gap 06:05 Co-benefits of the WFP Innovation Accelerator08:04 Using blockchain technology in times of crisis10:33 An open innovation approach to solve hunger13:30 Why technology can support sustainable food systems14:41 Balancing the tension between risk, rapid innovation and known solutions16:54 Investing in a combination of solutions to support long-term strategy and acute needs19:09 Ancestral Markets: preserving knowledge and heritage of food21:17 Fenik Cool Box: extending shelf life of fresh produce22:44 H2Grow: growing food in impossible places25:05 Adapting known solutions through community-driven problem-solving26:50 Do we need another accelerator? 29:17 Embrace risk-taking and worry less 31:18 Takeaways for changemakers LinksWFP Innovation Accelerator World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator ProgramsNilusBuilding BlocksAncestral MarketsFenik Cool BoxH2GrowKeep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
19. Eve Turow-Paul, Food for Climate League
Oct 31 2023
19. Eve Turow-Paul, Food for Climate League
Eve Turow-Paul is an author, globally-recognized thought leader, and the founder and Executive Director of Food for Climate League (FCL). FCL is a nonprofit that is on a mission to democratize sustainable eating and empower action towards climate-smart eating through campaigns, toolkits and behavioral design interventions. By facilitating a deeper understanding of how people think and make decisions, FCL creates narratives and implementation strategies that reframe climate-smart eating as enticing, accessible, and culturally-relevant. On this episode of Food Lab Talk, Michiel speaks with Eve about the complex nature of behavior change, the hidden drivers influencing food choices, and the importance of listening to and learning from the community to drive lasting change. Eve Turow-Paul: “[There’s] this myth that most people don't care about the climate crisis. No, the vast majority of people care. That doesn't mean that it's driving their everyday decisions because we have record high rates of loneliness, stress, depression, anxiety. There are so many other immediate things that are shaping our decisions. Sometimes it's cost, sometimes it's availability, sometimes it's just comfort. You have to be able to paint people a picture of the eventual benefits. Most of the work we [at FCL] do is focusing on the ‘here and now’ including how we make [shifting behavior] something that is related to someone's own personal identity and their immediate needs and values. It's kind of like an added benefit of, oh, and by the way, it's also good for the environment.”00:16 Intro to Eve00:49 Understanding how stress, anxiety, & depression influence food behaviors03:04 The impact of the market research intention-action gap04:14 Why research is essential to bending food culture in a more sustainable direction05:28 Co-developing narratives to build trust07:20 Untangling the complexities of food- and environment-related narratives09:01 Linking narratives to Self-Determination Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 13:10 Myths and false stories hinder consumer choice and business decisions 14:23 Freedom of choice and unifying truths in a world of polarization18:59 How human experience influences motivation to change20:35 The tension between instant gratification and long term ramifications 23:06 Case study: Embracing plant-forward foods in workplace cafeterias 27:44 Creating change by peeling layers of the “onion”29:48 Perception and behavior: Why narrative isn’t the only tool33:18 Takeaways for changemakers LinksFood for Climate LeagueDorothy Shaver Lisa FeldmanSelf-Determination TheoryToolkit: How to talk about food & climateAdditional ResourcesKeep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
18. Bonus Episode: Wadhwani AI
Oct 23 2023
18. Bonus Episode: Wadhwani AI
Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Wadhwani AI) has been actively building and deploying AI solutions for underserved populations in developing countries since 2021. As a Google.org recipient, they are using AI to bring the world’s agricultural expertise to every farmer, protecting critical crops and mitigating the threat of hunger for billions of people. On this special episode of Food Lab Talk, Michiel speaks with Aditya Nayan and Soma Dhavala from Wadhwani AI to discuss the importance of understanding the audience and building trust when implementing novel programs, demonstrating value before scaling, and “open sourcing” innovation to open the door for other changemakers. Wadhwani AI: “We're always inclined to think, okay, what is