Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
The Modern Health Nerd Podcast

The Modern Health Nerd Podcast

By Theresa Houghton

The modern food system is broken and our health is terrible. What can we do to fix it?

Theresa "Sam" Houghton, Chief Nerd at The Modern Health Nerd, brings together the movers, shakers and innovators from food, health, agriculture and everywhere in between for fascinating conversations that examine what individuals and companies are doing to transform what we eat and how we live.

From innovative plant-based products and indoor vertical farming to fitness and foodtech, every episode features some of the most thoughtful and innovative minds making an impact across industries.
Available on
Apple Podcasts Logo
Google Podcasts Logo
Overcast Logo
RadioPublic Logo
Spotify Logo
Currently playing episode

Plant-Based Diet Transition Tips to Empower Your Health Journey: Panel Discussion

The Modern Health Nerd PodcastMar 09, 2022

Plant-Based Diet Transition Tips to Empower Your Health Journey: Panel Discussion

Plant-Based Diet Transition Tips to Empower Your Health Journey: Panel Discussion

“Don’t worry so much about what you don’t know. Just step into it and try it.” ~ Kathy Davis

For some people, going plant-based can be intimidating. There are so many unknowns: Does it require shopping at special stores? Subsisting on mock meats and cheeses? Spending countless hours trying recipes that may or may not taste good?

Cyd Notter, Kathy Davis and Chuck Carroll agree that the answer is a resounding NO.

In fact, they can all say from experience that going plant-based was much easier than they expected—and it’s led to other positive changes in their lives, including better health and more confidence. So much so that Chuck calls the plant-based lifestyle “Life 2.0.”

Follow The Modern Health Nerd

Apple - Spotify - Google - Overcast - Breaker

🥗 Episode Highlights

- Tips for going all-in with a plant-based diet if you don’t know where to start

- Encouragement for anyone who’s afraid going plant based will be too hard

- How to overcome the struggles many people face when going plant-based

- Why it’s important to have a solid reason—not just a short-term goal—for adopting a plant-based diet

- Why plant-based diets are the gateway to long-term health

- How going plant-based can inspire confidence and vitality in other areas of life

Get takeaway tips for brands here: SITE LINK

About Cyd, Chuck and Kathy

Cyd Notter is a graduate of the Center for Nutrition Studies, a certified instructor for The Starch Solution and other dietary courses, a past newspaper columnist, and the author of the award-winning book The “Plan A” Diet: Combining Whole Food, Plant-Based Nutrition with the Timeless Wisdom of Scripture.

Kathy Davis is a plant-based lifestyle and mindset coach, the CEO of VegInspired, and the author of three plant-based cookbooks. Kathy empowers high-achieving professionals to elevate their energy by adopting healthy living habits so they can show up at their optimum performance and achieve their goals.

Chuck Carroll is known as “The Weight Loss Champion” for a reason — he has lost and kept off 280 pounds for more than 10 years! Now he is using his new lease on life to inspire others and host The Exam Room Podcast by the Physicians Committee, which has been downloaded millions of times to become the No. 1 nutrition podcast in nearly 80 countries!

Connect with Today's Guests


Kathy:, Instagram @veginspired, @eatmoreplantsacademy

Chuck:, Instagram & Twitter @chuckcarrollwlc, Facebook @WeightLossChampion

Mar 09, 202244:58
Giving Patients Power Over Their Health with Plant-Based TeleHealth

Giving Patients Power Over Their Health with Plant-Based TeleHealth

“What ends up happening is the patient is now in charge of their health.” ~ Dr. Niki Davis

Traditional medicine addresses chronic disease with pills and procedures that control symptoms or attempt to fix damage that’s already been done.

Plant-Based TeleHealth takes a different approach: lifestyle medicine that uses a plant-based diet and personalized care to get to the root of diseases and help patients heal.

Follow The Modern Health Nerd

Apple - Spotify - Google - Overcast - Breaker

That’s what attracted Dr. Kim Scheuer, Dr. Niki Davis, Dr. Colin Zhu and Dr. Chris Miller to this unique new practice that serves patients across the U.S. They wanted to stop “putting band-aids” on patients’ problems, go beyond what they were able to do in traditional practice and start giving patients the time and attention they needed to get better—for good.

Through Plant-Based TeleHealth, these doctors and their colleagues are able to help patients reduce their medications and improve their health. The patients get less of what they don’t want (more pills) and more of what they do want (freedom from symptoms and disease).

