Welcome to our new website!
July 26, 2022

Jeff Nobbs (Zero Acre Farms) - How he's changing cooking oil for the better

Jeff Nobbs (Zero Acre Farms) - How he's changing cooking oil for the better

On today’s episode we’re talking about cooking oils. Thank you Craig Shapiro for the introduction to our guest today is Jeff Nobbs, who is the founder and CEO of Zero Acre Farms. Zero Acre Farms is on a mission to remove destructive vegetable oils from the food system. Zero Acre Farms is an oil that’s instead made from fermentation.

Some of the questions I ask him:

  1. When did you start to care about health and the science of nutrition?
  2. You’ve started quite a few businesses before and you’ve been very successful. When did you start thinking about alternatives to vegetable oil?
  3. What is the origin of vegetable oil?
  4. How did you land on microorganisms and fermentation? What were other processes you were considering? Can you walk us through the process?
  5. What’s been the challenging part on the R&D side? How do you think about your competitive advantage?
  6. Why did you choose to raise $37 million? How were you able to raise it? What resonated with investors? What’s the most expensive part to Zero Acre Farms? Have you seen tech investors shift away from investing in CPG or only in CPG where there isn’t product innovation?
  7. How do you approach the price point? With innovation comes a premium. How do you think about premium pricing vs. maximum impact?
  8. There’s kind of a bifurcation within better for you products – do you value products that are better for the planet or products that are better for your body, It’s hard to create products that can fill both those requirements. How do you think about it since you’ve been an entrepreneur within health and wellness for a long time?
  9. What were some of your lessons learned since you started a CPG brand before and a restaurant before that has impacted how you think and operate Zero Acre Farms?
  10. What’s the company you most admire (Craig Shapiro asked this question)? How do they impact you?
  11. What is the vision for Zero Acre Farms? What will be the most challenging to fulfill that vision?
  12. What’s one book that has inspired you personally and one book that’s inspired you professionally?
    1. The Three-Body Problem
    2. Think and Grow Rich
    3. The History of the World
  13. What’s the biggest piece of advice to founders?
Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:00.040 --> 00:00:16.559 Oh, hello and welcome to the consumer VC. I am your host, 2 00:00:16.600 --> 00:00:20.079 Michael, and on this show we talked about the world of venture capital and 3 00:00:20.239 --> 00:00:25.160 innovation in both consumer technology and consumer products. If you're enjoying this content, 4 00:00:25.239 --> 00:00:29.920 you could subscribe to my newsletter, the consumer VC DOT sub stack dot com, 5 00:00:29.960 --> 00:00:33.640 to get each new episode and more consumer news delivered straight to your inbox. 6 00:00:33.960 --> 00:00:39.119 So today's episode is all about cooking oil. Thank you, Craig Shapiro, 7 00:00:39.399 --> 00:00:43.159 for the introduction to our guest today, Jeff Knobs, who is a 8 00:00:43.240 --> 00:00:48.600 founder and CEO of zero acre farms. Zero Acre farm is on a mission 9 00:00:48.640 --> 00:00:52.759 to remove destructive vegetable oils from the food system. Zer Acre farms is an 10 00:00:52.759 --> 00:01:07.359 oil that's instead made from fermentation without further ado. Here's Jeff. Jeff, 11 00:01:07.480 --> 00:01:10.120 thank you so much for joining me. How are you, Mike? I 12 00:01:10.159 --> 00:01:14.000 am good, and thanks for having me. It's an absolute, absolute pleasure. 13 00:01:14.040 --> 00:01:15.319 So I would say to chat with you. Let's talk to me about 14 00:01:15.319 --> 00:01:21.840 like the very beginning. When did you start to care about health and science 15 00:01:21.959 --> 00:01:25.840 of nutrition? You know, I've always been interested in food and nutrition. 16 00:01:25.920 --> 00:01:29.480 For whatever reason, I just sort of gravitated toward it and even even as 17 00:01:29.480 --> 00:01:33.079 a teenager, I would flip over ingredient labels and and look at the nutrition 18 00:01:33.120 --> 00:01:36.280 facts of food and I wanted to understand what I was putting in my body. 19 00:01:36.400 --> 00:01:38.560 Where exactly that stemmed from? You know, I have my guesses. 20 00:01:38.879 --> 00:01:42.120 Most of my family was in medicine and including my mother, who's who was 21 00:01:42.120 --> 00:01:46.920 a nurse, uh and so kind of looking at nutrition through the lens of 22 00:01:46.959 --> 00:01:51.599 science and wanting to understand that was what I naturally gravitated towards. And there 23 00:01:51.599 --> 00:01:57.239 were some immediate family deaths from various chronic diseases, and that's when nutrition really 24 00:01:57.239 --> 00:02:01.879 took center stage in my life and I wanted to figure out what makes people 25 00:02:01.920 --> 00:02:06.280 sick and how we can do something about it, and that's what I became 26 00:02:06.560 --> 00:02:12.759 very passionate about. So I started reading biochemistry textbooks and Molecular Biology Textbooks and 27 00:02:13.240 --> 00:02:15.159 UH CDC guidance, you know, really anything I could get my hand on 28 00:02:15.479 --> 00:02:20.400 to figure out what makes people sick and how we can prevent that. And 29 00:02:20.439 --> 00:02:24.000 what became pretty clear, in addition to having conversations with with various folks and 30 00:02:24.039 --> 00:02:29.400 experts, was that Diet was at the center of this chronic disease epidemic. 31 00:02:29.400 --> 00:02:35.479 We found ourselves in where more adults than not in this country unfortunately have a 32 00:02:35.560 --> 00:02:40.639 chronic disease and foreign tent American adults have multiple chronic diseases. So the country 33 00:02:40.680 --> 00:02:46.000 essentially is, you know, has dementia and diabetes or heart disease and cancer, 34 00:02:46.199 --> 00:02:47.879 and that doesn't seem right and it seems like we should do something about 35 00:02:47.879 --> 00:02:52.599 that and I think diet is the best tool we have to try to impact 36 00:02:52.599 --> 00:02:57.000 that those rates in a positive way. That's really way fascinating just how you 37 00:02:57.240 --> 00:03:00.719 got interested in health since from a very early age. How are you finding 38 00:03:00.759 --> 00:03:06.560 to just maybe on like for consumers, because because obviously when we think a 39 00:03:06.599 --> 00:03:08.639 lot about what we're putting for our body, we've been thinking a lot more 40 00:03:08.639 --> 00:03:14.800 closely about this on the maybe larger scale for the past years or so. 41 00:03:15.000 --> 00:03:19.719 But where do you think consumer education is coming from? Is it coming from 42 00:03:19.719 --> 00:03:23.919 my guard traditional healthcare providers and like our doctors and what have you, or 43 00:03:23.960 --> 00:03:28.479 do you think that it's much more driven by maybe themselves their curiosity, and 44 00:03:28.520 --> 00:03:30.759 not from like an expert per se? You know, most of our education 45 00:03:30.759 --> 00:03:35.280 about what we should eat we never really thought about because we simply ate the 46 00:03:35.319 --> 