Remember last year’s notorious romaine lettuce recall? That was only one of hundreds of food recalls in 2018 alone. These outbreaks are the sort of food safety issues that a new startup called Eat Safe Verified (ESV) is trying to mitigate. Their solution? Putting more information into the hands of consumers in the form of an app that lists details about the contaminant testing, ingredient sourcing, manufacturing and more behind each product.
We were pretty intrigued by this concept, so we chose ESV as one of the 12 finalists for the SKS 2019 Startup Showcase. To give you a little taste of the action, we spoke with founder and CEO Kiran Kastury about how radical transparency can help solve widespread issues like food waste, allergic reactions and contamination.
Check out the Q&A then get your tickets to SKS to see Kastury pitch live in Seattle this October!
This Q&A has been lightly edited for clarity.
First thing’s first: give us your 15-second elevator pitch.
Eat Safe Verified makes software that brings people and food closer together. Consumers can gain valuable insights into their food, while food businesses are able to easily share information across their supply chain to expedite their business processes, thereby ensuring effective transparency, communication, and collaboration.
What inspired you to start your company?
My co-founder and I collectively have spent years working in bio-tech, specifically in the food testing and analytical services sector, where we saw a huge number of food companies unable to effectively show their customers how they strove to make the best product possible. Furthermore, we were tired of hearing about situations like food recalls, consumers getting sick because of allergens or food contaminations, and food getting lost and wasted by the ton. We believed that in today’s tech-driven world, there had to be a better way for people to learn more about their food, and a better way for companies to easily share information throughout their network.
What’s the most challenging part of getting a food tech startup off the ground?
I think that education and awareness are probably the biggest hurdles for food tech startups right now. In the case of ESV, we are embarking on a mission of introducing the concepts of information sharing and transparency to an industry that hasn’t been faced with this sort of disruption just yet. We’re confident that with the right product however, we can transform how food is perceived by people on a daily basis.
How will your company change the day-to-day life of consumers and the food space as a whole?
With launching ESV, we are well on track for achieving the free flow of information all the way from the farm to the consumers’ fingertips. Consumers wouldn’t have to spend the significant amount of time they do now worrying about whether or not they are eating a potentially harmful allergen, putting irresponsibly created food in their bodies, adhering to dietary restrictions for heath or personal reasons. I think that ESV is the answer to ensuring that things like consumer miseducation, consumer harm, or food loss cease to happen as regularly.
Come watch Kastury pitch live onstage at the SKS Startup Showcase next month! Get 25% off your tickets here.