Business for Good Podcast
Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.
info_outline Ep. 78 | A Conversation with NYC’s Mayor-Elect Eric Adams 11/15/2021
Ep. 78 | A Conversation with NYC’s Mayor-Elect Eric Adams A year and a half ago, a guy few people had ever heard of came on to this show’s 44th episode to talk both about the business of police reform as well as his new book advocating plant-based eating. At that time, he was also rumored to be considering running for NYC's highest office. Well, spoiler alert: he won the mayoral race! So we're re-running our conversation with Eric Adams now that he's poised to take the reins of power in America's largest city.
info_outline Ep. 77 | Creating a Cultivated Meat Community: Anita Broellechs and Alex Shirazi 11/01/2021
Ep. 77 | Creating a Cultivated Meat Community: Anita Broellechs and Alex Shirazi This is a story of two people who despite not having experience in the cultivated meat space felt so strongly about building a community around it that they started their own podcast, called Cultured Meat and Future Foods, their own conference, the Cultured Meat Symposium, and are now working on a children’s book about cultivated meat together as well.
info_outline Ep 76 | Is Your Cat Ready to Eat Cultivated Mouse Meat? Shannon Falconer and Because Animals Think So 10/15/2021
Ep 76 | Is Your Cat Ready to Eat Cultivated Mouse Meat? Shannon Falconer and Because Animals Think So There’s already plant-based pet food, but what about growing actual animal meat for all of our carnivorous best friends? The company featured in this episode, Because Animals, is trying to do just that. And they’re starting with cultivated mouse meat for your cat.
info_outline Ep 75 | The Sweet Side of Starting a (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream Company: Aylon Steinhart & Eclipse Foods 10/01/2021
Ep 75 | The Sweet Side of Starting a (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream Company: Aylon Steinhart & Eclipse Foods In 2019, two friends were both working in the alt-protein sector, one at the Good Food Institute and the other at Eat Just. Even though Aylon Steinhart and Thomas Bowman were both doing great things to advance the animal-free protein movement, they wondered if they should try their own hands at co-founding a food tech start-up that would put cows out to pasture and mimic dairy with plants. After serious deliberation, they both left their secure jobs to team up and found Eclipse Foods.
info_outline Ep 74 | A Financial Journalist’s Prescription for Making the Economy Work for Animals 09/15/2021
Ep 74 | A Financial Journalist’s Prescription for Making the Economy Work for Animals In his new book, How to Love Animals in a Human-Shaped World, Henry takes his readers on a wild ride through our relationship with animals, including getting a job working at a slaughterhouse himself. Henry repeatedly weaves personal experiences like this one into his narrative, while also making prescriptions for a bold reshaping of the parts of our economy that currently involve animal exploitation.
info_outline Ep 73 |From Dust to Dust...or to Soil: Katrina Spade and the Recompose Vision for an Eco-Friendlier Death Industry 09/01/2021
Ep 73 |From Dust to Dust...or to Soil: Katrina Spade and the Recompose Vision for an Eco-Friendlier Death Industry Katrina Spade is on a mission to offer a better way to deal with human corpses, and it involves a process called natural organic reduction. It’s essentially a fancy way of saying she’s invented a method of accelerated composting for your body.
info_outline Ep 72 | Plastic that Won’t Last Forever: Kristin Taylor and the Radical Plastics Story 08/15/2021
Ep 72 | Plastic that Won’t Last Forever: Kristin Taylor and the Radical Plastics Story Sure, diamonds—including lab-grown—may be forever. But does plastic also have to be? Not so, according to Kristin Taylor, CEO of Radical Plastics.
info_outline Ep. 71 Life as a Scrappy Startup Exec: Doni Curkendall and The Better Meat Co. 08/01/2021
Ep. 71 Life as a Scrappy Startup Exec: Doni Curkendall and The Better Meat Co. Doni Curkendall was born and raised in Mexico, came to the US as a seven-year-old, and when she entered the workforce started as a receptionist at Goodwill. As the years went on, Doni was continually promoted, got her MBA, and eventually was a Vice President at Goodwill overseeing more than 200 employees. But two and a half years ago, as fate would have it, Doni and I began exploring whether Doni could help run my own then-one-year-old, The Better Meat Co.
