Mission: Everyone Eats Well

We want to make it easy for everyone to eat well. The truth is we aren’t even close.

If you’re like most of us, you grew up on nachos, vending machine cinnamon rolls, and fast food chicken sandwiches. Our parents would give us a few dollars. We’d eat whatever tasted good. And more often than not, if it was cheap and tasty, it was also accelerating chronic disease and climate change. That’s how unjust our food system is.

We think there are a couple reasons for this. First, the tools of our food system are limited. We’re talking soy, corn, processed sugar, and animal protein. These are the core ingredients that the biggest food companies are using to make the food that is all around us. And it’s not that these big companies don’t care. In fact, they do care. It’s hard to do anything different.

And it’s not just a limitation of tools, it’s also a mindset. The world does not believe it’s possible to have healthier, sustainable food that is also affordable and delicious. That keeps anyone from even trying. So it’s a mindset thing, too.

We are trying to change that. We started around this idea that we would build a food system that makes it really easy for people to eat well. How do you create a system like that? And could we get it done in our lifetime? How would that change things? And what would we need to do, day-to-day, as a company, to make that happen?

It starts with the tools.

There happen to be 400,000 of them. 400,000 species of plants all around the world. Most of them have never been explored for how they can make our cookies or pasta or ice cream or butter or scrambled eggs better.

So, we literally started to understand them by hand. The interest was finding plants that, because of their health, sustainability impact and potential to make delicous food, will help us achieve our mission. Then, because we want to do this in our lifetime, we built an automated discovery platform to explore them faster and look even closer. And we’ve been applying the best of them to make food for our friends in McDowell County, West Virginia, our neighbors in San Francisco, California, and Agnes, one of the most inspiring 12-year-olds we’ve ever met. She lives in Monrovia, Liberia. That’s our mindset.

Our first product was mayo, made with a yellow split pea from Canada. So most people called us a mayo company.

Today our products can now be found in the Boise, Idaho Co-op at 888 W Fort Street, and on the shelves of your City Target in Manhattan. We’re in every Whole Foods and almost every Walmart across the country. You can find us at Texas A&M football games and library cafes at Yale. Or in Mexico City grocery aisles, and coffee bars on the busiest street in Hong Kong. And increasingly, we’re open to the idea of enabling other companies to use our platform, too. We know we’re not going to solve this alone.

Our family here is full of computational biologists from Stanford to food engineers from Kraft and Campbells to chefs from Michelin-star restaurants. They’re from Apple. And General Electric. They’ve come from some of the biggest and most innovative companies in the world to do everything they possibly can, every single day, to increase the probability that, before we die, a fair, honest, and just food system is the food system in every community.

So, that’s our mission. It’s 5 years in the making, and we have a long way to go.

May 2017

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.