From lab to lunch plate

On Demand (IF 2020)

1 hrPWYD

Discussion | Environment & Nature, Food & Drink

A tantalising look into the future of food and the psychology of cuisine. What are your views on lab-grown ‘clean meat’ or putting cricket-crunchies and mealworms on the menu? Insect-based protein is growing globally with smaller environmental impacts than meat.

Pioneering the clean pet-food revolution, Ryan Bethencourt explores the technical, social, economic and ethical questions with our panel – what’s to your taste? Joining the discussion, gastrophysicist Professor Charles Spence shares insights from his research at the interface of psychology neuroscience, technology and fine dining; Professor Mark Post, creator of the world’s first lab-grown burger reflects on progress and Andrew Knight explores the environmental impact of contemporary diet.

Watch the recording of this live public event held on

16 October 2020 at IF Oxford

Ryan Bethencourt is a co-founder and CEO at Wild Earth, bringing years of experience in leading, building and advising high-growth food and biotechnology companies. Ryan is a biotech entrepreneur, investor, and one of the founders of the biohacker movement. He’s a co-founder, former Program Director, and Venture Partner at IndieBio and has invested in over 70 early stage biotech startups and served as the head of life sciences at the XPRIZE Foundation. As an ethical vegan, Ryan is passionate about the future of biology as a technology, applied across all industries to solve some of humanity’s most intractable problems. His work at the interface of science, food, and business has been covered by many major publications.



Professor Charles Spence, Head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, is interested in how people perceive the world around them and how our brains process the information from each of our different senses to form the extraordinarily rich multisensory experiences that fill our daily lives. His research focuses on how a better understanding of the human mind will lead to the better design of multisensory foods, products, interfaces, and environments in the future.



Mark Post is a Dutch pharmacologist and Professor of of Vascular Pharmacology at Maastricht University. He researches skeletal muscle tissue engineering in order to create cultured consumption meat. This technology offers great opportunities for future meat production if culture efficiency and tissue mimicry can be achieved in a cost-effective manner.



Andrew Knight has been trying to improve the welfare of animals, people and the environment, for all of his adult life. He was a cat and dog veterinarian for many years, before being recruited into a University. He’s now a veterinary Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, and Founding Director of the Centre for Animal Welfare, at the University of Winchester. His research interests are often controversial, and include the effects of the livestock sector on climate change and biodiversity loss, and plant-based and alternative pet foods.


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