00:03:37.800 same way our parents say in the same way their parents say it. And, 47 00:03:37.840 --> 00:03:39.719 you know, it was very generational and it was very cultural. And 48 00:03:39.919 --> 00:03:44.319 especially in the US, we find ourselves in a position where every generation feels 49 00:03:44.360 --> 00:03:47.080 like it needs to reinvent and, you know, redefine what constitutes a healthy 50 00:03:47.120 --> 00:03:51.120 diet. And this has especially been the case, to your point, in 51 00:03:51.120 --> 00:03:53.759 the last twenty to thirty years. Frankly, more people get their dietary and 52 00:03:53.840 --> 00:03:58.680 nutrition and health advice from the latest podcasts that they listened to, from the 53 00:03:58.759 --> 00:04:01.159 latest book that they pay picked up, the latest conversation they had with a 54 00:04:01.159 --> 00:04:04.719 friend over dinner about, you know what, what is now the latest unhealthy 55 00:04:04.800 --> 00:04:09.719 or healthy superfood thing. And then the guidance from say, the FDA or 56 00:04:09.759 --> 00:04:14.120 the U S D A has a much larger impact on the foods that are 57 00:04:14.280 --> 00:04:17.199 provided to the military too, you know, in nursing homes, in school 58 00:04:17.279 --> 00:04:21.319 lunches, but frankly, is having less than less of an impact on day 59 00:04:21.319 --> 00:04:25.519 to day how consumers choose to eat. And most of that information, you 60 00:04:25.560 --> 00:04:30.959 know, is coming from individuals with influence and that can come through a podcast, 61 00:04:30.000 --> 00:04:32.759 that can come through instagram or that can come through, you know, 62 00:04:32.800 --> 00:04:35.720 a book, in conversations Um. So it's been really interesting to kind of 63 00:04:35.759 --> 00:04:40.160 see how that's unfolded over the last couple of decades. How did you think 64 00:04:40.199 --> 00:04:44.360 in terms of what you wanted to accomplish and maybe specific categories as well? 65 00:04:44.720 --> 00:04:48.079 And mentioned that most of my family was in medicine. The exception was my 66 00:04:48.240 --> 00:04:54.079 father was an entrepreneur for most of his life. So when I come across 67 00:04:54.079 --> 00:04:57.519 the problem, the idea of starting a business is just what seems, you 68 00:04:57.560 --> 00:05:00.959 know, most obvious and natural to me. So when I realized there's this 69 00:05:00.000 --> 00:05:04.319 massive problem of hey, we're not eating the right foods, the idea of 70 00:05:04.319 --> 00:05:09.319 of introducing something new with, you know, some sort of commercial effort just 71 00:05:09.360 --> 00:05:12.480 made all the sense in the world. So that's throughout my twenties. That 72 00:05:12.600 --> 00:05:18.839 unfolded through various businesses, from CPG businesses to restaurants, software and what we're 73 00:05:18.839 --> 00:05:24.639 working now on at zero waker farms. And I think education is is a 74 00:05:24.759 --> 00:05:28.360 hugely important piece of trying to have a positive impact and get people to change 75 00:05:28.360 --> 00:05:30.680 their diets and, you know, in a meaningful way. But the other 76 00:05:30.720 --> 00:05:34.319 thing that's really helpful is simply having an alternative that's better. And the example 77 00:05:34.360 --> 00:05:36.519 I like to give here is like, in the case of electric cars. 78 00:05:36.959 --> 00:05:42.480 We we could have tried to convince everyone to stop driving altogether or to only 79 00:05:42.519 --> 00:05:46.079 take the bus to work, or we can just introduce better cars that happened 80 00:05:46.079 --> 00:05:47.720 to be electric and you know, and then you don't have to think and 81 00:05:47.759 --> 00:05:51.120 worry so much about your transportation decisions. Um, you know, you can 82 00:05:51.120 --> 00:05:55.879 just use the better product and it happens to have this environmental benefit. So 83 00:05:56.160 --> 00:05:58.839 that's the way I tend to think about problem solving, as well as a 84 00:05:58.879 --> 00:06:02.800 combination of education around what the problem is and you know what some potential solutions 85 00:06:02.839 --> 00:06:09.920 are, and then using entrepreneurship to actually offer a solution where the consumer doesn't 86 00:06:09.920 --> 00:06:13.439 have to make a giant sacrifice in order to do the thing that's better for 87 00:06:13.480 --> 00:06:16.000 their health or better for the planet. As you mentioned, you're a very 88 00:06:16.000 --> 00:06:21.680 successful entrepreneur. You've started a few businesses all around and something to do with 89 00:06:23.199 --> 00:06:29.560 in health and nutrition. When did you start thinking about what you're currently working 90 00:06:29.600 --> 00:06:35.360 on? Zero acre farms and alternatives to Vesta oil? It is a fairly 91 00:06:35.439 --> 00:06:40.319 unique topic and not something people spend a ton of time thinking about, which 92 00:06:40.360 --> 00:06:44.199 is oil, and specifically, you know, the oil we eat, not 93 00:06:44.240 --> 00:06:46.959 the oil we pull out of the ground. But I've been strangely obsessed with 94 00:06:46.959 --> 00:06:50.199 that topic for a while now, and I think part of the reason is 95 00:06:50.240 --> 00:06:55.079 that certainly there are a number of foods we eat that we shouldn't be eating 96 00:06:55.120 --> 00:06:57.360 so much of and, you know, things we consume that we should be 97 00:06:57.399 --> 00:07:00.279 consuming more of or shouldn't be consuming so much of. But intriguing about healthy 98 00:07:00.319 --> 00:07:05.000 fats and and unhealthy fats is if we can ditch vegetable oils, and I 99 00:07:05.000 --> 00:07:10.120 can talk about why many vegetable oils are so problematic and replace them with healthy 100 00:07:10.160 --> 00:07:13.800 fats, if anything, our food tastes better. And when we give up 101 00:07:13.839 --> 00:07:17.199 things like, I don't know, refined flour or sugars or other things that 102 00:07:17.240 --> 00:07:20.519 we should be consuming less of, we're definitely making a sacrifice. You know, 103 00:07:20.600 --> 00:07:25.439 like muffins and doughnuts are delicious, and so to to give those things 104 00:07:25.519 --> 00:07:28.959 up. Our taste buds might might have an issue with that, but getting 105 00:07:29.040 --> 00:07:31.680 rid of vegetable oils like we're just getting rid of this this not tasty rancid 106 00:07:31.720 --> 00:07:35.279 oxidized product. And I've been thinking about this problem for a long time now. 107 00:07:35.399 --> 00:07:39.600 So when I was doing all that research around what makes people sick, 108 00:07:39.800 --> 00:07:43.720 I kept coming back to oils and fats, and I mentioned you know, 109 00:07:43.759 --> 00:07:46.800 looking at CDC guide into the CDC says there are only a few things that 110 00:07:46.800 --> 00:07:51.879 really contribute to chronic disease, you know, primarily alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, 111 00:07:53.279 --> 00:07:57.079 physical activity, diet, poor diet. And when you look at those 112 00:07:57.079 --> 00:08:00.240 four things, we've actually been doing a better job across all of them. 113 00:08:00.319 --> 00:08:05.759 So we're smoking significantly less, we're actually exercising more, we're drinking far less 114 00:08:05.800 --> 00:08:09.680 alcohol. And you had mentioned the standard American Diet, kind of Classic Food 115 00:08:09.680 --> 00:08:13.480 Pyramid. We're actually eating far more closely to the food pyramid than we have. 116 00:08:13.639 --> 00:08:18.920 So we're eating less sodium, less cholesterol, less saturated fat or no 117 00:08:18.959 --> 00:08:24.279 more saturated fat. We're eating more fruits and vegetables, we're not eating any 118 00:08:24.279 --> 00:08:26.600 fewer micronutrients. Um. So we're doing what we're supposed to be doing. 