Future Foods: Alternative Sources of Protein with Ÿnsect, Meatable, and Plantik Biosciences

What do insects, cellular agriculture, and cannabis have in common? They all provide alternative sources of protein.

Today, agriculture is among the greatest contributors to global warming, emitting more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, with methane released from cattle rearing largely responsible. Yet, by 2050, food production needs to increase by 70% to respond to population growth. This discrepancy means that we are in dire need of a new food system that will not overwhelm the planet despite our growing demand for food.

In this episode, we tackle the future of food with Antoine Hubert (co-founder & CEO of Ÿnsect), Ying Shao (co-founder & CEO of Plantik Biosciences), and Daan Luining (co-founder & CTO of Meatable). We discover the new breeding technologies for plants and meats that Ying and Daan are respectively developing. We learn about insects as an alternative source of protein with Antoine and dive into the most interesting innovations in food today.

Listen to the full episode on Apple PodcastSpotifyDeezer & Google Podcast.



Antoine Hubert, co-founder & CEO of Ÿnsect

An agronomy engineer by training, Antoine is the CEO of Ÿnsect and also leads the cooperative insect industry association, the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF), and is a Board Member of Agrocampus Ouest, Agriloops, and LFD. Prior to co-founding Ÿnsect, Antoine worked on scientific projects in environmental risk assessment, biomass and plastics recycling. Together with Alexis Angot, he co-founded NPO WORGAMIC and the company ORGANEO.

Ying Shao, co-founder & CEO of Plantik Biosciences

Ying, an experienced startup operator formerly at Devialet, met co-founder Aditya Nayak, a structural and molecular biologist specialized in plant sciences and gene editing, in the Entrepreneur First program at STATION F. Together, they co-founded Plantik Biosciences to develop a new plant breeding technology that accelerates the traditional plant breeding process manifolds. Their first target? Cannabis.

Daan Luining, co-founder & CTO of Meatable

As the CTO, Daan is responsible for everything scientific at Meatable. Before founding Meatable together with Krijn de Nood, he worked with Maastricht University Professor Mark Post on the world’s first laboratory-grown hamburger in 2013.He later joined New Harvest, an NGO funding academic research in cultured meat, as the research director and started thinking about the huge gap in Europe when it comes to cellular agriculture and cultured meat. After speaking with many interesting people on the subject, he co-founded Meatable with Krijn. Through Meatable he is realizing his ambition to scale-up cultured meat.




01:22 — Ying on what cannabis has to do with the future of food
02:53 — Ying on what Plantik does with cannabis
03:54 — Daan on Meatable’s lab-grown meat
05:02 — How does Meatable’s technology work
05:56 — How does Meatable compare to other alternative meats on the market
07:25 — Ying on the importance of producing crops differently today to respond to food scarcity
08:45 — Daan on the environmental footprint of traditional cattle production
10:47 — Company stage and product timeline for Meatable
12:35 — Company stage for Plantik Biosciences
13:35 — Ying on consumer attitudes around cannabis and gene editing
16:25 — Daan on consumer attitudes for culture meat
18:48 — The perspective from animal activists
20:47 — On regulations: working with low THC vs. high THC plants, gene editing techniques, food in general
25:09 — Meatable starting the first European trade association for cellular agriculture
25:52 — Other innovations in the food space and other opportunities left to be addressed
30:23 — Introduction of Antoine
30:42 — Antoine on why Ÿnsect grows insects for animal feed rather than human consumption
32:05 — Why what animals eat matters
33:33 — Doing more with less: on vertical farming
34:04 — Antoine’s background: from agricultural engineering to starting his own NGO to raise awareness around food waste before starting Ÿnsect
35:35 — How the idea of Ÿnsect came about
36:50 — On the research that goes into Ÿnsect
39:44 — Going through food regulations
41:05 — Ÿnsect’ product vs. traditional fishmeal
41:53 — The commercial side of Ÿnsect
42:48 — Production, company, and market evolutions since the beginning
44:25 — On Ÿnsect’s $372M Series C with Astanor Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition, and many more from around the world
47:07 — Algae, biotech, and other technological developments in the food space
47:42 — On the importance of fighting food waste and changing consumer behaviour
51:41 — In 2050, how will we be eating?

Produced by

Cindy Yang
[email protected]

Hosted by

Roxanne Varza