info_outline Ep. 70 | The Second Publicly Traded Plant-Based Meat Company: Mitchell Scott and The Very Good Food Co. 07/15/2021
Ep. 70 | The Second Publicly Traded Plant-Based Meat Company: Mitchell Scott and The Very Good Food Co. You’ve probably heard of Beyond Meat’s big IPO and their success as a publicly traded company. Sure, they were the first plant-based meat company to go public, but are you aware that is the second? As you’ll hear in this episode, what started just a few years ago as a dude selling his own plant-based concoctions at a farmers market on a Canadian island has turned into a publicly traded company with a $300M market cap. In between was a kickstarter, a plant-based butcher shop, an appearance on the Canadian version of Shark Tank (), and more. The Very Good Food Co is now selling a wide array of butcher-type plant-based meats throughout North America, they acquired a plant-based cheese company, they just opened a new production factory in California, and recently posted their first million-dollar month. Their CEO Michelle Scott here discusses their journey, when they’ll be at price parity with conventional meat, labeling challenges, and more. It’s an impressive story, and one that just might inspire you to follow in their footsteps. Discussed in this episode Mitchell discusses books like and . Paul recommends , , and . Paul discusses his plant-based turducken, the ! More about Mitchell Scott Mitchell Scott is the CEO of The Very Good Food Co., the world’s second plant-based meat IPO. The company has seen substantial success since its flotation in the Canadian stock market in 2021. The Very Good Food Co. designs, develops, produces, distributes, and sells a variety of plant-based meat and other food alternatives. Mitchell has a passion for building world class companies that leave a positive impact on the planet. His mission is to employ plant-based food technology to create products that are delicious while maintaining a wholesome nutritional profile. They’ve launched the Very Good Cheese Co with more lines of products coming in the near future.
info_outline Ep. 69 | The Sharks Tried to Buy Her Plant-Based Fried Chicken Company: Deborah Torres and the Atlas Monroe Story 07/01/2021
Ep. 69 | The Sharks Tried to Buy Her Plant-Based Fried Chicken Company: Deborah Torres and the Atlas Monroe Story So often you hear about start-ups that raise millions or even tens of millions of dollars from venture capitalists before beginning to generate revenue and start making a dent in the marketplace. That is very far from the story of our guest in this episode.
info_outline Ep. 68 | Using Tech to Drive Change: Google.org and Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink 06/15/2021
Ep. 68 | Using Tech to Drive Change: Google.org and Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink How often do you use Google’s services? If you’re like me, it’s many times per hour. So you may think you know all about Google.com. But how much do you know about Google.org?
info_outline Ep. 67 | Where’s the Animal-Free Materials Revolution? Nicole Rawling of the Material Innovation Initiative Wants You to Launch It 06/01/2021
Ep. 67 | Where’s the Animal-Free Materials Revolution? Nicole Rawling of the Material Innovation Initiative Wants You to Launch It You’ve likely noticed that there’s been an explosion of investment into the animal-free food space. Enter the Material Innovation Initiative, a relatively new nonprofit organization started by veterans of the animal welfare and animal-free food space. Their goal: to be the Good Food Institute of animal-free materials, helping to attract investment and entrepreneurial activity to build a new industry of animal-free fur, leather, silk, and more.
info_outline Pineapple Express to Disrupting Leather: Mélanie Broyé-Engelkes and Piñatex 05/15/2021
Pineapple Express to Disrupting Leather: Mélanie Broyé-Engelkes and Piñatex Enter Piñatex. It’s a leather alternative that’s made from the leaves of the pineapple plant, which are typically considered an agricultural waste product. These upcycled leaves are converted into a functional and luxurious-feeling material that can be used for everything from shoes to handbags, and more. And indeed, that’s already what’s happening. Today brands like Hugo Boss, H&M, and hundreds of others, are using Piñatex.
info_outline Ep. 65 | The Billionaire Out to End Factory Farming 05/01/2021
Ep. 65 | The Billionaire Out to End Factory Farming How often have you wished that more billionaires used their money to do good in the world? Well, you’re in luck, because in this episode we talk with British billionaire Jim Mellon. As you’ll hear in this interview, Jim has little hope that humans will give up eating meat, so he’s betting instead on simply making meat without the animals.