the specific problem statement that you're solving, how you're solving it and all that. But we're obligated to look at the larger system and see the value. So even in the case of CottonAce, there is as much value in that farmer getting the advisory as there is that the ministry can get a sense that this is the kind of infestation that's happening in these places and I can know that in real time. That's a starting point so that a year, two years down the line, I can create a predictive system which will help me prepare better. That's something that we didn't know in 2019 when we won the Google AI Impact Challenge. We didn't know this part of it. So it's this system thinking that where innovation also has to go and how things that we do maybe on the field, how they plug back in into the larger system is very important.” - Aditya Nayan01:11 Intro to Wadhwani AI03:36 How AI can add value in a rural environment05:22 Why education is critical to adoption of novel technologies06:19 How smartphones make AI and data accessible07:17 Proof of concept with CottonAce09:59 Scaling CottonAce principles to more crops10:54 Building trust in technology through community engagement12:35 Considering reliability and safety when developing new technologies13:12 Open sourcing and “open syncing” for datasets, models, and innovation15:20 Data is relative - how to determine impact17:15 Measuring direct impact vs. indirect network effects19:47 Why systems thinking is important for problem-solving22:07 Takeaways for changemakers LinksAI for the Global GoalsWadhwani AICottonAce SolutionHow Farmers Are Using AI in the FieldKeep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
17. Devon Klatell, The Rockefeller Foundation
Oct 17 2023
17. Devon Klatell, The Rockefeller Foundation
Devon is the Vice President, Food Initiative, at the Rockefeller Foundation. Devon oversees the Good Food Strategy in the United States, working to advance a more nourishing, regenerative and equitable domestic food system. In this role, she collaborates with stakeholders across the food system to increase consumption of healthy, sustainably produced foods in underserved communities. On this episode of Food Lab Talk, Michiel speaks with Devon about the complexity of systems change, the importance of engaging with a variety of people and perspectives, and why nutrition education isn’t the only tool for shifting diets.Devon Klatell: “I think we get a little lost thinking that we all can go from the same A to B when talking about shifting diets. I think nutrition education is a really important tool in shifting diets and it's not enough. So let's educate them, but let's also make sure that they can afford to buy the foods that you're recommending that they eat. Let's also make sure that those foods are available to them in a place that they can get to in their busy day. That they have the transportation to access. Let's make sure that they're culturally appropriate. Let's make sure that our policy framework supports growing and producing those foods just as much as it supports growing and producing other foods. One of the big mistakes we've made in the past around shifting diets is being overly focused on one solution.”00:10 Intro to Devon01:10 From late night food shows to shifting food systems05:28 Why we need to talk about multiple food systems at different scales07:35 Unintended consequences of food system complexities09:19 Making opportunity universal and sustainable11:12 How the health impacts of the food system carry a $1T price tag14:32 Why we cannot ignore the scale of the problem16:44 Shifting the focus of healthcare to nutrition18:41 Personalizing the path to shift diets21:13 Systems change as a “yes, and” exercise22:46 Shifting diets vs shifting lifestyles25:14 Balancing food as medicine and joy of food27:59 Using healthcare resources to lower barriers to healthy eating30:24 Theory of Change: How Rockefeller Foundation is making invisible problems visible35:13 Why it's important to invite skeptics to your table37:22 Takeaways for changemakers LinksRockefeller FoundationGood Food Strategy: USATrue Cost of Food ReportRockefeller Food is MedicineGlobal Energy Alliance for People and PlanetKeep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
16. Stephen Ritz, Educator and Founder, Green Bronx Machine
Oct 10 2023
16. Stephen Ritz, Educator and Founder, Green Bronx Machine
