In episode 106 of the Disruptors for GOOD podcast, we speak with Christoph Langwallner, Co-Founder & CEO of WhatIF Foods, on using degraded lands to create innovate future fit crops and foods that nourish us and our planet.
In 2018, 25 years after inventing the triple bottomline, Prof. John Elkington, recalled this “people, planet and profit” sustainability tool because he saw it delivering the wrong results. Since industrialisation begun, the agrifood industry has been designed to achieve the highest productivity. Today, it manufactures plenty of but empty calories, leaves land behind unproductive, and erodes the souls of communities. It inflicts pain rather than wellbeing.
Chris believes it’s time to stop believing that doing the same things a bit greener and a little more transparent is going to change the world. It will not!
“What we need are disruptive ideas and not just the next plant-based brand, or a trendy vegan product, neither a high-tech dream.”
– Christoph Langwallner, Co-Founder & CEO of WhatIF Foods
Therefore, it is no longer about sustaining – it is about restoring.
“I believe we need to reinvent the food industry category by category. We need to make food based on regenerative principles. Food that replenishes the nutrients we need. Food that is made with regenerative crops and we need to reconnect with nature and communities to rebuild our relationships. We need nature in cities, life in food, and purpose in communities.” – Christoph Langwallner, Co-Founder & CEO of WhatIF Foods
In 2015, Chris and four more experienced scientists and executives in the food industry, had enough. They spent careers formulating and marketing ‘food’ for big companies and were very good at their jobs. However, they were conflicted. The ‘food’ they were helping produce wasn’t really… food.
To make their ex-bosses happy, they had to make ‘food’ with the bottom-line as the top priority. This meant adding artificial additives for more visual stimulation or adding a bit more flavour enhancer to make the food just a little bit more addicting. Refined sugars and refined oils, in particular, are very successful at driving demand.
“That is why so much of the food options you see are sugar and oil packed, calorie-dense, and full of additives. But they are empty of nutrients. Absolutely rubbish in terms of nutrition. This isn’t ‘food’!?!” – Christoph Langwallner, Co-Founder & CEO of WhatIF Foods
Some unreal statistics:
We produce enough calories for 10 billion people yet every 6 seconds we lose forests the size of a football field.
Seven people out of ten suffer from what they eat and eating too much kills three times more people than famine.
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