A venture capitalist and a former Obama official are launching a fund that gives entrepreneurs $500,000 to fix a ‘crisis’ in our food system
FoodShot Global is a new fund for researchers and startups who are solving problems in food and agriculture that stem from soil degradation.
Venture capitalist Victor Friedberg, former Obama-administration USDA official Sara Eckhouse, and former Rabobank North America CEO Rajiv Singh will lead the fund.
FoodShot Global partners include the new entrepreneurial division of M&M manufacturer Mars along with the Rockefeller Foundation and the nonprofit environmental group The Nature Conservancy.
Chicago venture capitalist Victor Friedberg’s “aha” moment came as he was biting into a peach.
This particular piece of fruit had been purchased from a local market in Valencia, Spain. It was remarkably delicious — so delicious that it made Friedberg question the identity of all the other fuzzy, brightly-colored orbs he’d eaten before.
“I realized the peaches I’d been eating up until that point were shadows of the real thing,” Friedberg told Business Insider.
An investor in startups like Beyond Meat (which makes a plant-based burger that “bleeds” like the real thing) and Apeel Science (which makes an edible coating that keeps fruits and veggies fresh for longer), Friedberg started to think about why America’s food system spawned such inferior produce. It wasn’t one problem, he realized, but many — warmer weather, chemical-heavy farming techniques, deforestation.
All of those issues contribute to another, more central problem: the planet’s soil — upon which 95% of our food relies — is disappearing. The problem is so dire that, if it continues at its current rate, farming as we know it will cease within 60 years, according to a recent Reuters report.
“The deterioration of soil is one of the most pressing global crises facing humanity,” Friedman said.
This week, he’s launching a new fund dedicated to protecting the dirt. Called FoodShot Global, the fund, which launched officially on Thursday, features major partners in the food …read more
Source:: Business Insider