Stephen Ritz is an educator and the founder of Green Bronx Machine, a non-profit that builds healthy, equitable, and resilient communities. Using a school-based model, the Green Bronx Machine is inspiring healthy students and healthy schools through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development. On this episode of Food Lab Talk, Michiel speaks with Stephen about the importance of listening, how passion and authenticity can inspire change, and the power of a supportive community to push you in the right direction. Stephen Ritz: “This work is hard and it requires a lot of courage, to be sure. But the opposite of courage isn't cowardice. The opposite of courage is conformity, because even a dead fish can go with the flow. And I am no dead fish. I'm gonna swim. You're gonna swim. We're gonna keep getting upstream until we spawn. And I find those amazing people and those amazing opportunities that just give me one more hop. That's what it's all about. For far too long, people have gotten fat off the dysfunction of communities like mine. Many people are well intended. But they are thriving while our community is barely surviving. And we need to flip that script and flip that ownership.”0:43 Intro to Stephen 1:33 What a cheese hat has to do with the fight for equity 2:49 How onions inspired the start of Green Bronx Machine 10:01 Green Bronx Machine’s mission: equity and access 11:03 Food as the most important school supply 12:31 Fighting for the underdog: the students 14:01 Courage and swimming upstream 14:47 Get started, show up, and be consistent 16:03 Building courage by finding your community 17:25 Inspiring long-term habits through early exposure 19:35 Secret ingredients for win-win partnerships 21:38 Sparking real change through policy and grassroots engagement 23:25 Examples of purpose-driven companies 25:02 Nail it before you scale it 27:48 Creating the next generation of heroes 28:48 Advice: don’t settle, don’t compromise 30:46 Takeaways for changemakers LinksGreen Bronx MachineNewman’s OwnWhole Kids FoundationBe Your Own Hero Campaign Keep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
15. Paul Newnham, SDG2 Advocacy Hub
Oct 3 2023
15. Paul Newnham, SDG2 Advocacy Hub
Paul Newnham is the Executive Director of SDG2 Advocacy Hub, which coordinates global campaigns and advocacy to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2: To end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030. To help transform food systems, Paul and his team are leading projects such as the “Beans is How” campaign, which promotes the nutritional, environmental, and economic benefits of beans. On this episode of Food Lab Talk, Michiel speaks with Paul about leading with empathy, investing in relationships, and intentionally communicating your theory of change.Paul Newnham: “I think we often think that ideas are the thing that drive, but ideas are only as good as the people and the networks that carry them. And so I think investing in networks, investing in relationships is really critical. Within that, an insight that I've learned is to diversify that. Sometimes we go deep within a particular sector, but we don't look across. It's really important to look across both horizontally and vertically within your given field. And I think it's about building those kinds of webs so you can succeed in getting a message out there or a cause to gather momentum.”00:40 Intro to Paul01:28 How culture and development led Paul to SDG2 Advocacy Hub03:28 Chefs bridge the gap between food systems and hunger05:20 Equity and leading with empathy07:07 Joy and celebration as a catalyst for change08:13 Optimism, tenacity, and “getting to the next hill”10:17 Overview of SDG2 Advocacy Hub11:33 Sustainable food systems are diverse, responsive, and giving12:27 A food system is like a mixing table14:57 Shifting diets through supply and demand18:05 Convenience, cost, and taste as food purchase drivers19:47 Beans as a way to drive systemic change23:03 “Beans is How” - Theory of Change24:00 Using policy levers25:08 Building the model to accelerate food systems change25:53 Why an explicit framework builds lasting momentum 28:16 Importance of investing in diverse networks30:26 Takeaways for changemakersLinksSDG2 Advocacy HubSustainable Development Goal 2Chef’s Manifesto“Beans is How” Campaign“Beans is How” - Theory of ChangeWorld Food Program - The Cost of a Plate of FoodKeep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
14. Jennifer Bushman, Fed by Blue
Sep 26 2023
14. Jennifer Bushman, Fed by Blue