Episode Highlights

- How taking a holistic look at the whole person instead of just their symptoms changes the way medicine is practiced and enables a lifestyle approach

- Why the ability to spend more time with patients is critical to helping them make lasting diet and lifestyle changes

- The need to dig deeper and go beyond nutrition to discover all the potential factors that influence patients’ health

- The importance of understanding what potentially conflicting information patients will get from traditional doctors who don’t understand plant-based lifestyle medicine

- The need for a paradigm shift in health, wellness and medicine to get people back to the basics and on track for long-term healing

- Success stories from the doctors’ practices

About Plant-Based TeleHealth

Plant Based TeleHealth (PBTH) provides offers lifestyle medicine care for patients who have chronic disease and other conditions. Through the powerful, evidence-based practice of promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyle modification, including a whole food, plant-based diet, doctors work with patients to help them go beyond managing symptoms to experience real healing.

Connect with the Doctors Online


- Dr. Scheuer:,  Instagram @drkimscheuer

- Dr. Davis:, @nikidavismd on Facebook and Instagram

- Dr. Miller:

- Dr. Zhu:, @thechefdoc on social media, host of Thrive Bites podcast at

Mar 02, 202246:24
The Secret to Plant-Based Diet Success is Science, Not Dogma with Simon Hill

The Secret to Plant-Based Diet Success is Science, Not Dogma with Simon Hill

“Our health is not determined by one single meal or one single food that we eat at one point in time. It’s about consistency over years and years.” ~ Simon Hill

Simon Hill’s journey into the plant-based space started at age 15 when he saw his father have a heart attack. Since that first brush with the effects of lifestyle disease, Simon has immersed himself in the science of diet and plant-based nutrition in his career as a nutritionist, podcast host and author.

Rather than supporting any particular dietary dogma in the plant-based space, he provides research-backed advice backed to help people plant their diets appropriately according to goals and life stage.

Follow The Modern Health Nerd

Apple - Spotify - Google - Overcast - Breaker

“I think it’s important to not always reduce everything to black and white,” he says, “because science is not black and white.”

Simon believes it’s going to take more data collected across demographics to settle some of the persistent questions about plant-based nutrition and ensure that people have the best information to tailor their diets to changing needs as they age.

He believes “every diet needs to be appropriately planned” and continues to use his platform to provide information and guidance that helps people adopt and stick to healthy plant-based diets.

Episode Highlights

- Why educating people about healthy food isn’t the key to improving diets or health outcomes

- How the food environment may prevent people from making healthier dietary choices

- A scientific look at common myths and misconceptions in the plant-based space

- Why being aware of nutrient needs specific to plant-based diets and current life stage is a smarter approach than obsessing over single nutrients or foods

- Why it’s important for the plant-based community to be opened-minded about new discoveries in nutrition science

- Simon’s tips for maximizing nutrition and health on a plant-based diet

About Simon & Plant Proof

Simon Hill is a nutritionist and qualified physiotherapist and the the founder of the popularPlant Proofpodcast and blog.

On top of his formal education, Simon spends hours deciphering scientific studies so that he can break down how to fuel your body to promote longevity and reduce the chance of developing disease while simultaneously achieving whatever health and fitness goals you may have.

Follow, Listen to & Read Simon’s Work


- Twitter:

- Facebook:

- Instagram:

- The Plant Proof Podcast:

- Buy The Proof is in the Plants:

Feb 23, 202248:25
Getting a Balanced Perspective on Vegan Diets with Ginny Messina (the Vegan RD)

Getting a Balanced Perspective on Vegan Diets with Ginny Messina (the Vegan RD)

“Whether it’s in whole food plant based or ethical veganism, ... there is a way for everybody to adopt this diet.” ~ Ginny Messina

As a registered dietician and a vegan of almost 30 years, Ginny Messina has a lot of experience in the plant-based space. She spends a lot of her time writing books, articles and tweets relating to vegan and plant-based nutrition.

Her goal with all this work? To “ensure that vegans have the best information that will allow them to stay vegan.”

Ginny brings a balanced and reasonable perspective to some of the most common questions and controversial issues within the plant-based community, including protein and fat, oil consumption and whether “ultra-processed” foods and sweet treats have a place in a healthy diet.

Follow The Modern Health Nerd

Apple - Spotify - Google - Overcast - Breaker

Sam on LinkedIn:

While she maintains that anybody can be vegan, she also acknowledges that doing it right requires some attention to nutrition. But she doesn’t see this as a shortcoming for plant-based eating. In fact, she believes taking the extra time to get educated and supplement properly is more than worth it for the health and environmental benefits the diet offers.

