Emily Byrd on Communicating the Trends of the Plant-Based Food Revolution

This week we talk with Emily Byrd, the Senior Communications Specialist at the Good Food Institutea non-profit organization that is dedicated to changing the world through food. If you listened to episode 31 of the podcast with Liz Specht, Emily’s colleague, then you probably know a thing or two about GFI. But basically, they help to support companies in the blossoming plant-based food tech scene with science, legal, and business expertise with a team of the best of the best – what I call the Avengers of the plant-based world. And Emily’s job is communicating the trends, science, and news of this industry while dismantling the misconceptions of plant-based living. Emily’s background is in journalism from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and she grew up witnessing firsthand the environmental destruction and animal suffering that comes from hog farming in that part of the world. This led her down a path of fascination with healthy living and reporting on the issues of food and health. She then landed her dream job at GFI and has truly found her calling, which is marrying her love of writing with her love of science and plant-based nutrition. 

We have a fantastic conversation, diving into topics such as:

  • her evolution into her current job at GFI, and how growing up in hog country impacted her path towards this
  • what the current plant-based food tech scene is looking like and her favorite new products
  • her thoughts on the future of plant-based food tech and what it’s like from the inside of the industry
  • how to communicate these topics and ideas to the mainstream
  • and more!

Here at Thought For Food, we’re huge GFI fanboys, so it was an enormous honor to sit down with Emily in Berkeley, California for this conversation. I also got to attend the UC Berkeley plant-based food tech class we talked about in the conversation the next day. This movement is gaining so much traction, and we’re nearing a tipping point. Don’t get left behind! We hope you enjoy the episode and be sure to let us know what you think. We’d love to continue the conversation! So go eat some plants, and do epic shit.

-Jackson and Aaron

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Show Notes

What is GFI all about? http://www.gfi.org/what

Join GFI’s Avenger’s squad! http://www.gfi.org/jobs

Wondering why GFI uses markets and technology to address factory farming? Read Bruce’s conversation with a conflicted meat-eater in Vox!

Clean Meat

Clean Meat: The Clean Energy of Food

GFI’s executive director, Bruce Friedrich, explains the environmental and public health benefits of this groundbreaking food tech, and why it earns the name “clean meat”

Clean Meat’s Path to Commercialization

Read the first-ever public review of the four key technological elements involved in clean meat production and what it will take to get this product to market

Will People Eat Clean Meat?

A summary of our director’s presentation from the International Cultured Meat Conference in The Netherlands on the question of consumer acceptance

The Great Milk Debate

For background on The Dairy Pride Act: http://www.gfi.org/dairy-pride-explained

Our op-ed in The LA Times responding to the proposed legislation:


And an explanation of our policy team’s official action:



The World’s First Class on Plant-Based Meat

Plant-Based Fish Innovation Competition 

Related Podcasts:

Liz Specht Round 1

Liz Specht Round 2

Follow TFF:


Instagram: @tfflifestyle

YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Support TFF: www.patreon.com/thoughtforfood

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

Follow Jackson on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/54401

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