Jennifer Bushman is a sustainable seafood expert, communicator, and strategist who has been championing ethical aquaculture for more than two decades. She is the co-founder of Fed by Blue and   creator of the Sea Pantry initiative which educates consumers on how to make responsible seafood choices every day. On this episode of Food Lab Talk, Michiel speaks with Jennifer about the power of people, the importance of generating proof of concept, and what search engines or social media has to do with influencing change. Jennifer Bushman: “People are consuming media in a lot of different ways. Both on the plate and through YouTube... people are out there searching for information. How we utilize that for good is very important. When you ask Chat GPT what a blue food is, it goes down the blueberry path. So we have to start to make sure that information is out there, that we are sophisticated in the way in which we're reaching consumers, where they are and how they're getting information. To really create scale, it's going to have to be all the parts that create the sum. And I don't know that we know yet how the best way is to change consumptive behavior. Because to be honest with you, it hasn't been done.”00:24 Intro to Jennifer01:15 Jennifer’s journey from land to sea 03:18 “Blue Foods” vs. sustainable aquaculture04:23 What show choir and activism have in common06:40 How to stay motivated in the long arc of change10:09 Why our food system is a complicated puzzle13:46 The importance of a strong support system + network18:37 What does it mean to shift diets?22:50 The tension between supply and demand24:11 Generating proof of concept25:41 Building a U.S. aquaculture supply27:56 Harnessing the power of people29:16 Using Google Search, YouTube and other media31:27 Takeaways for changemakersLinksFed by BlueHope In The WaterSea Change CookbookOceans 2050Marine Mammal CenterSeafood WatchFair TradeAquaculture Stewardship CouncilBlue Foods in School MealsAtlantic Sea FarmsKeep in TouchSubscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.comFollow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn*The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
13. Greg Drescher, Culinary Institute of America
Sep 19 2023
13. Greg Drescher, Culinary Institute of America
Greg Drescher is senior advisor for strategic initiatives at The Culinary Institute of America, where he strengthens innovation in health, sustainability, culture and culinary insight. He played an instrumental role in developing the college’s Worlds of Flavor International Conference and Festival and co-led the Menus of Change initiative. On this episode of “Food Lab Talk,” Michiel speaks with Greg about how changing a system is like peeling an onion, why deliciousness is a key ingredient to successfully shift diets and why you should work with people outside your “lane of expertise.”   Greg Drescher: “If you're asking people to shift diets, what you're asking them to shift towards has got to be at least as appealing as what they have now. There's the notion of the unapologetic elevation of deliciousness as a public health imperative. It's important for the public health community to not just say in passing that ‘healthy food needs to taste good,’ because on the other side, people are trying to make food craveable. If you're putting up merely ‘taste good’ against ‘craveable’, you're gonna lose every time.”  00:36 Intro to Greg 01:57 Why we need to reconsider whether “the system is broken” 03:10 What does it mean to shift diets? 05:48 What motivates chefs to drive change 08:16 What you shift towards has to be at least as appealing as what you have now 09:57 Multiple approaches to seed change: ownership, desire, and experience 12:38 No “one size fits all” solution  - tailor for culture, traditions, and geography 16:30 Levers to inspire change 17:15 Why language matters 19:30 A case study in building consensus 22:57 Menus of Change: The business of  healthy, sustainable deliciousness  24:37 Building an accelerator for change 25:25 Why early success can ignite systems change 26:39 Value of working with people outside your area of expertise 28:17 Takeaways for changemakers  Links Culinary Institute of America EAT Lancet Summary Report CIA Master’s in Sustainable Food Systems Worlds of Flavor International Conference and Festival Menus of Change  Keep in Touch Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com
12. Kathy Cacciola, Season One Reflections
Aug 15 2023
12. Kathy Cacciola, Season One Reflections
