The Stanford Meals Design Lab hosted their annual Meals Innovation convention on Friday, bringing collectively pioneers from the sustainable meals business and showcasing an array of plant-based delicacies, from mushroom jerky to an assortment of cross-culturally flavored vegan cookies.
The theme for this yr’s day-long convention was shopper packaged items (CPG), with an overarching theme of human-centered meals design. In accordance with occasion organizer Mika Isayama ’22, analysis in meals values and on-line meals critiques by Summer time Jung, a Ph.D. scholar within the lab, served as inspiration for this yr’s theme. The convention featured sampling tables from a wide range of meals startups in addition to a sequence of interactive workshops and networking periods.
Twelve CPG firms had been invited to showcase their merchandise on the convention. Notable CPG firms included Three Bushes (almond milk), munchrooms (mushroom jerky), Remaining Meals (plant-based gourmand meat), 12 Tides (kelp chips), and Sobo Meals (plant-based Asian dumplings).
The Meals Innovation Convention originated at UC Berkeley in 2016 and commenced at Stanford in 2016 when Dr. Soh Kim — who beforehand labored for the FoodInno Institute at UC Berkeley — started their position as Government Director of Meals Design Analysis below Design X at Stanford Mechanical Engineering. In accordance with Kim, the convention was established at Stanford to bridge the strengths of the 2 colleges.
Over 100 attendees walked amongst cubicles on The Farm through the convention’s designated sampling session. In accordance with Katie Yoon ’23 M.S. ’24, a graduate researcher at Stanford Meals Design Lab, preliminary recruitment for sampling individuals resulted in an “overwhelming response” of almost 150 RSVPs, exceeding the accessible capability for the house.
A lot of the convention attendees had been college students enrolled within the class ‘Meals, Design and Sustainability,’ which required its college students to attend the convention. Convention attendance outdoors of the category was restricted this yr to permit the lab to create a “managed experiment.” Moreover, the venue used for the convention had restricted capability, and there have been restricted samples accessible, Yoon wrote in an e-mail to The Each day.
Hillary Tran ’24 was one in every of simply thirty individuals who made the ultimate minimize. In accordance with Tran, the number of scrumptious flavors accessible for sampling made Ounce Cookies her favourite vendor.
“The convention’s ambiance was a pleasing shock for me,” Tran stated, including that she “didn’t know what to anticipate coming in” however discovered the convention to be “actually welcoming and thrilling.”
Gina Shi based munchrooms, a San Francisco primarily based mushroom jerky enterprise, in 2020. Accompanied by stickers and small pattern cups stuffed with mushroom sauce, the sales space showcased jerky made out of mushrooms. Shi stated this meals merchandise was impressed by a enterprise journey to China in 2019, the place she discovered of the environmental and well being advantages of mushrooms.
“Rising up I liked snacking, particularly something with that junk meals label. As I received older, my physique couldn’t deal with it anymore and I spotted I wanted a more healthy choice,” Shi stated.
Izabella Smolnicka-Dos Santos ’26, a scholar within the ‘Meals, Design and Sustainability’ class, expressed that taking the one-unit speaker sequence helped her put together for the occasion.
“It’s given me numerous perspective and has helped me achieve the abilities to ask higher inquiries to the distributors right here,” Santos stated. “I like seeing the other ways firms are performing on values to make and market their merchandise for folks to get pleasure from.”
Santos was most impressed by Renewal Mill’s darkish chocolate brownies, that are made out of upcycled waste from meals manufacturing.
Julian Ramirez, founding father of San Mateo plant-based meat firm Remaining Meals, stated that he hopes that sampling environmentally pleasant merchandise serves as inspiration for the scholars attending. On the occasion, Remaining Meals handed out their plant-based boneless child again ribs. The ribs are made of their manufacturing facility with extrusion — a sort of cooking that makes use of high-pressure warmth to show flour right into a meat-texture-like product — and freed from antibiotics and hormones.
“I feel college students ought to take away that your passions can grow to be a actuality, they usually can align along with your values too. You may undoubtedly pursue meals if that’s your ardour and you are able to do it in a really knowledgeable and aware manner,” stated Ramirez.
This text has been up to date to incorporate the title of the Ph.D. scholar who impressed the theme for this yr’s Meals Innovation convention.