The Biodiverse Supermarket Shelf - an interview with Mike Lee

At the Seeds&Chips Global Food Innovation Summit last week I had the opportunity to speak with one of the world’s leading thinkers on the future of food - Mike Lee from The Future Market and Alpha Food Labs.

One of Mike’s current projects is to reinvent the supermarket shelf of the future in a way that tackles the problem of biodiversity, while making it easier for people to make choices that support this aim. Here he points out that the approach taken by many packaged goods companies is the opposite to what chefs do. Chefs will look at the produce that’s available, then take that and make a recipe from it. This generally means preparing food from what’s seasonal and available.

Packaged goods companies approach this the other way around. “With packaged goods, in a boardroom somewhere someone comes up with an idea and then you make the farmer grow that one thing over and over again. It’s liberating with our stand for farmers to go to them without such a rigid agenda. We just want them to grow what’s right for the soil and then we’ll do the hard work.”

In this video interview, Mike Lee explains how Alpha Foods is developing products from what’s available, highlighting one way that food companies can tackle the issue of monocultures.