On this episode of “Food Lab Talk”, host Michiel Bakker is joined by Kathy Cacciola, global sustainability lead on the Google Food team. Together, they reflect on their thoughts, impressions and learnings from Season 1, including the importance of community in food systems and practical advice for changemakers. Our favorite takeaway: In complex systems, you learn by doing, so get started!  00:20 Introduction to Kathy Cacciola 02:15 Kathy’s Season 1 impressions: No ego, reframing food challenges 03:30 The personal connection, perspectives and positivity 06:45 Understanding the complexity of food systems 11:20 Community and moving at the speed of trust 14:54 Season 1 practical takeaways for changemakers 16:50 Michiel’s changemaking advice: Frame, orient, mobilize 19:15 Kathy’s changemaking advice: The value of naysayers 20:12 The many roles of changemakers 21:38 Previewing Season 2: Shifting Diets 24:04 Our parting thought: Food creates relationships  Links Amy Keister, Compass Group Ashley Zanolli, EPA James Kanoff, The Farmlink Project A-dae Romero-Briones, First Nations Development Institute  Adam Litle, Sound Agriculture Neel Ghose, Robin Hood Army  Don’t miss Season 2 of Food Lab Talk “Shifting Diets,” launching September 2023.   Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com  *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
11. Emily Broad Leib, Harvard Law School
Jun 20 2023
11. Emily Broad Leib, Harvard Law School
Emily Broad Leib is the Founding Director at the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic where she and her students are working to simplify and sometimes modify legislation to help changemakers combat food waste. She and her team developed the Global Food Donation Policy Atlas, a tool with country-specific findings and recommendations that can help accelerate progress to overcome legal barriers to food donation and recovery. More recently, the team has been involved in developing a federal food waste policy in the U.S. On this episode of “Food Lab Talk,” Michiel speaks with Emily about how her work is enabling many of the changemakers we’ve heard from this season; staying motivated when the pace of change can feel slow; and what you can learn from lawyers about moving around roadblocks and accelerating progress in your work.  Emily Broad Leib: “I recognize lawyers have a really specific skillset, but I'm constantly conscious of the fact that our skillset only is a useful tool in combination with some of these other skillsets. So whether it's, working with people in the sciences or in public health that are collecting data on what solutions work and then we're unlocking the ability for those to go forward. Or whether it's working with the entrepreneurs who have the really good idea and we're putting the wind in their sails to say, if you change what you're doing slightly, you can comply with the laws. I think law is very much a tool that pairs really well in combination with others.”  01:03 Intro on Emily 04:11 The intersection of law and food waste reduction 05:44 An “illegal” grocery store sparks policy changes 07:02 “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail” – how to use other tools 08:40 The skills lawyers employee to move around roadblocks 10:54 Staying motivated with a long time horizon  14:09 How a lack of clarity can block change 14:35 How a lack of incentives can block change 15:00 Global areas of opportunity for changes in policy 17:15 The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas 18:50 Global system commonalities and collaborative wins 20:15 The actions moving the system to better support technical solutions 23:05 Scaling known solutions versus exploring the unknowns 25:38 Navigating partnerships to support progress in the broader ecosystem 29:00 How to demonstrate progress when the pace of change is slow  31:35 Emily’s theory of change  Links Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas Federal Food Waste Policy The Zero Food Waste Coalition Food Law Leaders Call for Systems Change through 2023 Farm Bill  Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com  *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
10. Ashley Zanolli, EPA
Jun 13 2023
10. Ashley Zanolli, EPA
Ashley Zanolli has been a food waste warrior for more than 17 years, working on various state and national government initiatives to support sustainable food management, water quality and climate sustainability. While at the Environmental Protection Agency, Ashley’s team developed the community-based social marketing campaign “Food: Too Good To Waste” to inspire behavior change and reduce food wasted at home. Today, she advises on the development and implementation of a national strategy to reduce wasted food and increase organics recycling across the supply chain. On this episode of “Food Lab Talk,” Michiel speaks with Ashley about how her career path has transformed the way she thinks about protecting the environment and addressing climate change; her learnings on how to guide consumer behavior change; and her perspective on the role of government in combating food waste.  