info_outline Ep. 64 | From Seafood to Seaweed: Monica Talbert and the Plant-Based Seafood Co. 04/15/2021
Ep. 64 | From Seafood to Seaweed: Monica Talbert and the Plant-Based Seafood Co. Our oceans are in dire trouble, and a big part of the reason is because we’re killing so many aquatic animals for food. But if you want hope, look no further than Monica Talbert, whose story is sure to inspire.
info_outline You Can Buy a Piece of the Mycelium Revolution: Joanne Rodriguez and Mycocycle Are Literally Turning Trash into Treasure 04/01/2021
You Can Buy a Piece of the Mycelium Revolution: Joanne Rodriguez and Mycocycle Are Literally Turning Trash into Treasure Landfills are, well, filling up. We’re running out of places to put our trash, and the trash we’ve landfilled won’t decompose for centuries. But, what if we could take a lot of trash and seed it with fungal cultures that would eat it and render it no longer toxic within just a few weeks rather than having to wait centuries? That’s exactly what Mycocycle is planning to do, and we’ve got their CEO, Joanne Rodriguez, on the show to talk about it.
info_outline Ep. 62 | Maximizing the Good We Can Do: A Conversation with Peter Singer 03/15/2021
Ep. 62 | Maximizing the Good We Can Do: A Conversation with Peter Singer Peter Singer is an author and ethicist, and has been routinely called the most influential philosopher alive. He’s widely credited with kickstarting the modern animal protection movement with his 1975 mega-bestseller Animal Liberation, and with popularizing what’s now called the effective altruism movement through his early writings on poverty and more recently with his 2009 book The Life You Can Save.
info_outline Ep. 61 | Modernizing Contraception with Your Choice Therapeutics’ Akash Bakshi 03/01/2021
Ep. 61 | Modernizing Contraception with Your Choice Therapeutics’ Akash Bakshi As you’ll hear from company CEO Akash Bakshi, Your Choice started as an idea in a UC-Berkeley lab, ended up going through the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program, and is now a funded startup aiming to bring new contraceptive categories to market. One is a contraceptive gel that’s both effective at reducing the risk of pregnancy and STDs, and the other is an oral, non-hormonal pill that men can take to render their sperm temporarily unable to impregnate a woman’s egg.
info_outline Ep. 60 | Marrying Cultivated Meat & Plant-Based Meat for the Best of Both Worlds: Brian Spears Shares New Age Meats’ Gameplan 02/22/2021
Ep. 60 | Marrying Cultivated Meat & Plant-Based Meat for the Best of Both Worlds: Brian Spears Shares New Age Meats’ Gameplan In this episode, Brian argues that you don’t need to make cultivated meat products entirely from animal cells. He argues instead that you can not only control costs by combining plant proteins with animal cells, but you can actually create novel and superior culinary experiences when you’re not simply relying solely on animal cells to do the job alone.
info_outline Ep. 59 | Silk and Leather from Fermentation, Not Animals — David Breslauer and the Bolt Threads Story 02/15/2021
Ep. 59 | Silk and Leather from Fermentation, Not Animals — David Breslauer and the Bolt Threads Story f you’ve ever heard of Bolt Threads, you may know them as one of the OGs in the space of growing animal products without animals. After all, since they were founded way back in 2009 they’ve been creating spider silk via synthetic biology and fermentation.
info_outline Ep. 58 | The Meat Company that’s Put Nearly a Billion Dollars into Plant-Based Meat 02/01/2021
Ep. 58 | The Meat Company that’s Put Nearly a Billion Dollars into Plant-Based Meat In this episode, we talk with Adam Grogan, an executive at Maple Leaf’s plant protein division Greenleaf Foods. We’re also joined by the company’s Chief of R&D, Jitendra Sagili, a meat industry veteran who’s in charge of a team of 90 food scientists, many of whom are working to innovate the best new alt-proteins for the meat-eating consumer.