Full show notes here:

Episode Highlights

- Giving vegans good, accurate nutrition and health formation to help them succeed on a plant-based diet

- Ginny’s balanced views on protein, fat and other hot-button vegan nutrition issues

- The changing nutritional requirements throughout life that vegans need to pay attention to

- Psychological benefits of eating higher protein for people who come from SAD/meat-centric diets (satisfying, helps them stay vegan)

- Why it’s okay (and even beneficial!) to add some oil to your plant-based diet

- Essential and important supplements for plant-based eaters

- Why Ginny thinks veganism is “the ideal way to eat in our world today”—and it’s not *just* due to the health benefits

- Why the fat shaming in the vegan space needs to stop

- Importance of balance and realism when talking health in the plant-based space

Connect with Ginny’s Work


- Twitter:

- Facebook:

- Instagram:

- Amazon author page:

Feb 16, 202233:59
How to Make Your Plant-Based Brand Stand Out with Zoë Geller of Fire Ox Foods

How to Make Your Plant-Based Brand Stand Out with Zoë Geller of Fire Ox Foods

“Always be open to learning. Don’t assume that what you have is what people want, and that it’s the right solution.” ~ Zoë Geller, co-founder, Fire Ox Foods

After working with Americorps and food distributor Zoë Geller realized there was a huge gap in both knowledge about and access to nutritious food. It wasn’t long before she did something to address the problem—by founding Fire Ox Foods.

Fire Ox is using delicious flavors inspired by world cuisines to make vegetables attractive and simple to prepare so that people can easily incorporate more whole plant-based foods into their diets.

Follow The Modern Health Nerd

Apple - Spotify - Google - Overcast - Breaker

Sam on LinkedIn:

Zoë and her co-founder, Jason, drew on their mutual love for dishes from around the world as inspiration for their products and are bringing these meals to consumers in a convenient frozen format.

Fire Ox focuses on taste first to make their meals both enjoyable and nourishing. And Zoë keeps her ears open to customer feedback to continue improving Fire Ox products. Whether it’s increasing the amount of food in each meal or calling out the number of vegetable servings on the package, she’s all about staying flexible.

Because, she says, there’s a difference between driving trial and getting repeat customers. “You can get a lot of people to try your product, ... but you need them to keep coming back.”

The secret lies in paying attention to sales data, talking to customers and being willing to stay nimble as the brand adjusts its messaging. Zoë has some great insights into what to look for and how to make those changes to get products in front of more people.

Episode Highlights

- Seeking opportunities to bring unique products to market by identifying gaps where your passion could fill a need

- Supporting brand goals by staying consistent in every area—from naming to ingredients to packaging to messaging

- Using customer feedback to differentiate your products from others in the market

- The importance of being open to learning more about your customers and how they use or consume your product

- Tips for testing messaging before and after coming to market

- Using sales data, customer data and feedback to hone in on the problem you’re solving for consumers

- Going beyond product to educate and empower consumers through content

About Zoë

Zoë Geller founded Fire Ox to create a more sustainable food system. Her time at Americorps and Common Market taught her how to grow food and opened her eyes to how the unjust industrial food system shapes our diets and bodies, and this sparked her passion to create good, nourishing food that is better for people and planet.

About Fire Ox Foods

Fire Ox is on a mission to help people eat better for themselves and the planet by making delicious, vegetable-based foods accessible to all. Their line of vegetable-based frozen meals is inspired by cuisines from around the world.

Connect With (and Try!) Fire Ox Foods


- Instagram: @fireoxfoods

- Facebook: Fire Ox Foods

- Email:

Feb 09, 202228:36
How to Position Plant-Based Foods Using Nuance and Consumer Research: Industry Expert Panel

How to Position Plant-Based Foods Using Nuance and Consumer Research: Industry Expert Panel

“First, I think you have to understand the goals of the individual before you start assigning what products will work for them and what products should be on the market.” ~ Elysabeth Alfano

Elysabeth Alfano, David Benzaquen and Irina Gerry are no strangers to the plant-based space. Their collective experience spans from hosting a plant-based business podcast to investment and advising to marketing roles at some of the most well-known plant-based companies.

And they have a ton of insight into how brands can position their products and attract consumers in today’s growing plant-based market. With sub-niches spanning from cultivated meat to unprocessed plant foods, there’s plenty of room for innovation.

Rate & review the Modern Health Nerd →

Support the podcast (Click the “support” button) →

One of the biggest areas of opportunity for brands? Fresh and minimally-processed produce.

With whole food plant based becoming its own category, it’s more important than ever for brands to understand who they’re marketing to, what those consumers need and the best ways to deliver it through products and messaging.