Ashley Zanolli: “The timeline for systemic change is rather long, relative to our lifetime. How do you set the stage as if it were a play so that the props we need to build the food system we want are eventually the only ones that are available? And you can do that through policies, through incentives, through different structures so that disparate entities and non-traditional partners start to see what's in it for them in new ways. At this point, given projected climate impacts, security of supply inflation, the stakes are too high not to work together and I think you are de-risking the system when you focus on preventing food waste.”  01:07 Intro on Ashley 05:49 Redefining the term “food waste” 07:29 Government’s role in fighting food waste 08:35 Driving action and prevention through comprehensive goal setting 09:43 Amplifying systemic impact via public-private partnerships 13:00 Staying motivated to drive slow-moving change 17:23 Opportunities to fight waste in the system 18:20 Why we need to break down silos and measure differently 21:31 How might we accelerate progress on known solutions? 23:00 Consumer behavior change as the “unlock” to progress 24:10 Incentivizing boots on the ground 25:16 How to: guide systems change 27:02 Focus on the outcome, not the solution 28:20 What it takes to influence a system: translating, listening, and more 30:56 Why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask dumb questions 32:29 Anyone can be an expert 33:36 Doing work “with” not “for” people 35:25 What to look for in a mentor and where to find one  Links Project Drawdown The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Love Food Hate Waste campaign The Courtauld Commitment 2030 Pacific Coast Collaborative Learn more about ReFED in Episode 1 U.S. Food Loss and Waste Champions 2030 Food: Too Good to Waste campaign The 5 Whys of Problem Solving Upcycled Food Association BAMX: Bancos de Alimentos de Mexico  Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com  *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.
09. Bill Birgen, SAVRpak
Jun 6 2023
09. Bill Birgen, SAVRpak
A former rocket scientist and lifelong inventor, Bill Birgen is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer at SAVRpak. Fed up with soggy lunches, Bill developed a pocket-size thermodynamic solution that created the perfect atmosphere inside his lunchbox, keeping his salads and sandwiches fresh and crisp. This technology evolved into SAVRpak’s Drop-In solution, which eradicates condensation - the number one cause of premature molding, wilting and spoilage of packaged produce like berries and leafy greens. On this episode of “Food Lab Talk,” Michiel hears from Bill about the tools that helped him accelerate SAVRpak’s growth; his reflections on pivoting from a “9-5” into entrepreneurship; and why validation was the key to unlocking SAVRpak’s success.  Bill Birgen: “In the U.S., people throw away almost $2,000 worth of food per family and educating the consumer is the most difficult. Selling B2B and going to an executive, saying ‘your farm can be more profitable if you’re not throwing away as much’ is an easier conversation. We’re having that adoption now, but long term there is a huge opportunity for families and a consumer solution.”   01:51 Intro to Bill Birgen 04:08 From rocket science to reducing soggy lunches 05:47 The origins of SAVRpak 07:50 The state of SAVRpak today 08:11 SAVRpak’s Drop-In solution 10:20 Communicating a seemingly simple, yet nuanced and complex solution 12:14 Winning over the skeptics 13:45 The steps to scale from a prototype 14:35 Pivoting to become an entrepreneur 15:28 Reflecting on lessons learned from launching a new technology 16:02 How to find the right stakeholders to validate and adopt your solution 18:54 Top takeaways for changemakers 21:19 Using your network to build a team 22:33 Long-term opportunities for reducing food waste 24:15 Accelerators and blockers for shifting consumer behavior 25:31 What’s next for SAVRpak  Links Learn more about SAVRpak Sign up for SAVRpak’s At-Home Freshness Packs SAVRpak: TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2021 SAVRpak: Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Food 2023 Fast Company: A rocket scientist designed a solution for your moldy strawberries Franchise Times: From rocket science, the start of a food delivery packaging revolution  Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com  *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.