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The inside of the earth’s pretty hot. How hot? As hot as the surface of the sun. Seriously. That heat could generate unbelievable amounts of clean geothermal energy to power our civilization—if we could reach all the way down there. You see, to get to fossil fuels like oil and gas, we only need to drill down a couple kilometers. In places that have…
 
This is a cool episode, because Grant Canary has found a way to make money by cooling the planet—with trees! In episode 98 with Maddie Hall, we learned about how her startup, Living Carbon, is bioengineering trees to grow faster so we can reforest the planet faster. And in this 101st episode, we’ll hear about a different approach to reforestation. …
 
If you’re familiar with the Silicon Valley world or venture capital space, Steve Jurvetson is a name that needs no introduction. For the rest of you, Steve’s a legendary venture capitalist perhaps best known for his early backing of companies like Hotmail, Skype, Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, and more. He sat on Tesla’s board of directors for years, and c…
 
As we continue to empty the oceans, our species’ demand for fish only seems to increase. But what if we could eat all the bluefin tuna and salmon we wanted without having to harm fish and other aquatic animals? That’s the vision that companies like Wildtype are working toward. Founded in 2016, this cultivated fish startup has raised $120 million so…
 
What’s the most old-school way to capture carbon from the atmosphere? Trees! But is there a new school way to help trees stand up to the task of quickly removing the carbon humanity’s been spewing into the atmosphere in recent centuries? Living Carbon is pioneering an exciting new field in which it’s enhancing trees’ natural ability to photosynthes…
 
Not plants, and not animals, fungi are an entirely separate kingdom of life, and they can do some really amazing things. For example, two episodes ago you heard from a startup called Funga that’s seeking to implement fungal transplants in forests to enhance the carbon-capturing capacity of the soil. And you may know that my own company, The Better …
 
Sure, we need to stop emitting greenhouse gases. But even if we stopped all emissions today, there are so many that we’ve already put into the atmosphere that we need to remove them. Some folks are trying to build massive machines to suck C02 from the air, but Kelly Erhart has a different idea: just accelerate the earth’s natural geochemical proces…
 
You’ve heard of flora (plants). You’ve heard of fauna (animals). But have you heard of funga? That’s the relatively new way to describe this third kingdom of life on earth: the vast number of species of fungi which aren’t plants nor animals, but are a different branch on the tree of life. And it turns out that fungi are a lot more important than ma…
 
At age 18, Jeff Nobbs founded an ecommerce company, building it into a valuable enough startup that it was acquired in what Jeff calls a “life-changing” event. After then opening a restaurant that now has two locations in the Bay Area, Jeff decided that there’d be a third entrepreneurial act in his life, this time focused on fixing fat. What’s wron…
 
You know how you put all your recycling—cans, bottles, cardboard, etc.—into the same bin? Well, have you ever wondered how all that stuff gets sorted out at the recycling factory? It’s done mostly by humans. If you watch a video about how it’s done, rest assured you’re not likely to apply for this job. These folks are standing at a conveyor belt wi…
 
For decades, the alt-meat movement has focused on ground meats like sausages, burgers, nuggets, sticks, and more. That’s because it’s just a lot less difficult to create these ground products than a more structured product like a steak or chicken breast. Still difficult, but less difficult. Several companies now though are trying to reach that holy…
 
If you follow the meat or the alt-meat industry closely, chances are high that you’ve read Lisa Keefe’s work. As the editor-in-chief of both Meatingplace magazine and now Alt-Meat magazine too, Lisa has been both reporting on and editorializing on all things meat for the past 15 years. She’s also the creator of the Meatingplace podcast and is a fre…
 
Our guest in this episode, Dr. Esgar Guarin, is on a crusade to promote vasectomies, and even gave up his previous medical career to focus on simply being a full-time vasectomist as part of his commitment to making the world a better place. That’s right: his entire business is one thing and one thing only: helping men take greater responsibility in…
 
Many already believe that fostering an alt-protein industry in the US is important for helping the environment, but is it also going to protect American national security? We’re already importing much of our clean energy tech from Asia, but will we soon be importing our clean protein from other parts of the world, too? Congressman Ro Khanna, a Demo…
 
While it’s a charity, Family Empowerment Media tries to run like a business in that it relies heavily on measurable, evidence-based strategies that produce a significant return on their investment. Though the return they’re seeking isn’t a financial one, but rather is in the form of the social change they’re working to create, mainly by empowering …
 
If you’ve been listening to the show for some time, you know that replacing animals in the food system is a topic very close to my heart. While the meat and egg industries in the grand picture have still been largely unaffected by plant-based competitors, that’s not the case in the milk industry, where the explosion of plant-based milks has very ta…
 
I try to read any new book that comes out on the topic, and that includes Richard Munson’s new book Tech to Table: 25 Innovators Reminaging Food. I really enjoyed reading this book by someone who’s far more well-known for his deep-dive biographies of visionaries like Nikola Tesla and Jacque Cousteau, but now has written a new book featuring dozens …
 
For those of you who’ve been enjoying Business for Good for some time, today’s guest may sound familiar. That’s because Kim Le is not only our guest on Episode 85, but she was also our guest on our 49th episode back in 2020. If you’ve not heard it, I do recommend you go back and check it out, which will be helpful in seeing just how much has change…
 
One of the most common questions I get from listeners is: how can I invest in companies you feature on the show? Well, most of them are startups backed by VC dollars, and that means the average retail investor isn’t typically going to be able to invest in these early stage private companies. But what if there were a way to invest money in an index …
 