Episode highlights

The broad spectrum of plant-based food and consumers’ perceptions of health How brands play a role in plant-based diets—including encouraging consumers to eat more produce Getting super specific with marketing to position plant-based products in ways that reach unique market subsets Defining and positioning animal-free, plant-based and whole food plant-based products Recognizing and overcoming barriers to people incorporating whole plant foods into their diets Using branding and marketing campaigns to help consumers understand how to choose, use and prepare whole plant foods

About David, Elysabeth and Irina

David Benzaquen is one of the world’s leading experts in the plant-based food industry. He invests in and advises plant-based and alternative protein food disruptors through his firm Mission: Plant. He is also the co-founder of consumer insights firm Moonshot Collaborative and plant-based ecommerce grocery store, LinkedIn:

Elysabeth Alfano is the CEO of VegTech Invest, the founder of Plant Powered Consulting and the host of the Plantbased Business Hour. A respected thought leader and international speaker on trends in plant-based business, Elysabeth speaks globally on the state of the industry, including recently at the United Nations. LinkedIn:

Irina Gerry is a Chief Marketing Officer at Change Foods, a precision fermentation food tech startup, creating animal-free dairy products. Irina has over a decade of experience in consumer marketing space, including 5 years working on two of the best-known plant-based food and beverage brands, Silk and So Delicious. LinkedIn:

Feb 02, 202244:54
Revolutionizing the Way We Shop for Food with Faiez Rana of Prep to Your Door

Revolutionizing the Way We Shop for Food with Faiez Rana of Prep to Your Door

“If we can go to outer space, we can get fresh food to people’s doorsteps.” ~ Faiez Rana, co-founder & CEO, Prep to Your Door. 

It all started when Faiez went vegetarian for 10 days to impress a girl.

That girl was Heather, his (now) wife and co-founder of Prep to Your Door, a whole food plant-based, zero-waste food delivery company that’s bringing fresh, healthy food to people’s doors throughout Austin and Houston.

Rate & review the Modern Health Nerd →
Support the podcast (Click the “support” button) →

But Faiez has a much bigger vision than that. 

“The supply chain is not designed to get fresh food into our bodies,” he points out.

Through Prep to Your Door, he’s looking to change that—and make eating whole food plant-based meals just as easy and convenient as buying packaged food at the grocery store.

Episode highlights

Prep To Your Door’s history and whole-food, zero-waste premise
The power of iteration in implementing and improving a business model
Importance of sticking to brand values in customer retention
Rethinking the way people shop for food
Why friction is the enemy of mass whole food plant-based adoption—and what to do about it
Listening to customers to determine how best to serve unique segments
Using tech to bring fresh, healthy food to people’s doors instead of to create new food products

For Faiez, this is food tech: leveraging today’s high-tech systems to remove friction, improve access to nutritious food and cut down on single-use plastic waste. By listening to what customers want and always improving on their processes, the Prep to Your Door team is doing much more than delivering meals—they’re changing the face of “convenience food” and redefining what it means to shop for groceries. 

About Faiez and Prep to Your Door

Faiez met his co-founder (now wife!) Heather in class at Harvard University. They paired their passions for social entrepreneurship and sustainable business to build Prep To Your Door. Slowly, the pair began perfecting meals in jars with help from their very first customers. Always plant-based, organic, locally sourced and ready to eat, PTYD meals are made without cutting corners, compromising on ingredients or using single-use plastics.

Since 2017, Prep To Your Door has grown to a team of 40 team members. Faiez believes addressing our food chain has the power to reverse several crises of our time: healthcare, climate change, and economic inequality. And he's working with Heather and their team to make organic, sustainable and fresh food at scale the REAL new normal.

Follow Faiez (or try Prep to Your Door!)
Jan 26, 202239:04
Making Whole Food Plant Based Fun, Colorful and Tasty with Jason Rosenbaum of Actual Veggies

Making Whole Food Plant Based Fun, Colorful and Tasty with Jason Rosenbaum of Actual Veggies

Actual Veggies CEO Jason Rosenbaum and his co-founder, Hailey Swartz, didn’t set out to make a whole food plant-based product that appealed to everybody.

But that’s exactly what they did with their line of colorful burgers.

When Jason stopped eating meat for his health, he couldn’t find an alternative to his favorite meat, the beef burger, that met his standards. Although he recognizes plant-based meats as a tasty and helpful “next step” for people transitioning from a standard Western diet to a plant-based diet, he and Hailey wanted to go the next step and offer healthier options.

Their philosophy is simple: Make something from 100% whole plant foods that looks good, tastes good and is easy to prepare. Without compromising on these principles, Jason and Hailey worked with their team to create a line of burgers in a rainbow of colors—all crafted using veggies, beans, grains and spices.

Loving the podcast? Support The Modern Health Nerd on Anchor:

Episode Highlights

The experience of growing a brand in a category dominated by big names that aren’t whole food plant based
How making a whole food plant-based product colorful and attractive can drive adoption across demographics and into the mainstream
Retailers’ and consumers’ increasing demand for healthier plant-based products
Why customer feedback is critical in product development
The “plant-forward” trend that’s taking plant-based food to the next (healthier) level
The changing narrative around plant-based eating and whole food plant based in particular
How having advocates who can positively influence the public toward plant-based can help brands in the space grow

Jason encourages other whole food plant-based brands to stick to their principles and persevere through the ups and downs of business.