119 00:08:26.720 --> 00:08:33.240 Yet chronic disease rates continue to skyrocket and the one major food that has increased 120 00:08:33.279 --> 00:08:37.240 inline with increasing rates of chronic disease are vegetable oils. That means canola, 121 00:08:37.399 --> 00:08:41.000 soybean oil, corn oil, saff flour oil, palm oil, you know, 122 00:08:41.039 --> 00:08:43.960 the list goes on and on. Um. There are a number of 123 00:08:43.000 --> 00:08:48.039 different vegetable oils now and that's just correlation. You know. That doesn't prove 124 00:08:48.120 --> 00:08:52.159 causation per se, but there are a number of randomized controlled trials too that 125 00:08:52.240 --> 00:08:56.679 show when we consume a lot more vegetable oils, bad things happen for our 126 00:08:56.720 --> 00:09:00.840 health, you know, ultimately higher risk of DAB which is, of course 127 00:09:01.200 --> 00:09:05.679 what we'd want to avoid. And the issue is these vegetable oils are everywhere. 128 00:09:05.679 --> 00:09:07.080 You know, there there, there are nearly everything we eat. There 129 00:09:07.120 --> 00:09:11.320 about a fifth of all calories we consume vegetable oil crops with the fastest growing 130 00:09:11.360 --> 00:09:16.120 sector of global agriculture. And then they're leading to all sorts of health issues 131 00:09:16.159 --> 00:09:20.960 and environmental issues. Two of the top three drivers of global deforestation are vegetable 132 00:09:20.960 --> 00:09:24.159 oil crops. So as I was kind of coming across all this information, 133 00:09:24.440 --> 00:09:28.240 I was also running a restaurant and we were having a heck of a time 134 00:09:28.399 --> 00:09:31.279 finding an oil to use in our restaurant where we didn't feel like we were 135 00:09:31.320 --> 00:09:35.120 making some giant compromise. Some oils may have been very cheap, but we 136 00:09:35.159 --> 00:09:41.440 felt like we were essentially poisoning our customers. Other oils that were maybe healthier 137 00:09:41.639 --> 00:09:43.879 have very strong taste or weren't very versatile or couldn't be used for a number 138 00:09:43.879 --> 00:09:48.879 of applications. So kind of the the combination of realizing how bad vegetable oils 139 00:09:48.919 --> 00:09:54.679 are and that there's a commercial opportunity to actually introduce an oil that's that's better 140 00:09:54.240 --> 00:09:58.919 lead to founding zero acre farms and at zero acre farms. You know, 141 00:10:00.000 --> 00:10:01.519 we say we want to give the world an oil change. We think that 142 00:10:01.840 --> 00:10:07.000 these oils that have come to account for for a huge portion mar calories, 143 00:10:07.039 --> 00:10:09.240 they're they're not doing us any favors, and so we're focusing a bunch on 144 00:10:09.360 --> 00:10:15.240 education and also focusing on offering something that's better. Thanks so much for sharing. 145 00:10:15.279 --> 00:10:16.440 How do we kind of get here, as edgual oil being like the 146 00:10:16.519 --> 00:10:20.399 main kind of type of oil that we use and you know, a bitter 147 00:10:20.440 --> 00:10:24.480 background in terms of the origin story. So oil used to come from whale 148 00:10:24.480 --> 00:10:26.840 blubber in the eighteen hundreds. That was like our primary source of oil, 149 00:10:26.919 --> 00:10:31.639 but they were overhunted and we need an alternative for primarily industrial purposes and we 150 00:10:31.759 --> 00:10:35.399 turned to cotton seed oil. At that time, cotton seeds and the oil 151 00:10:35.399 --> 00:10:41.519 they contain were acutely toxic to humans, so they were used primarily for machine 152 00:10:41.679 --> 00:10:46.519 lubrication and for industrial purposes. But at the beginning of the nineteen hundreds a 153 00:10:46.519 --> 00:10:50.399 couple of promising entrepreneurs that they've done this a few years earlier and they use 154 00:10:50.519 --> 00:10:54.960 partial hydrogenation to turn cotton seed oil into from a liquid oil into a solid 155 00:10:56.039 --> 00:11:00.840 product. And separately we're able to detoxify the and seed oil, so it 156 00:11:00.960 --> 00:11:05.600 wasn't acutely poisonous. Those brothers in law, proctor and gamble, introduced Chrisco, 157 00:11:07.120 --> 00:11:11.080 and CRISCO was the name they came up with to describe their cotton seed 158 00:11:11.120 --> 00:11:15.320 oil concoction. You know, most people associated cotton with like shirts and blouses 159 00:11:15.360 --> 00:11:18.080 and Napkins, not with food. Um. So they needed a new name 160 00:11:18.120 --> 00:11:22.480 and they called it vegetable shortening. That's soon caught on. Um. You 161 00:11:22.480 --> 00:11:26.080 know, vegetable oils aren't from like Kale and Broccoli and asparagus. There from 162 00:11:26.200 --> 00:11:31.399 these seeds and grains and crops, but vegetable sounded healthy. So other oils 163 00:11:31.399 --> 00:11:35.879 started to market themselves as vegetable oils, whether it came from soybean or corn 164 00:11:35.159 --> 00:11:39.519 or palm or peanut or other crops. They were all just kind of broadly 165 00:11:39.519 --> 00:11:43.440 called vegetable oils. That sounded that sounded very healthy. And then CHRISCO started 166 00:11:43.440 --> 00:11:46.919 to be replaced with corn oil and with soybean oil. A few decades later, 167 00:11:46.960 --> 00:11:48.720 there was a ton of consumer pressure. This was sort of the era 168 00:11:48.840 --> 00:11:52.000 of Um you know, saturated fats are at the center of all of our 169 00:11:52.039 --> 00:11:56.399 issues, and so there's a lot of consumer pressure to switch away from saturated 170 00:11:56.399 --> 00:12:01.519 fats in deep friars, in particular at McDonald and Wendy's and Burger King, 171 00:12:01.960 --> 00:12:05.440 and to switch to u two transpats, unfortunately. So that change was made 172 00:12:05.480 --> 00:12:11.679 in the nineteen nineties and that really increased the production and demand for vegetable oils 173 00:12:11.720 --> 00:12:16.279 because they were now able to be partially hydrogenated to turn into this very stable 174 00:12:16.519 --> 00:12:18.480 oil that could then be used to, you know, fried French fries and 175 00:12:18.759 --> 00:12:22.320 chicken at fast food restaurants. About a decade of that and we realized, 176 00:12:22.360 --> 00:12:26.519 oops, that was a huge mistake. transpats are actually horrible for you and 177 00:12:26.559 --> 00:12:30.600 you know now we look back and we know that they were responsible for hundreds 178 00:12:30.639 --> 00:12:35.039 of thousands of deaths, unfortunately. UH So. So there was again pressure 179 00:12:35.080 --> 00:12:37.480 to switch away from this fat, in this case transpats, and to switch 180 00:12:37.519 --> 00:12:41.399 to other oils, like palm oil, which started to lead to, you 181 00:12:41.399 --> 00:12:45.919 know, all this environmental destruction