Food tech is a global industry/phenomenon. In every corner of the world, big companies, small startups and individual inventors are working to innovate and improve the way we get our meals. A new book series called Food Shapers, published last month by the Future Food Institute, brings together stories of such innovators from around the world.
The four books in the Food Shapers series cover Agro-Innovation in Smart Cities, Future of Protein, Future of Food Service, and Scalable Sustainability and Circular Systems. It’s the culmination of the work of 20 researchers who traveled to 12 cities last year, interviewing 200 “food shapers.”
We spoke with one of the authors, Chiara Cecchini, US Director and Co-Founder at Future Food Institute (and Spoon contributor) about the books. “It’s an inspirational tool,” Cecchini said, believing that these food shapers can serve as role models for other budding food tech entrepreneurs out there.
Inspiration actually seems like a good word for what Food Shapers is trying accomplish, given what Cecchini learned in the making of these books. “One of the main things we learned is the central role of human beings,” said Cecchini, “There is a lot of technology, but the technology is always rotating around a person or a person in need. So wherever you are, or whatever you are attacking in the food chain, the crucial component of the human being is always there.”
One such story covered in the book is about Green Bronx Machine, which is a program that teaches kids in marginalized neighborhoods how to grow their own produce through indoor farming systems. Cecchini actually shared some other excerpts from Food Shapers earlier this year in a Spoon post about companies doing things like food rescue and upcycling food waste into fashion.
Food Shapers is compiled by The Future Food Institute, which is a non-profit aimed at improving life on Earth through food. Anyone can download previews of the Food Shaper books now, full downloads cost 7,99€ (~$9 USD) for one book or 25€ (~$28 USD) for all four. Cecchini said funds will help support the next edition of the book, part of which will be dedicated to researching more on the future of protein.