“Don’t compromise on your foundation or on what you set out to do,” he advises. That’s how he and Hailey turned their passion project into a business they love and that’s making a difference in the plant-based movement—and the world.

About Actual Veggies and Co-Founders Jason & Hailey

Founded in early 2020 and headquartered in New York City, Actual Veggies is redefining what retail and food service consumers consider a plant-based burger with its four different varieties of its ¼-pound, chef-crafted veggie burger patties made with only fresh, actual vegetables, grains and spices. Actual Veggies can be found at Sprouts, HungryRoot, and online at and

Find (and Follow) Actual Veggies
Jason on LinkedIn:
Hailey on LinkedIn:
Where to buy:
Jan 19, 202237:52
Taking Back Our Power for Health with Paige Parsons Roache

Taking Back Our Power for Health with Paige Parsons Roache

“Everybody has access to extraordinary choices.” - Paige Parsons Roache

When her daughter decided to go vegan, Paige Parsons Roache couldn’t have imagined how much her own diet and life would change.

It started with education: reading books, listening to plant-based doctors, watching documentaries and trying vegan food from local restaurants. Pretty soon, Paige was experimenting with recipes and becoming a “chef in her own kitchen” for the first time in her life.

After meeting Jane Velez-Mitchell at a vegan event, Paige found herself inspired to get more involved and more vocal about the plant-based cause. Documentaries like Cowspiracy and What the Health had opened her eyes to the environmental and social impacts of animal agriculture, and she became committed to helping end the suffering connected to the industry.

“If I knowingly was contributing to the harm of another,” Paige says of her realization, “I knew I had to make the change.”

Episode Highlights:

Paige’s background in the environmental movement, including what inspired her to go plant-based vegan
Insights from Paige’s journey from a “frozen food vegan” to someone who loves experimenting in the kitchen
The importance of educating yourself about food, health and the environment
How Jane Unchained/Unchained TV is advancing the vegan and plant-based movements through the resources they provide
Easy ways to swap whole plant-based foods in place of animal products
Caring for your body holistically, not just through what you eat
How to minimize the environmental and social impacts of factory farming

Paige’s passion for the environment, health and animals shows in her words and actions. Through Jane Unchained, Clubhouse and other initiatives, she’s inspiring and encouraging others to get educated about plant-based eating, make the switch away from animal products and take back power for health and wellbeing.

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for updates:

About Paige

Paige’s daughter went vegan at age 13, and Paige joined her 6 months later. Today, she’s committed to bringing environmentally conscious vegan living to the forefront and reports on all the latest animal rights’ aspects, including Animal Save Movement’s vigils, various PETA protests, VegFests, vegan conferences and more.

She’s an active member of Clubhouse and can be found in numerous rooms throughout the week, contributing her knowledge to the plant-based conversation from a variety of angles and offering tips and encouragement to anyone seeking to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Connect with Paige and UnchainedTV
Clubhouse: @paigepr

For further watching
Sam on LunchBreakLIVE:
What the Health
Jan 12, 202232:11
Taste is Key in Whole Food Plant Based with Tyler Mayoras of Cool Beans

Taste is Key in Whole Food Plant Based with Tyler Mayoras of Cool Beans

“It’s hard to build a trend if the stuff doesn’t taste good.” ~ Tyler Mayoras, CEO of Cool Beans

Eating plant based is a journey. For some, it starts with an all-in commitment to eat nothing but whole plant foods. But most of the time, the transition to new eating habits is supported by a range of plant-based products that replace meat, dairy and eggs.

Tyler Mayoras is helping the next generation of these products come to life through his brand, Cool Beans. With their portable whole-food wraps, Cool Beans is making healthy eating convenient—and delicious.

Episode highlights:

Market insights from Expo East 2021, including the increasing number of products made with whole-food ingredients
Advice for brands that want to launch whole food plant-based products, including categories with the biggest opportunities
Gaps in the market where plant-based and whole food plant-based entrepreneurs can solve unaddressed consumer pain points
How to bring out maximum flavor in whole plant foods so that they’re more appealing to customers
Appealing to families with whole food plant-based options
Beans as the next generation of plant-based protein
The need for more nutrition education—particularly plant-based nutrition—in medical schools
Why clarity is important when communicating the whole food plant-based message to the public

According to Tyler, it’s all about taste.

“So many people in the general consumer market are moving toward cleaner and healthier ingredients,” he says. But “it’s hard to build a trend if the stuff doesn’t taste good.”