where palm grows, and also to other oils 182 00:12:45.919 --> 00:12:50.039 like vegetable oils. So we're using vegetable oils now. transpats were banned in 183 00:12:52.200 --> 00:12:56.360 ultimately put into action, so we're sort of just left with like soybean oil 184 00:12:56.399 --> 00:12:58.799 and corn oil and canola oil. That is like the third or fourth option 185 00:12:58.840 --> 00:13:03.039 and what should be used, but there's just no good alternative. A lot 186 00:13:03.080 --> 00:13:07.039 of these oils really came to be because of a growth of animal agriculture, 187 00:13:07.600 --> 00:13:13.039 particularly with with pigs and chickens, and a lot of soybeans and corn is 188 00:13:13.080 --> 00:13:18.240 grown to feed to those those those animals and you know, Um factory farms, 189 00:13:18.279 --> 00:13:22.399 and so the soybean or the corn is first pressed for oil that's marketed 190 00:13:22.440 --> 00:13:26.879 as healthy and fed to the humans and then the leftover meal is fed to 191 00:13:26.919 --> 00:13:31.200 the animals. I don't think animals should be eating like soybeans and humans probably 192 00:13:31.200 --> 00:13:33.960 shouldn't be eating the oil, but this is where we we've ended up after 193 00:13:35.039 --> 00:13:39.320 this this hundred years or so of of what's happening, and frankly, it's 194 00:13:39.360 --> 00:13:43.639 less of you know, there are less scientific reasons for this happening and it's 195 00:13:43.679 --> 00:13:48.200 more political and the result of a few strong personalities. and Um, you 196 00:13:48.240 --> 00:13:54.039 know various scenarios that that now lead to these obscure oil crops Um being such 197 00:13:54.039 --> 00:13:58.159 a huge part of our food system. How did you eventually land on fermentation? 198 00:13:58.399 --> 00:14:01.840 We tested a bunch of different oils. We're cooking with coconut oil, 199 00:14:01.919 --> 00:14:05.759 with olive oil, with palm oil, with palm shortening, trying to figure 200 00:14:05.799 --> 00:14:09.279 out what would work, and tried different animal fats and animal fats use raised 201 00:14:09.360 --> 00:14:15.399 using regenerative practices. We tried it all. The issue is, especially when 202 00:14:15.440 --> 00:14:18.879 it comes to vegetable oils, you know, including olive oil. It's just 203 00:14:18.919 --> 00:14:22.120 not a very efficient process of producing oil. So the way it works is, 204 00:14:22.600 --> 00:14:26.480 and this is the case for the majority of vegetable oils, we clear 205 00:14:26.480 --> 00:14:28.679 a bunch of land. Unfortunately, most of that land is often in very 206 00:14:28.679 --> 00:14:33.519 biodiverse regions like rainforests, where crops grow very productively. We clear that land, 207 00:14:33.559 --> 00:14:37.039 we plant seeds, we wait six months for those seeds to grow, 208 00:14:37.200 --> 00:14:41.759 we pluck the tiny seeds from those plants, press them for an even tinier 209 00:14:41.759 --> 00:14:45.039 amount of oil and then that oil is ultimately, you know, what's put 210 00:14:45.080 --> 00:14:48.440 into a bottle and and sold as vegetable oil. So it has this really 211 00:14:48.440 --> 00:14:52.840 negative environmental impact. But also those you know, we grow an entire plant 212 00:14:52.840 --> 00:14:56.679 just to press its tiny seed for oil, and and those seeds are grains. 213 00:14:56.879 --> 00:15:01.440 They're only like five to oil, whereas when you look at producing oil 214 00:15:01.840 --> 00:15:07.720 by fermentation, which is what we're leveraging, the micro organisms that make up 215 00:15:07.759 --> 00:15:11.679 that fermentation culture are eighty to nine oil. So to take a step back 216 00:15:11.679 --> 00:15:18.000 and explain what that even means to produce oil using fermentation. So fermentation, 217 00:15:18.039 --> 00:15:22.159 you know people are are familiar with, like a third of all the foods 218 00:15:22.159 --> 00:15:24.559 we eat are a result of fermentation. Um, bread, beer, wine, 219 00:15:24.679 --> 00:15:28.960 cheese, yogurt. And what does that actually mean? Fermentation. So 220 00:15:28.000 --> 00:15:33.639 fermentation is the process of a community of micro organisms, or our culture, 221 00:15:33.799 --> 00:15:39.919 as they're called, a culture, and they transform sugars into and other plant 222 00:15:39.960 --> 00:15:45.320 materials into the things we come to love, like bread and thick Tangy fermented 223 00:15:45.360 --> 00:15:48.360 milk, is yogurt and fermented barley, uh, you know, produces alcohol 224 00:15:48.360 --> 00:15:52.879 and CEO two to to make beer. Turns out there also cultures that produce 225 00:15:54.120 --> 00:15:58.799 oil, and so these communities and micro organisms. Instead of producing lactic acid 226 00:15:58.120 --> 00:16:03.519 or carbon dox it or other fermentation products, they produce healthy fats and it's 227 00:16:03.519 --> 00:16:08.320 a really incredible and efficient way of producing oil and results not only in this 228 00:16:08.360 --> 00:16:12.600 really low environmental footprint because it's so efficient, but also in a really incredible 229 00:16:12.600 --> 00:16:15.080 healthy fat profile. Way More of the good, less of the bad. 230 00:16:15.240 --> 00:16:18.080 And it just tastes really good too, which is which is really helpful when 231 00:16:18.080 --> 00:16:22.639 you're trying to replace a harmful product, when the customer doesn't have to make 232 00:16:22.679 --> 00:16:26.600 some taste sacrifice, that certainly makes our job a lot easier. There's a 233 00:16:26.600 --> 00:16:30.960 bit of a challenge. And what do we call this? So when an 234 00:16:30.000 --> 00:16:33.679 oil is produced using the method of fermentation, we don't have a word like 235 00:16:33.799 --> 00:16:38.320 beer or yogurt or cheese that's used to describe these other fermentation products. Um. 236 00:16:38.399 --> 00:16:41.279 So we decided to call it cultured oil. We think that does a 237 00:16:41.279 --> 00:16:44.960 good job of, you know, kind of describing, describing what it is 238 00:16:45.000 --> 00:16:51.559 and without using overly scientific terms. Uh, and and cultured oil now is 239 00:16:51.559 --> 00:16:55.600 is our our first product and what we're selling. How do you also think 240 00:16:55.639 --> 00:16:59.399 about scale? How does it work with your own supply chain and like in 241 00:16:59.519 --> 00:17:03.799 the actual overall process to create a cultured oil at scale. The production of 242 00:17:03.920 --> 00:17:11.279 cultured oil requires about ten times less land than oil crops. We're working to 243 00:17:11.319 --> 00:17:15.559 get to zero Um. You know that the name zero acre farms is is 244 00:17:15.599 --> 00:17:19.839 a reflection of our goal and that we have zero acres harmed and zero deforestation. 245 00:17:21.079 --> 00:17:22.839 But while it kind of rounds to zero, it's, you know, 246 00:17:22.880 --> 00:17:27.119 it's not actually zero land completely, but we want to get as close to 247 00:17:27.119 --> 00:17:32.440 that number as possible and right now through through our supply chain. And what 248 00:17:32.519 --> 00:17:34.720 much of the supply chain is is the same supply chain and anyone else is 249 00:17:34.720 --> 00:17:37.640 working with. Get the oil into a bottle and, you know, get 250 00:17:37.640 --> 00:17:41.880 that bottle into a cardboard box and have that shipped, shipped to the customer. 