• Tamanna Mohapatra

#Foodcanfixit



That was the hashtag shared by the keynote speaker on day1 of the FoodHack 2022 Summit that took place in Lausanne, Switzerland, and had over 500 attendees including startups, investors, and food partners. I had gone there sponsored by #ThoughtforFood, a leader in next-gen innovation and startup acceleration for food and agriculture. I volunteer there as a TFF Ambassador representing Switzerland and all food matters/events that take place here. It's a wonderful position and I was so proud and giddy with excitement to be attending the Food Hack event near me. Life is good.


A little bit about the Food Hack Summit. It is a young non-profit founded by three friends in 2016 in Switzerland. It boasts to be (and is) a global community for food entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators. This year's summit was two years in the making because of covid but it made up for it in quality and variety.


The basis of the summit is that our food system is failing us. Half the world is obese while the other half is undernourished. Poor diets are the leading cause of diseases and premature death not to mention decreasing our quality of life. Food is cheaper than it should be all around the world but nourishes us less and less. No doubt, we grow a lot of food. How do we know this? Well, our food system accounts for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions, 70% of all freshwater use, and 50% of all vegetated land use leading to climate change, river nitrification (from chemical runoff), and lack of biodiversity respectively. Yet, despite all the food we produce at this enormous cost, we are STILL wasting one-third of the food we produce.


So, what are we doing about this? Luckily, organizations like ThoughtforFood and FoodHack are at the forefront of action by connecting food system entrepreneurs to investors, and research institutes, promoting them and bringing them to the attention of the world. Lucky us!


Some of the speakers at this year's summit included: Javed Mushtaq from the EAT Foundation, Christine Gould (TFF CEO; ps-she was a delight to meet in person!), Björn Öste, Co-founder of Oatly, Eric Archambeau, Astanor founder (he told a wonderful story of having a mid-life crisis that led to him learning more about regenerative agriculture), and my favorite, Raphaël Conz, the government official from Canton Vaud who was trying to put Lausanne and Switzerland on the map.



I got to attend day 1 and therefore heard Javed speak that day as the keynote speaker. His message was simple yet powerful. Fix food to fix the climate crisis and thus create a better world. His hashtag is the one I used for this piece's title. #foodcanfixit. The next speaker I heard that day was Eric Archambeau. Eric said something very interesting and scary. He believes the food issues right now focus on quantity, not quality but in his opinion very soon food insecurity will mean nutrient insecurity.


Equally exciting were the startups at the event. It was fun trying all the free samples.

  • Eat now a days- The nuggets you love, without any of the junk

  • Nutropy- Reinventing cheese with sustainable deeptech & ancestral savoir-faire

  • Mooji meats-Enabling the meat 2.0 revolution

  • Melbio-we make real honey without bees!

  • Plantish-Plants make the best fish

  • Evo foods-Now you can have an egg without cracking one

  • Frank Fruities-World's best tasting vitamins

  • Morefoods-The plant-based brands that fights back





I of course can't end this piece without mentioning the amazing investors that make all this happen. All startups need money and it's wonderful to see so many in this space. Check out

Ecosystem Navigators

Agropole

The Kitchen Hub

Foodtech Hub Latam



Overall, it was an eye-opening, inspiring, and fun event and made all the more fun by meeting and hanging out with our very own Saskia and Christine. Now all our energies are focused on the TFF 2022 challenge. See you all online at that event. To learn more, click here.



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