By complementing the naturally delicious flavors of vegetables, beans and grains with a range of spices, Cool Beans is proving to consumers that eating whole food plant based can be just as delicious as—or even more delicious than—eating processed plant-based products.

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for updates:

About Tyler

Tyler is the “Cool Executive Officer” of Cool Beans and serves as both an angel investor and mentor to several other plant-based and sustainable brands. He has more than 20 years of experience in private equity investing and consulting with a focus on sustainable food and agriculture. He has personally experienced the benefits of plant-based diets and wants others to join him on the journey.

Tyler previously appeared on Season 1, Episode 33 of The Modern Health Nerd Podcast. (Check it out if you missed it!)

Connect with Tyler & Cool Beans
Store locator:
Join Tyler, Sam and other WFPB enthusiasts every Tuesday at 7PM EST on Club:
Jan 05, 202235:40
Season 2 Trailer: Whole Food Plant Based in the Marketplace and Health
Dec 20, 202101:03
Dr. T. Colin Campbell: Keeping Plant-Based Nutrition Whole for Optimal Health

Dr. T. Colin Campbell: Keeping Plant-Based Nutrition Whole for Optimal Health

What if we could break the cycle of disease and premature death just by changing what we eat? Dr. T. Colin Campbell believes it really is that simple.

After decades of studying nutrition's effects on health and disease, Dr. Campbell is convinced that eating plants in as close to their whole, unrefined forms as possible is the best thing we can do to support optimal health.

In fact, he's the one who coined the term "whole food plant-based diet!"

Since first discovering the correlations between plant-based diets and disease reduction, Dr. Campbell has written several books, inclding The China Study, Whole and The Future of Nutrition. He has also appeared in several documentary films, including Forks Over Knives, Eating You Alive, Food Matters, and PlantPure Nation and has delivered hundreds of evidence-based nutrition lectures around the world.

In the final episode of Season 1 of The Modern Health Nerd Podcast, we discuss:

How the common reductionist approach in nutrition and healthcare supports a system designed to make money instead of create health
How the current food system negatively impacts health, vulnerable populations and the environment
The research that changed Dr. Campbell's mind about animal protein's role in health
Dr. Campell's thoughts on the growth of the plant-based and alternative protein movement
Why eating whole, unrefined plant foods is more powerful than focusing on single nutrients
Why a holistic view is important when interpreting nutrition research results
Why policy change, particularly relating to dietary guidelines, is necessary to shift the food system toward one that supports health
The need for better public nutrition knowledge and civil debates between proponents of differing opinions

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for updates:

About Dr. Campbell

T. Colin Campbell, PhD has been dedicated to the science of human health for more than 60 years. His primary focus is on the association between diet and disease, particularly cancer. Although largely known for the China Study, Dr. Campbell’s profound impact also includes extensive involvement in education, public policy, and laboratory research.

Dr. Campbell has received over 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding (mostly with NIH), served on grant review panels of multiple funding agencies, actively participated in the development of national and international nutrition policy, and authored over 350 research papers, most published in peer-reviewed science journals.

Dr. Campbell is also is the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and the online Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate in partnership with eCornell.

Connect with Dr. Campbell's Work
Center for Nutrition Studies:
Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate:
Plant Forward Workshop (October 13-November 17, 2021):
Plant Pure Communities:
For Further Reading & Watching:
Dr. Campbell's books:
Forks Over Knives
Plant Pure Nation </
Sep 22, 202149:15
Michael Moss: Uncovering the Secrets of the Trillion-Dollar Food "Cartel"

Michael Moss: Uncovering the Secrets of the Trillion-Dollar Food "Cartel"

How much control do we actually have over our food choices? According to Michael Moss, it's not nearly as much as we think.

Decades of research and reformulation have given the ultra-processed food industry ("Big Food") the upper hand, but we don't have to be victims of manipulation. We can regain control—and Michael Moss provides the ammunition we need in his detailed food system exposés.

In this episode, we explore:

How the concept of the "bliss point" has caused sugar to invade nearly every type of product in the grocery store
How the processed food industry's formulations and marketing tactics to hijack human biology and create addictive eating patterns
Three main qualities that attract consumers to ultra-processed food
How the processed food industry insinuated itself into the diet food industry
How product reformulations can trick consumers into thinking ultra-processed foods are becoming healthier
Using the processed food industry's own tactics to steer consumers toward healthier food choices
How it's possible to shift our food preferences simply by building new habits
Why changing the food system requires a multifaceted approach
The power of changing the way people value food to consider factors beyond instant gratification

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for updates:

(I'm not actually sending much out right now, but whatever shows up, you'll get!)

About Michael Moss

Michael Moss is the author of “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” an expose of processed food and #1 New York Times Bestseller published in 2013 by Random House, and “Hooked: Food, Free Will and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions,” a New York Times Bestseller published in 2021.