251 00:17:42.200 --> 00:17:45.119 You know, I think what's unique is the first parts of the supply 252 00:17:45.200 --> 00:17:49.960 chain and how cultured oil is is actually produced. And we we don't currently 253 00:17:49.960 --> 00:17:56.079 own our own production facilities and that's part of the reason that we've we're bringing 254 00:17:56.079 --> 00:18:00.480 a product to market having raised a little over thirty million dollars, as opposed 255 00:18:00.519 --> 00:18:03.000 to, you know, hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, and so 256 00:18:03.039 --> 00:18:07.720 we're able to leverage, you know, not not only the research that's been 257 00:18:07.720 --> 00:18:12.440 going on this space for for decades, but also the fermentation capacity of other 258 00:18:12.480 --> 00:18:18.799 companies that are able to produce the raw material for for cultured oil for US 259 00:18:18.920 --> 00:18:22.039 Um. So that's very that's very helpful when it comes to bringing this product 260 00:18:22.039 --> 00:18:26.880 to market and having those important supply chain partners. I know you didn't raise, 261 00:18:26.960 --> 00:18:30.519 you know, hundreds of millions or billion to kind of verticalish supply chain, 262 00:18:30.559 --> 00:18:33.279 but you still raise thirty seven million dollars, which is still a pretty 263 00:18:33.279 --> 00:18:37.160 good chunk, especially for I know that you're definitely a food tech company and 264 00:18:37.440 --> 00:18:41.720 you know really have your own I P and you know there's definitely obviously product 265 00:18:41.759 --> 00:18:47.680 innovation there. But when you were thinking about fundraising, what were the most 266 00:18:47.720 --> 00:18:51.839 expensive parts too, especially like the R and d side, to kind of 267 00:18:51.880 --> 00:18:56.319 get Um cultured oil off the ground? It is a capital intensive business for 268 00:18:56.359 --> 00:18:57.319 sure, so we knew we would need to raise money. You know, 269 00:18:57.480 --> 00:19:00.599 from the get go um we we did self funded for a little while at 270 00:19:00.640 --> 00:19:03.839 the beginning just to kind of get things off the ground, but we knew 271 00:19:03.839 --> 00:19:07.559 we need to raise money. You know, it's not cheap to do something 272 00:19:07.880 --> 00:19:11.680 innovative and to you know, do fermentation at scale and that sort of thing. 273 00:19:11.839 --> 00:19:15.119 Um. So what we found especially kind of looking back and talking to 274 00:19:15.160 --> 00:19:21.279 investors, that they found intriguing was that there's this huge market. Vegetable oil 275 00:19:21.319 --> 00:19:25.039 is the most consumed food in the world after rice and wheat, and we're 276 00:19:25.079 --> 00:19:29.160 making more of this stuff every year globally than beef, chicken, cheese and 277 00:19:29.359 --> 00:19:33.279 shrimp combined. So massive, massive market. And because it's doing so much 278 00:19:33.279 --> 00:19:37.279 harm, there's also this massive opportunity to have a really positive impact if we 279 00:19:37.319 --> 00:19:41.839 can replace all these vegetable oils with something else. The big question was, 280 00:19:41.880 --> 00:19:45.039 what is that something else? And we think fermentation is is the way to 281 00:19:45.079 --> 00:19:48.720 get there. But even if there's some fraction of our mission is achieved Um, 282 00:19:48.880 --> 00:19:53.880 that impact would be really, really enormous. And so what's expensive is 283 00:19:53.920 --> 00:19:59.799 research, you know, just like setting up the fermentation research, all that 284 00:20:00.000 --> 00:20:03.079 ouipment is really expensive. The people who are experts and able to actually do 285 00:20:03.160 --> 00:20:07.799 that, you know, people are extremely valuable. People are also aren't cheap. 286 00:20:07.079 --> 00:20:11.480 And when we were raising you know, raising the seed drout and even 287 00:20:11.519 --> 00:20:14.480 going into the series a Um, there is the opportunity to do something really 288 00:20:14.480 --> 00:20:18.039 big and I think a lot of our investors looked at the amount of money 289 00:20:18.079 --> 00:20:21.519 actually needed in the scheme of things, Um for for what the opportunity is. 290 00:20:21.559 --> 00:20:25.039 You know, it was. It was very worth investing into. Backing 291 00:20:25.119 --> 00:20:27.519 up a little bit. What else do you think about? What was wrong 292 00:20:27.880 --> 00:20:33.440 or or tough about coconut oil and avocado oil and maybe some of the other 293 00:20:33.640 --> 00:20:37.559 alternatives to Vegh boil they were currently in market? Yeah, we we looked 294 00:20:37.559 --> 00:20:41.440 at whether these could be viable alternatives. So with coconut oil, coconut oil 295 00:20:41.480 --> 00:20:48.440 only grows in the tropics. It grows very slowly and it there have been 296 00:20:48.480 --> 00:20:52.480 studies on this. It actually has the most negative biodiversity impact per leader of 297 00:20:52.480 --> 00:20:56.000 oil of any oil out there, even compared to palm. So from an 298 00:20:56.079 --> 00:21:00.559 environmental standpoint, on biodiversity standpoint, coconut oil is the worst and it has 299 00:21:00.599 --> 00:21:04.119 a really strong flavor, so you don't always want all your food tastes like 300 00:21:04.119 --> 00:21:07.559 coconuts. So it didn't seem like a good contender for really being able to 301 00:21:07.720 --> 00:21:11.720 solve the problem. And then coconut oil is also a solid fat. A 302 00:21:11.720 --> 00:21:15.000 lot of businesses and consumers, you know, like using vegetable oils sometimes, 303 00:21:15.039 --> 00:21:18.240 like a canola oil or something because it's liquid and it's just easy to work 304 00:21:18.279 --> 00:21:21.880 with. So yeah, that that's coconut oil. And then when when you 305 00:21:21.880 --> 00:21:25.359 look at some of the other oils, like olive or avocado oil, olive 306 00:21:25.400 --> 00:21:27.720 oil, you know, tends to have also a fairly strong taste and isn't 307 00:21:27.720 --> 00:21:30.440 great for cooking. You know, haws a lower smoke point, and some 308 00:21:30.480 --> 00:21:33.480 of these oils also, like if you've ever ever made a salad dressing with 309 00:21:33.519 --> 00:21:37.839 avocado or olive oil, it tends to clump up in the fridge. After 310 00:21:37.279 --> 00:21:41.119 a few hours or a few days, it starts to kind of solidify and 311 00:21:41.160 --> 00:21:42.039 then, yeah, you know, it's it's not always great a high heat, 312 00:21:42.079 --> 00:21:45.039 in the case of olive oil. Well, we're really excited about with 313 00:21:45.480 --> 00:21:48.160 cultured oil is that it's it can be used for both, and we say 314 00:21:48.200 --> 00:21:52.559 it's kind of the one oil to rule them all because it stays liquid in 315 00:21:52.559 --> 00:21:55.039 the fridge. You can make a salad dressing or Marinad and it won't clump 316 00:21:55.119 --> 00:21:57.880 up in the fridge and it also has one of the highest recorded smoke points 317 00:21:57.880 --> 00:22:02.400 that we could find. It's very stable at high heat. So yeah, 318 00:22:02.440 --> 00:22:04.079 you can, you can really use it for everything. Every other oil is 319 00:22:04.119 --> 00:22:07.880 required some sort