Joel Stone, Executive Director of Climate System Solutions

The Plantbased Business Hour

Joel Stone, Executive Director of Climate Systems Solutions, joins me on The Plantbased Business Hour to discuss how regenerative ag and plant-based innovation can work together…if at all. It gets dicey as we dish on where we overlap and where we disagree.  Can the future of food be sustainable? Can it be wholesome…and what does that even mean?

Specifically, we discuss,

  1. The definition of Regenerative Agriculture,
  2. Is there overlap between Plant-based Innovation and Regenerative Agriculture,
  3. What role does tech play in Regenerative Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation,
  4. Why is there a big focus on soil health and how Plant-based Innovation plays a role in it.

Below is a highlight clip and transcription from our long-form conversation:

Elysabeth: So with your biochemical engineering background and all the consulting work that you do, maybe you could talk about the predictions that you see in the next three to five years in terms of technology. What’s going to stick in the marketplace?

Joel Stone: I think from a technology standpoint, and I want to speak specifically to North America, we are entering into a renaissance for industrial biotech. What we’ve seen happen in the past with IT, you know computers, cell phones, whatever- we’re seeing the same thing that’s starting to happen in industrial fermentation. When I say industrial fermentation I’m not talking about pharmaceuticals, I’m talking about protein products. I’m talking about drinks. I’m talking about things that are not just protein but contain bioactives. So you have the healthy attributes of the food that you eat. I think I have a tagline on one of my signatures that talks about hypocrisy, saying that medicine is food and food is medicine. I think that we’re entering into that area.

The amount of effort now and even in healthcare to be talking about dietary practices, looking at what you’re eating, and looking at quality of eating. You look at some of the groups that- now we have technology that we can actually measure the nutritive density of fruits and vegetables. That’s how far things have gone in terms of sensory and the kinds of things that can be done for someone like me who’s a food geek and an engineer. It’s interesting to say, “Hey, I can pick up that strawberry and know if this strawberry was grown under better practices than this other strawberry. And by the way, when I taste each one of them I can actually notice a difference.”

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