Five Food-Centric Panels Coming to SXSW
People are hungry for information about policy, sustainability, and curbing a global food catastrophe. And wine.
The time has come, the Food Track said, to talk of many things: of food and drinks and climate change, of future plans and beans.
From alternative protein sources to technology's effects on humanity, the hive mind is razor-focused on driving positive change by adjusting policies to better facilitate a healthier and more sustainable future of food innovation. Industry insiders and experts from a wide range of foodie fields will be in attendance.
The panel – featuring Helena Bottemiller Evich (Politico), Leah Douglas (Food and Environment Reporting Network), Sriram Madhusoodanan (Corporate Accountability International), and Tina Owens (Danone North America) – will discuss the big fish/small fish relationship between large food companies and their much smaller counterparts. Also up for examination is the industry's biggest lobbying group, Grocery Manufacturers Association, and how sustainability commitments impact the environment as well as the food supply chain.
Kate Bonzon and Rod Fujita (both of Environmental Defense Fund) join Fiona Lewis (co-owner of the District Fishwife) and everyone's favorite funky food connoisseur, Food Works' Andrew Zimmern, to talk about the state of the ocean. Climate change is wrecking shop on the oceanic biospheres, and aquaculture might just be one way to feed our world.
Brit Campbell (Brit's Wine Inc.), Heather Watson (The Center for Generational Kinetics LLC), Rob Wilder (WineGame Inc.), and Heini Zachariassen (Vivino) will roll up their sleeves and dissect the ever popular wine business, a $300 billion global industry. Leave it to the millennials, who now account for more than 40% of wine drinkers in America, to drive the conversation: What do they want from their wine and wine brands?
A one-man show, Andy Dratt (Imbibe Inc.) will present a talk on "the demonization of sugar" and how that has affected not only public health, but the entire food system. Consumer demand wields a tremendous amount of market power, and the sweet, sweet, sugary truth is that Americans want better choices when it comes to their drinks and desserts.
Darren Anderson, Ph.D. (Vive Crop Protection), Alex Heine (Quantified Ag), Randy Spronk (Spronk Brothers III), and Megan Vollstedt (Iowa AgriTech Accelerator) join forces to take a look at how Silicon Valley – yes, that one – is shaping agriculture by helping farmers and ranchers tackle climate change-related challenges. Up for discussion: nanotech improvements for crop input and smart cattle tags (but no word yet on whether they'll invite any animals to weigh in).
Other panels related to how the heck we're going to turn this food-laden ship around include: "Tomorrow's Perfect Food Narrative," "Ingredients for an Empathetic Kitchen," "Food of the Dystopia: Beyond Bugs and Beans," "Cultivating the Next Generation of Food Leaders," "Alt. Proteins: Not Just Another Tech Revolution," and an interactive dialogue at "The Future of Food Meet Up." Check the SXSW 2019 schedule for more info.