of compromise or sacrifice. You know, the oils that maybe 320 00:22:07.880 --> 00:22:11.359 were lower in the bad fats and better for our health tended to have some 321 00:22:11.440 --> 00:22:17.200 of the biggest environmental negative impacts or, you know, had had very strong 322 00:22:17.240 --> 00:22:19.480 flavors and weren't great for culinary purposes. Yeah, we felt like we just 323 00:22:19.720 --> 00:22:22.640 we had to bring something to market that was better. What's also great about 324 00:22:22.680 --> 00:22:27.799 cultural oil is the taste. And you're not really making a huge leap to 325 00:22:29.400 --> 00:22:32.599 a new type of taste because, of course, you know, in any 326 00:22:32.599 --> 00:22:34.799 consumable, you know, taste is kind of always, you know, usually 327 00:22:34.920 --> 00:22:38.920 the number one priority for consumers. What does it taste like, especially if 328 00:22:38.960 --> 00:22:41.079 it's going to be used as well, if you can use it in salads, 329 00:22:41.079 --> 00:22:45.079 not only for cooking? How would you describe it? We describe it 330 00:22:45.119 --> 00:22:48.880 as a really clean, neutral taste. If you put like your oil Somalia 331 00:22:48.039 --> 00:22:52.119 hat on and, you know, you just have the oil straight up, 332 00:22:52.160 --> 00:22:56.599 like we do, you might pick up subtle notes of nuttiness or buttery nous. 333 00:22:57.000 --> 00:23:00.920 That's pretty tasty. That, you know, is good in all foods. 334 00:23:00.000 --> 00:23:03.079 But yeah, there's no strong bitterness, no strong flavors. It's pretty 335 00:23:03.079 --> 00:23:07.079 subtle, really clean can be can be used for a number of things. 336 00:23:07.200 --> 00:23:10.440 You know, it could even be combined with something like a toasted sesame oil 337 00:23:10.599 --> 00:23:12.960 or um an extra virgin olive oil if you're looking for a little bit of 338 00:23:12.960 --> 00:23:17.599 a distinct flavor. And what would be cool about doing that is something like 339 00:23:17.680 --> 00:23:21.039 olive oil. You know, combining it with cultured oil, you create something 340 00:23:21.079 --> 00:23:23.319 that's more stable and something that would, you know, stay liquid in the 341 00:23:23.319 --> 00:23:26.880 fridge because of that flavor, that taste. It can really be used for 342 00:23:26.920 --> 00:23:32.160 everything. Do you believe that you can eventually compete at a price level with 343 00:23:32.279 --> 00:23:37.440 vegetable so vegetable oils have actually like quadrupled in price in the last four years. 344 00:23:37.039 --> 00:23:41.920 Wow, okay, that certainly makes our job easier, and not that 345 00:23:41.960 --> 00:23:45.839 we did anything to to influence that, that certainly makes it easier. We're 346 00:23:45.839 --> 00:23:48.720 not going to be we're not going to be cheaper than like palm oil or 347 00:23:48.720 --> 00:23:52.200 soybean oil in the next couple of years. I mean, if it quadruples 348 00:23:52.200 --> 00:23:55.480 in price again, then who knows, maybe maybe I'll be I'll be wrong. 349 00:23:55.640 --> 00:23:57.359 But yeah, there are a number of ways to bring down the cost 350 00:23:57.440 --> 00:24:03.039 and a lot of it just comes through continued research and you know, making 351 00:24:03.039 --> 00:24:06.559 the process even more efficient, as well as just economies of scale. And 352 00:24:06.599 --> 00:24:11.119 any new product is not going to buy definition is not going to have economies 353 00:24:11.160 --> 00:24:12.759 of scale yet. So even all the little things like, you know, 354 00:24:12.799 --> 00:24:15.680 the bottle and the cardboard box that chips in. You know, even those 355 00:24:15.720 --> 00:24:19.680 things are are really expensive for us right now at this low volume. So 356 00:24:19.759 --> 00:24:26.039 all those costs will come down pretty significantly. And when we sell to businesses, 357 00:24:26.039 --> 00:24:27.799 you know, packaged food companies for example, there just aren't as many 358 00:24:27.799 --> 00:24:32.279 of those other costs. You know, we're just shipping large amounts of cultured 359 00:24:32.279 --> 00:24:36.400 oil and and big totes. Then the price is more competitive still. You 360 00:24:36.400 --> 00:24:37.839 know, over the course of the next couple of years it's not going to 361 00:24:37.920 --> 00:24:41.880 be palm oil prices, but it's in the neighborhood of of those of other 362 00:24:41.920 --> 00:24:48.279 premium oils. Since oils, I think when we began this conversation, you 363 00:24:48.359 --> 00:24:52.599 mentioned how oils are just not an area that people kind of think about right 364 00:24:52.839 --> 00:24:56.160 Um, use for food, what have you. How do you get consumers 365 00:24:56.160 --> 00:24:59.640 to care? How do you think about consumers? Actually, you know that 366 00:24:59.720 --> 00:25:03.200 kind of consumer education piece about zero Acre. How are you approaching that? 367 00:25:03.680 --> 00:25:07.839 This is how most kind of categories or movements start where there's like a no 368 00:25:08.079 --> 00:25:11.680 esoteric corner of the Internet that really cares about something and then before you know 369 00:25:11.720 --> 00:25:15.400 it it's like mainstream. So this firsthand with with Keto, you know, 370 00:25:15.519 --> 00:25:19.359 the the ketogenic diets. It used to be a very strange thing that you 371 00:25:19.359 --> 00:25:23.960 would measure your blood ketone levels and completely remove a a macronutrient from your diet, 372 00:25:25.039 --> 00:25:29.119 essentially in carbohydrates, and then didn't take long for it to be mainstream 373 00:25:29.160 --> 00:25:33.079 and everyone from your mom to Kim and Kardashian was on a Keto Diet, 374 00:25:33.119 --> 00:25:37.519 and I think that's what we're seeing actually with people who are avoiding vegetable oils, 375 00:25:37.640 --> 00:25:40.839 or industrial seed oils, as they're sometimes called. You know, more 376 00:25:41.079 --> 00:25:44.960 in the nineties would have been very different. Everyone was hailing canola oil and 377 00:25:45.039 --> 00:25:48.079 corn oil, you know, Missola corn oil and western soybean oil. These 378 00:25:48.079 --> 00:25:52.319 were the heart healthy alternatives, and now more and more people are kind of 379 00:25:52.359 --> 00:25:56.240 raising an eyebrow at the idea that we should be guzzling canola oil and corn 380 00:25:56.319 --> 00:26:00.279 oil and soybean oil. You know, they don't have the health the Halos, 381 00:26:00.400 --> 00:26:03.000 and that's really only changed, of course, the last couple of decades 382 00:26:03.039 --> 00:26:08.039 and I think will continue to change when more and more people and influencers and, 383 00:26:08.160 --> 00:26:12.079 you know, regulatory bodies start to realize how problematic these oils are. 384 00:26:12.359 --> 00:26:15.359 A big part of what we do is we partner with the people who have 385 00:26:15.559 --> 00:26:21.119 large audiences and can speak eloquently to this subject, and those are, you 386 00:26:21.160 --> 00:26:22.240 know, kind of kind of like we talked about earlier. Those can be 387 00:26:22.240 --> 00:26:26.039 folks with podcasts, those can be folks with big instagram followings, those can 388 00:26:26.079 --> 00:26:30.319 be folks who share their culinary creations on Tiktok and, you