info_outline Ep. 57 | From Corporate Giant to Pre-Revenue Startup: Irina Gerry’s Journey to Alt-Dairy Newcomer Change Foods 01/15/2021
Ep. 57 | From Corporate Giant to Pre-Revenue Startup: Irina Gerry’s Journey to Alt-Dairy Newcomer Change Foods After years of spending time advancing alt-dairy within the walls of one of the world’s biggest dairy companies, fate struck again in Irina’s life. Following a chance virtual meeting on Linkedin during the pandemic with the CEO of a brand new, pre-revenue, animal-free dairy start-up, Irina left Danone to become the CMO of Change Foods, a company recently started by Australian plant-based entrepreneur David Bucca that’s using microbes to brew real dairy proteins without the use of a single cow.
info_outline Ep. 56 | From Nonprofit Activist to Entrepreneur for Animals: Kristie Middleton and Rebellyous Foods 01/01/2021
Ep. 56 | From Nonprofit Activist to Entrepreneur for Animals: Kristie Middleton and Rebellyous Foods Kristie Middleton has spent her life trying to move our food industry away from animal usage and toward plant proteins. After spending two decades working for animal welfare charities, including authoring a book on meat reduction, she’s now left the life of a nonprofit animal activist behind and embraced an executive role at an early-stage plant-based chicken startup called Rebellyous Foods.
info_outline Ep. 55 | Ubiquitous Energy’s Susan Stone Intends to Power Our Cities with Invisible Solar Panels 12/15/2020
Ep. 55 | Ubiquitous Energy’s Susan Stone Intends to Power Our Cities with Invisible Solar Panels By making it possible to invisibly turn outdoor objects like windows into solar energy-collecting devices, we could transform the ways our cities and homes get their power.
info_outline Ep. 54 | From Startup Founder to Investor & Philanthropist: Chris Bryson’s Wild Ride to Do Good 12/01/2020
Ep. 54 | From Startup Founder to Investor & Philanthropist: Chris Bryson’s Wild Ride to Do Good Most start-ups fail. Many that don’t fail still don’t have spectacular results. Chris Bryson, however, defied the odds by founding and running a company that was so successful Instacart acquired it for a reported $65 million.
info_outline Ep. 53 | Wood-Fed Meat? Marc Chevrel and Arbiom Say Bring it On 11/15/2020
Ep. 53 | Wood-Fed Meat? Marc Chevrel and Arbiom Say Bring it On Meat from a cow who’s eaten an entirely grass-based diet is typically called “grass-fed meat.” So when you’re making plant-based meat with wood as your feedstock, is it called “wood-fed meat”? No matter what you call it, Arbiom has raised about $30 million to produce it.
info_outline Ep. 52 | The Business of Election Security with Aaron Brantly 10/29/2020
Ep. 52 | The Business of Election Security with Aaron Brantly In this episode, we have one of the nation’s foremost experts on cybersecurity, Dr. Aaron Brantly, the founder and director of the Tech4Humanity Lab at Virginia Tech. In addition to having worked at the U.S. Army Cyber Institute and at West Point, Aaron has written four books on cybersecurity and has traveled the world to promote democracy and protect elections abroad.
info_outline Ep. 51 | Making a Living as an Influencer: Toni Okamoto & The Plant-Based on a Budget Story 10/15/2020
Ep. 51 | Making a Living as an Influencer: Toni Okamoto & The Plant-Based on a Budget Story This is a special episode, because the guest holds many interesting titles for our purposes: Toni Okamoto is the founder of Plant Based on a Budget, a successful author, the creator and former co-host of this podcast, and...she happens also to be my wife. And Toni has a new book coming out! This is her third cookbook, entitled The Friendly Vegan Cookbook, which is coauthored with Toni's business partner and friend Michelle Cehn.
info_outline Ep.50 | The Conscious Leader: Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey 10/01/2020
Ep.50 | The Conscious Leader: Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey In this episode we cover a wide range of topics:
info_outline Ep. 49 | Priming the Market for Fungi-Based Meat: The Prime Roots Story with Kimberlie Le 09/15/2020
Ep. 49 | Priming the Market for Fungi-Based Meat: The Prime Roots Story with Kimberlie Le Think about how many plants there are: hundreds of thousands of different species. Yet when you look at plant-based meats, nearly all are made of one or more of just three of those plant species: soy, wheat, and pea. And there’s good reason for it: those plants are relatively cheap and plentiful, they taste good, and they function quite well as alt-meats under certain conditions that have been studied at length.