He is a former investigative reporter with The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2010 for his work on contaminated meat. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their two boys.

Connect with Michael & Read His Books
For further reading and listening
Nikhil Arora, Back to the Roots, episode #25
Hank Adams, Rise Gardens, episode #12
Michael Moss on Chef AJ:
Sep 08, 202144:28
Sophie's BioNutrients: Growing Sustainable Microalgae Proteins for a Better Future

Sophie's BioNutrients: Growing Sustainable Microalgae Proteins for a Better Future

Can some of the smallest living things on the planet change the future of the food system—and create a better world? According to Eugene Wang, microalgae has that power.

Through his company, Sophie's BioNutrients, Eugene and his team are fermenting and extracting unique microalgae proteins suitable for a creating a variety of plant-based food products. Their proteins are sustainable, affordable and can be grown anywhere.

We cover a ton of ground in this super-nerdy episode, including:

Eugene's unique background in plant-based food manufacturing
How using fermentation to grow microalgae increases the protein's sustainability and lowers costs
How quickly and prolifically microalgae grows compared to animal and plant proteins
How microalgae protein can provide for increased protein demands at a lower financial and environmental cost than common proteins like soy
Unique products Sophie's BioNutrients has been able to create using its microalgae proteins
Nutrient profile of microalgae protein vs. soy
The properties that may make microalgae versatile enough to withstand extreme climate conditions
Overcoming consumers' innate resistance to change to help them embrace new food categories and flavors

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for updates:

About Eugene

Eugene Wang grew up immersed in the vegetarian food business. Since 2010, his vision for launching Sophie’s Kitchen, the first Plant-Based Seafood Alternative, has manifested into a viable innovation. Sophie’s Kitchen had won numerous recognitions from companies like PepsiCo and Chipotle.

In 2019, Eugene took alternative protein to the microorganism level and started another venture: Sophie’s BioNutrients Singapore. He won $1 million SGD at The Liveabilty Challenge 2019 with this project and started protein fermentation facility in Singapore.

About Sophie's BioNutrients

Using a proprietary strain of microalgae grown in a fermentation tank, Sophie's BioNutrients is creating a new, sustainable plant-based protein. This results in a product that's 60% protein and has a high quality essential amino acid profile that exceeds the WHO requirements for protein products.

Sustainability is inherent in the process. The growing system can be setup near metropolitan area to cut down the needs for agriculture and transportation, improve food security and reduce risks associated with supply chain disruption. The 3- to 10-day production cycle creates protein in a fraction of the time required for soy or beef and can be fueled entirely by industrial food waste.

Sophie's BioNutrients microalgae require very little water and only the land needed to set up an indoor production facility. With no need for fertilizer, herbicide, antibiotic, or growth hormones, it's  truly healthy for both the environment and the human body.

Connect with Eugene & Learn More About the Company
For Further Listening
Tony Martens, episode #1
Robin Simsa, episode #20
Aug 11, 202147:35
Green Queen Media: Going Beyond Alt Protein to Solve the World's Biggest Problems

Green Queen Media: Going Beyond Alt Protein to Solve the World's Biggest Problems

What's needed to take the current movement toward more sustainable, ethical food and products to the next level? Sonalie Figuerias believes it’s a combination of consumers asking for more transparency and traceability and brands taking a 360-degree approach to solving the world’s biggest problems.

Being at the head of "the world’s leading source for APAC alternative protein industry news and reporting" gives Sonalie unique insight into many of today's biggest climate, food and sustainability issues. In this episode, we touch on:

How Green Queen grew out of Sonalie's own journey to a healthier lifestyle
The unique characteristics of the alt protein/plant-based movement in Asia
How Sonalie's early experiences with the new generation of plant-based products led to a shift in focus for Green Queen
Why Green Queen covers innovations in packaging, fashion, beauty and more in addition to alt protein
How the lack of transparency in the food industry places the unfair burden of due diligence and label reading on consumers
How governance, transparency and accountability can have a positive impact on the food system and the climate
The importance of developing products and policies that address food, ethical and sustainability issues from multiple angles
The sweeping positive changes that could occur if factory farming was eliminated

Want more plant-based nerdity right in your inbox? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for updates and insights:

About Sonalie and Green Queen Media

Serial social entrepreneur and  trends forecaster Sonalie Figueiras is the founder and editor-in-chief of Green Queen, an award-winning impact media platform advocating for social and environmental change through inspiring and empowering original content and one of the world's leading outlets for alternative protein news.

She is also the founder & CEO of Ekowarehouse, the global sourcing platform for certified organic products and the co-founder & CEO of, the world's first global marketplace for sustainable packaging with a mission to fight single-use plastic waste.