know, we're 389 00:26:30.319 --> 00:26:33.799 getting cultured oil into their hands and they love it and and they spread that 390 00:26:33.839 --> 00:26:40.079 message. How do you also think about trends overall and better for you and 391 00:26:40.599 --> 00:26:44.039 different kind of Diet profiles that people are maybe navigating to? For example, 392 00:26:44.079 --> 00:26:47.559 when you did you know perfect was, I'd imagine it was very much targeted 393 00:26:47.599 --> 00:26:51.559 towards, you know, people that were interested or doing the cheogenetic diet, 394 00:26:51.680 --> 00:26:55.319 for example, and it seemed like quite you know targeted, especially like in 395 00:26:55.359 --> 00:26:59.039 the name for that. But it seems like in this case zero maker farms, 396 00:26:59.079 --> 00:27:00.480 it's a bit more broad to can serve, you know, maybe a 397 00:27:00.519 --> 00:27:04.680 more variety of of different kind of diets and things. It seems like a 398 00:27:04.720 --> 00:27:08.319 bit. It seems like you're in a great place to kind of win. 399 00:27:08.359 --> 00:27:11.640 More broadly, the mission we're on, that we stay focused on, is 400 00:27:12.160 --> 00:27:15.400 Um. We need to get rid of these harmful oils and replace them with 401 00:27:15.440 --> 00:27:21.079 healthy, sustainable fats, and that solution can be a part of a number 402 00:27:21.119 --> 00:27:25.599 of different diets. Different dietary tribes look at fats in in different ways. 403 00:27:25.880 --> 00:27:29.960 Um. But one of the things that's cool about cultured oil is it's extremely 404 00:27:30.039 --> 00:27:33.559 high and mono unsaturated fats, which are the heart healthy heat stable. Um. 405 00:27:33.640 --> 00:27:37.920 You know, saturated fats are super controversial. Other types of fats are 406 00:27:37.960 --> 00:27:41.839 controversial. Everyone kind of agrees mono unsaturated fats are great. So there's not 407 00:27:41.920 --> 00:27:45.880 like some huge battle we have to have their over convincing people that they're healthy 408 00:27:45.920 --> 00:27:49.799 fats. It's widely accepted no matter. No matter what Diet you follow. 409 00:27:51.519 --> 00:27:56.119 As a consumer and as someone who is passionate and maniacal probably about your own 410 00:27:56.200 --> 00:28:00.279 nutrition and and what you eat, how do you think about this? Should 411 00:28:00.319 --> 00:28:03.200 when you're analyzing pipe about what you eat in terms of what's better for you 412 00:28:03.319 --> 00:28:06.559 versus better for the environment, because it seems like we're also kind of like 413 00:28:06.839 --> 00:28:10.720 a bit of a bifurcation as well. Yeah, and Um, it's really 414 00:28:10.799 --> 00:28:14.640 unfortunate, you know, it's it sucks that you'd have to choose over you 415 00:28:14.680 --> 00:28:17.559 know, choose between doing the thing that's good for you and Trut doing the 416 00:28:17.599 --> 00:28:18.799 thing that's good for the planet. And then you can even throw a third 417 00:28:18.880 --> 00:28:22.079 variable in there, which is like what actually tastes good, and you could 418 00:28:22.119 --> 00:28:26.480 be eating just like, uh, I don't know, like raw lettuce and 419 00:28:26.599 --> 00:28:32.000 Keenoi every day and be patting yourself on the back. But how sustainable is 420 00:28:32.039 --> 00:28:33.519 that really? How long is that going to last before you just go back 421 00:28:33.519 --> 00:28:37.599 to the fries and cheeseburger? So, yeah, that's that's a really important 422 00:28:37.599 --> 00:28:41.480 component as well. And with cultured oil, from the beginning the intention was 423 00:28:41.759 --> 00:28:45.079 you wouldn't have to make a compromise. And both human health and planetary health 424 00:28:45.079 --> 00:28:48.799 are are very core to our mission and it's one of the reasons where public 425 00:28:48.799 --> 00:28:52.839 benefit corporation is so that we can actually make decisions based on what's what's best 426 00:28:52.839 --> 00:28:56.920 for that. You know that mission, as opposed to just what's best for 427 00:28:56.920 --> 00:28:59.599 the bottom line. Certainly in other areas of food tech you know, we 428 00:28:59.599 --> 00:29:02.799 we've seen that as well, where maybe a product is marketed as better for 429 00:29:02.839 --> 00:29:06.400 the planet, but then there are questions about the healthfulness of that product or, 430 00:29:06.400 --> 00:29:08.200 you know, whether it tastes very good. But fat is delicious. 431 00:29:08.240 --> 00:29:11.759 You know, fat makes everything tastes better, and it's it's the source of 432 00:29:11.799 --> 00:29:15.960 Fat, namely vegetable oils, that are problematic. So our core belief is 433 00:29:17.319 --> 00:29:19.160 you don't have to ditch the delicious food. We can keep all the delicious 434 00:29:19.200 --> 00:29:23.240 food, we just need to ditch the vegetable oils and then that delicious food 435 00:29:23.279 --> 00:29:27.160 becomes either a whole lot less problematic or, you know, it goes from 436 00:29:27.160 --> 00:29:30.480 being a not so great food to actually totally find food. So yeah, 437 00:29:30.559 --> 00:29:33.839 it has to taste good. And then, I think the next question is, 438 00:29:33.880 --> 00:29:37.960 will this benefit me, especially when you look at data and consumer pulling, 439 00:29:37.079 --> 00:29:40.960 what consumers care about? Is this good for me? Is this good 440 00:29:41.000 --> 00:29:45.400 for my family? And then after that comes will this benefit the future of 441 00:29:45.440 --> 00:29:49.039 the planet? And certainly there are some consumers who put the environmental benefit as 442 00:29:49.119 --> 00:29:52.599 in front and center when making a purchasing decision. Certainly it's not the majority 443 00:29:52.599 --> 00:29:56.200 of consumers. Yet all those variables are important. Are are important and different 444 00:29:56.200 --> 00:30:00.519 people have different priorities, but most people are still making selfish decisions. You 445 00:30:00.640 --> 00:30:03.279 understandably, it's gotta taste good, it's gotta be good for me. If 446 00:30:03.279 --> 00:30:10.119 it can also have an environmental benefit, great. What the one company you 447 00:30:10.240 --> 00:30:14.920 most admire and how do they impact you? That's a really hard question to 448 00:30:14.960 --> 00:30:19.279 answer because this goes for books I read, people I talked to, you 449 00:30:19.279 --> 00:30:22.200 know, companies I looked up to, which is, frankly, I don't 450 00:30:22.240 --> 00:30:25.880 think there is one company where I would just kind of want to copy and 451 00:30:25.920 --> 00:30:30.359 paste. But what I really appreciate and enjoy doing is pulling bits from different 452 00:30:30.359 --> 00:30:33.599 companies. You know that I respect, so I can give you a few 453 00:30:33.599 --> 00:30:37.119 examples Um and again. Not to say that I admire everything they do or 454 00:30:37.119 --> 00:30:41.319 even most things they do, but certain companies are, for example, the 455 00:30:41.359 --> 00:30:44.640 most valuable companies in the world for good reason, and you don't always have 456 00:30:44.680 --> 00:30:47.880 to reinvent the wheel. So I think literally the companies that have been most 457 00:30:47.880 --> 00:30:51.200 successful are good places to start Um, and they're most successful for a reason. 