Humanity’s relentless demand for seafood is emptying the oceans with little end in sight. Does the path to freeing fish from us run through fungi fermentation? That’s exactly what Anne Palermo is betting. As you’ll hear in this interview, Anne is a former asset manager at Morgan Stanley who decided mid-career that she wanted to start her own chocol…
 
You know when you get a food product like those Beyond Meat sausages and see that instead of plastic, it’s in one of those biodegradable trays or bowls? Have you ever wondered how they do that? I mean, that bowl needs to repel oil and water from its surface without getting soggy, but still be actually biodegradable. Seems impossible. Well, it turns…
 
When it comes to food, we often hear that switching to organic, local, non-GMO production methods are what’s best for the planet. But, what if the preponderance of scientific evidence doesn’t support such claims, and that actually both the planet and public health are better off with the synthetic fertilizer banned by organic standards; that buying…
 
For real: What were you doing during your sophomore year of college? Probably not what Jessica Schwabach was doing, which was starting her own plant-based meat company. Two years later, Jessica has gone through two prestigious accelerator programs, created products that have been sold in dozens of stores, and just raised a $4 million seed round, in…
 
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. A former police officer, at the time of our interview he was the Borough President of Brooklyn and certainly had nearly no national profile. I mentioned…
 
Welcome to our first-ever episode taped before a live audience! That’s right, episode 77 was taped on-stage at the Cultured Meat Symposium in San Francisco before a live audience, and now you get to be a part of it. This is a story of two people who despite not having experience in the cultivated meat space felt so strongly about building a communi…
 
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. That’s right: cats have been eating mice for millenia, but just maybe they’re about t…
 
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 o…
 
It’s not every day that hard-nosed financial journalists write about our ethical obligations to animals, let alone do they devote an entire book to the topic. Yet that’s exactly what Financial Times journalist Henry Mance has done. In his new book, How to Love Animals in a Human-Shaped World, Henry takes his readers on a wild ride through our relat…
 
Whether we like it or not, one fact of modern living is that every day we’re creating greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution. But should our final act on the earthly stage also necessitate one last pollutive hurrah? Katrina Spade is on a mission to offer a better way to deal with human corpses, and it involves a process called natural organic…
 
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. After a multi-decade career in the plastic industry, including working at a small company you may have heard of called ExxonMobil, Kristin decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge and form her own star…
 
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…
 
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 The Very Good Food Co. 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 …
 
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. Meet Deborah Torres, founder and CEO of Atlas Monroe, a start-up making plant-based fried ch…
 
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? In short, Google.org is the company’s foundation that gives away $200M a year in grants both to social enterprise startups and to nonprofit organizations seeking to use techn…
 
You’ve likely noticed that there’s been an explosion of investment into the animal-free food space, with producers of alt-meat, milk, and eggs advancing weekly. But why isn’t there anything comparable happening in the animal-free materials space? Sure, we’ve had plastic-based leather alternatives (aka pleather) for a long time, but in terms of prod…
 
It’s often that we hear about some really cool and promising new technology that’s allegedly going to change the game, but only once that tech is scaled and commercialized. In this episode, however, we’re featuring a start-up that not only has a very cool technology, it’s already commercialized it with hundreds of customers, including some very big…
 
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. In recent years Jim’s been most well-known for his work on human longevity research, which we discuss. But he’s also become fixated on ending the factory farming of ani…
 
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. Monica was born into the seafood industry, and for years has been running her family business, Van Cleve’s Seafood, from the Eastern Shore …
 
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 Myco…
 
Typically on this podcast, we showcase entrepreneurs and business titans alike who are using the power of commerce to try to solve serious social problems. Occasionally we’ve had on nonprofit leaders, and in this episode, we’ve again got a very special guest who also is not a grinding entrepreneur. But this guest is someone who’s inspired many miss…
 
Did you know that two of every five births in America are unplanned? That’s not to suggest that an unplanned baby is going to be an unloved baby, of course, but family planning does tend to offer advantages, especially for families with fewer means, since high birth rates make it particularly difficult for children to escape a vicious cycle of pove…
 
Founded in 2017, New New Age Meats is practically old school when it comes to cultivated meat companies. In mid-2018, the nascent startup debuted its first sausage made with cells from a living pig who the company biopsied at a nearby farm. Rather than being made entirely of animal cells, that historic sausage was part animal and part plant, and th…
 
If 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. But the company’s headlines these days typically don’t relate to spider silk at all, even tho…
 
Of all the major meat companies, none has embraced plant protein in the way Canada’s largest meat company, Maple Leaf Foods, has. Not only has the company acquired two well-known plant protein brands—Field Roast and Lightlife—but it’s dramatically expanded those brands’ reach, enabling more meat consumers to enjoy these products. In fact, Maple Lea…
 
You’ve heard the old adage: Humans plan, and God laughs. That truism could nicely describe Irina Gerry’s life, which has been pretty remarkable so far. She started out growing up in communist Russia, but with fate helping to defy odds, Irina ended up coming to the US and attending Harvard Business School. She eventually worked at one of the biggest…
 
If you’re a regular listener of the show, you likely already know that reducing humanity’s reliance on animals for food is one of the most pressing challenges the world faces at this moment. But meat demand just keeps rising and we’re raising more animals for food today than ever before. One thing keeping meat alternatives merely as alternatives is…
 
We may hear a lot about solar power and renewable energy, but sadly, our civilization is still voraciously addicted to fossil fuels. Even in a technologically advanced country like America, nearly all — about 90 percent — of the energy we use still comes from non-renewable sources. This not only causes serious environmental damage to extract from t…
 
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. Rather than retiring to a tropical beach with regular daiquiri service, Chris charted a different course for his new life. I…
 
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. Arbiom CEO Marc Chevrel is taking wood and subjecting it to a yeast-based ferm…
 
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