On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” food entrepreneur, former White House Chef, and former Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Sam Kass talks about the future of food innovation. “We all have to be open to innovations in food,” says Kass. “We have to keep an open mind about how we can bring innovation to bear when it comes to more nutrient-dense, sustainably grown food, if we’re going to solve the challenges that we face.”
You can listen to “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg” on Apple iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify, or wherever you consume your podcasts. While you’re listening, subscribe, rate, and review the show; it would mean the world to us to have your feedback.
“We need a pretty broad and ongoing shift in cultural norms around what we’re eating for our health and for environmental sustainability,” says Kass. As the founder of TROVE, a consulting company helping organizations and companies achieve their sustainability and health goals, Kass believes businesses and entrepreneurs will best drive this cultural shift. “Food is a private sector endeavor. If we want people to eat better, we need to have more nutrient-dense foods— that are more available at a more affordable price—and they have to taste great. Government can’t do that,” says Kass. “We need to support the entrepreneurs that are trying to solve those problems.”
However, Kass notes businesses and entrepreneurs around the world face widespread funding hurdles. “We’re completely underinvested at every level around health and sustainability in the food system, when it comes to solving all of these challenges [relating to health and sustainability]. So we have all these big problems and we talk about all these big solutions, but the resources that are allocated to them are like minuscule,” says Kass. In 2016, Kass became a partner in the venture capital fund Acre Venture Partners, investing in the future of food.
Kass supports innovation not only as a food entrepreneur, business leader, and former policy advisor, but also as a chef with an important role in the food system. “Part of my role is to elevate food in the conversation,” says Kass. “I think we have a microphone that chefs have a responsibility to use. No matter what your version of being a chef is, if you care about putting really nice ingredients on the plates of people… you have a general responsibility to care about their wellbeing and their health. We sit in this really important place to help shape the way the food system moves forward.”
Photo courtesy of Sam Kass