458 00:30:51.279 --> 00:30:55.200 So, like apple in there's in the simplicity of their marketing messaging. 459 00:30:55.279 --> 00:30:59.319 I really look up to Tesla and how they've defined a category and how much 460 00:30:59.319 --> 00:31:03.640 they've innovated, the impact that they've had on climate Patagonia and their commitment to 461 00:31:03.920 --> 00:31:07.440 regeneration and to sustainability. Reading a book on on Amazon, and I've been 462 00:31:07.440 --> 00:31:11.000 following Amazon's journey for for a long time now, you know, having any 463 00:31:11.079 --> 00:31:17.279 commerce background, and they are just relentlessly focused on on the customer and they 464 00:31:17.319 --> 00:31:21.359 have these very key leadership principles that drive them. So I love being able 465 00:31:21.400 --> 00:31:25.480 to kind of pull different learnings from different companies and of what they do well, 466 00:31:25.920 --> 00:31:27.720 and then also, you know, like watching some of these shows on 467 00:31:27.799 --> 00:31:33.960 like we work and UH and Uber and there noes also some very clear signs 468 00:31:33.960 --> 00:31:37.799 and learnings on on what not to do from certain companies. That's a really 469 00:31:37.839 --> 00:31:41.119 great point. What's one book that inspired you personally, one book that inspired 470 00:31:41.160 --> 00:31:42.640 you professionally? If you can choose one, if it's a couple, then 471 00:31:42.640 --> 00:31:48.319 that's totally fine. Okay, I appreciate the flexibility. Personally, I'm kind 472 00:31:48.319 --> 00:31:55.039 of a science fiction nerd and there's a book series called the three body problem. 473 00:31:55.079 --> 00:32:00.839 This inspired me professionally because this was a book or series that spanned billions 474 00:32:00.839 --> 00:32:06.160 of years and, you know, multiple galaxies and multiple universes and you read 475 00:32:06.200 --> 00:32:08.960 that book and it kind of just puts your day to day problems into perspective 476 00:32:09.000 --> 00:32:12.880 and seem not so important when you're looking at a time scale of, you 477 00:32:12.880 --> 00:32:16.400 know, the universe or billions of years. And then also just the like 478 00:32:16.440 --> 00:32:21.359 the original kind of self help and management books. Um, there's a book 479 00:32:21.359 --> 00:32:23.039 called think and grow rich, which is all about Um, you know, 480 00:32:23.119 --> 00:32:28.359 kind of like how you channel your desires and interests and rich not just in 481 00:32:28.440 --> 00:32:30.119 terms of money, but kind of having a rich life, and that book 482 00:32:30.200 --> 00:32:32.720 was really, really impactful. The last one I will to say, I'm 483 00:32:32.720 --> 00:32:36.960 on personal is, I think the name of the book is actually just the 484 00:32:37.000 --> 00:32:39.519 history of the world. But but there are others. Reading about history is 485 00:32:39.559 --> 00:32:44.079 also eye opening because you start to realize that all the stuff we're dealing with 486 00:32:44.319 --> 00:32:46.079 kind of kind a personal and societal level, most of it is just the 487 00:32:46.119 --> 00:32:49.880 same problems with kind of, you know, a different outer layer. As 488 00:32:50.279 --> 00:32:52.559 a human culture, we've been just dealing with the same stuff for thousands of 489 00:32:52.640 --> 00:32:57.279 years. And speaking of you know, perspective, like reading about the universe, 490 00:32:57.279 --> 00:33:00.279 reading about history is also a good way to have perspect divon on today's 491 00:33:00.319 --> 00:33:05.279 problems. And then professionally. So I mentioned autobiography. Is like reading about, 492 00:33:05.359 --> 00:33:08.559 you know, Amazon and others. Really appreciate those books, similar to, 493 00:33:08.960 --> 00:33:13.079 you know, the books I enjoy personally. Um, I like going 494 00:33:13.119 --> 00:33:16.559 back to the kind of like the old school business books, like Peter Drucker, 495 00:33:16.880 --> 00:33:20.599 who has written books on management. You know, so many of the 496 00:33:20.680 --> 00:33:22.359 modern management books are kind of just pulling from that. You know, it 497 00:33:22.400 --> 00:33:25.799 can be a little dry at times, but I really appreciate reading those kind 498 00:33:25.839 --> 00:33:30.000 of like core original materials on things like business management. Cool. Well, 499 00:33:30.000 --> 00:33:32.920 that's awesome. That's awesome. Well, I'm excited to add a few of 500 00:33:32.960 --> 00:33:37.039 these two our book lists. That's that's great. My Pot a question to 501 00:33:37.119 --> 00:33:40.400 you is what's the biggest piece of advice for anyone that's founding a business? 502 00:33:40.640 --> 00:33:45.160 Definitely reconsider it. It is a ton of work and it's not like some 503 00:33:45.359 --> 00:33:50.839 easy, glamorous thing. It's very, very difficult. But if you know, 504 00:33:50.920 --> 00:33:53.400 if you can't help but start a business because you just feel so called 505 00:33:53.440 --> 00:33:57.519 to it, then it can also be incredibly rewarding. I think the main 506 00:33:57.559 --> 00:34:00.240 advice would be to question the status quo. Just because there's a way of 507 00:34:00.279 --> 00:34:02.960 doing something, that doesn't mean it's the right way or the optimal way to 508 00:34:02.960 --> 00:34:07.639 do it usually just means there were these circumstances or politics that that led it 509 00:34:07.639 --> 00:34:10.559 to being that way. And then the second piece would be to talk to 510 00:34:10.599 --> 00:34:15.719 people and do it as as frequently as you can. There are so many 511 00:34:15.760 --> 00:34:19.280 things in business where you can learn from others mistakes. You don't have to 512 00:34:19.280 --> 00:34:21.840 make them yourself. But at the same time, don't get caught an analysis 513 00:34:21.880 --> 00:34:23.079 paralysis where you're like, okay, I'm just gonna talk to people for the 514 00:34:23.079 --> 00:34:25.719 next five years and then, you know, eventually start a business. Once 515 00:34:25.760 --> 00:34:28.800 you feel ready to go. You should just do it and then, and 516 00:34:28.800 --> 00:34:31.239 then when you dive in, that's that's when the real learning starts. Awesome, 517 00:34:31.480 --> 00:34:35.000 Jeff, thanks so much for your time. This has been a lot 518 00:34:35.000 --> 00:34:37.880 of fun. Really appreciate you coming on. My pleasure and thank you for 519 00:34:37.920 --> 00:34:43.599 your time, Mike. It was great. And then you have it. 520 00:34:43.599 --> 00:34:46.760 It was such a prilure toining with Jeff. This is certainly a new category 521 00:34:46.800 --> 00:34:51.719 that we haven't explored yet on the show cooking oil, and so really appreciate 522 00:34:51.800 --> 00:34:55.119 him coming on and telling us about the better for you option that he's created 523 00:34:55.400 --> 00:34:59.639 as zero acre. If you enjoyed this episode. I love it. If 524 00:34:59.639 --> 00:35:02.159 you're read review on the Apple Podcast, you're also welcome to follow me your 525 00:35:02.199 --> 00:35:07.280 host, Mike, on twitter at Mike Gel and also follow for episode announcements 526 00:35:07.320 --> 00:35:27.519 at Consumer VC. Thanks for listening, everyone. Oh Oh, oh,