With over a decade of experience in publishing, digital marketing, organic trade, sustainability, alternative proteins and green packaging, she is an eco wellness industry veteran with a keen eye for market trends and a sought-after international speaker and moderator, sharing her expertise on stages across Asia and beyond, including Harvard Business School and two times at TEDx.

Further, Sonalie is a global advisor at Social Ventures Hong Kong, an Impact Purpose Organization committed to re-imagining Hong Kong as a purpose-driven city, an advisor at The Remedy Project, which revolutionizes access to justice for migrant workers globally, a cause close to her heart, and she is an avid home cook and published cookbook author.

Find (and read!) Green Queen Media Online
Aug 04, 202130:37
Mike Fata: Creating Big Impact with Small Changes

Mike Fata: Creating Big Impact with Small Changes

Can simple changes make a big difference in diet and health—not just on an individual level, but across the food industry? Mike Fata is living proof that it's possible.

Mike has dedicated over 25 years studying and practicing natural health, starting in 1995 when he made the life changing decision to lose over 100lbs. In 1998, he founded Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods and spend the next 18 years growing the company, finally selling it to Tilray for $419 million in 2016.

In this episode, we dig into:

How Mike's own health journey sparked the founding of Manitoba Harvest
The history and growth of Manitoba Harvest
Mike's involvement in other plant-based and functional food companies
Hemp's health and environmental benefits
Hemp's unique—and sometimes tumultuous—history
Using science-backed education to overcome barriers of misinformation
The importance of choosing fresh, organically grown foods over ultra-processed products
The trend toward brands showing more personality and realism in marketing
How individual companies can spark widespread positive change in the food system and consumer health

Want more plant-based nerdity right in your inbox? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for updates and insights:

About Mike

Mike is passionate about sharing natural health with the world. He's a keynote speaker and has been featured on various media countless times regarding natural health, nutrition, hemp foods, organic agriculture, sustainable business and entrepreneurship.

Mike has won numerous awards, including Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2004), Top 40 under 40 (2008), OTA Organic Rising Star Award (2016) and Top 100 Health Influencers (2017). He's currently Chief Executive Officer of Fata & Associates, Chairman of the Board of Sol Cuisine, Director (Past Chairman) of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) and investor/advisor to a portfolio of companies.

Mike is a homeschooling father👨‍👧‍👦, certified holistic health coach and avid backyard organic farmer. In his free time he enjoys coaching and mentoring natural products industry entrepreneurs, which he does frequently on Clubhouse.

Find Mike & Manitoba Online
Tasty recipes:
Clubhouse: @mikefata
Jul 28, 202134:59
Citizen Kind: Helping Eco-Conscious Companies Walk Their Talk

Citizen Kind: Helping Eco-Conscious Companies Walk Their Talk

What can today's eco-conscious companies, including plant-based businesses, do to increase their impact on the world? Emma Osborne of Citizen Kind would suggest hiring a team of people committed to living out a set of shared values.

Whether you're looking for fulfilling work or building a company dedicated to changing the world for the better, this episode has some fantastic gems. Here's a peek into what we dig into:

Emma's early entry into vegetarianism and what finally got her to go vegan
How impactful companies can make better hires
Tips for finding "top talent" employees who share company values
The importance of considering diverse perspectives when hiring—particularly when aiming to build a better future
Why an amazing, committed team is crucial for startups that want to get established and grow
The importance of vision and values in building a successful company
The power of building community around a business—internally and with customers
Why the values a company markets must be reflected in their internal relations and operations
The importance of developing and adhering to a core value system in business and all of life

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Emma & Citizen Kind

Emma Osborne is the founder of Citizen Kind, a consultancy designed to help accelerate the growth of companies who are creating the future of food, materials and energy.

Through her expertise in talent, business strategy and creative flair, she has been helping solve problems for global startups from her base in London, UK, since launching in 2018. With 17 years recruitment experience, she has worked with large MNCs, agency groups, and SMEs to identify the commercial talent they need to thrive in the modern world. She is on the board with not-for-profits KindEarth.Tech and Vegan Leaders and is a passionate vegan, foodie and animal advocate.

If you are a conscious consumer or value-based employer, connect with her here and transform your career or invigorate your business!

Connect with Emma
Jul 21, 202138:15
Jack Bobo: We Need Everybody to Be Making Our Food System Better

Jack Bobo: We Need Everybody to Be Making Our Food System Better

Why haven't consumers started adopting healthier eating habits despite all the "better-for-you" options on the market? Jack Bobo would say it's because companies don't understand how consumers think—and are turning them off with the wrong messaging.

Jack is the author of Why Smart People Make Bad Food Choices, which exposes the not-so-obvious but real drivers of our complicated relationship to the foods we eat and why it’s proven so hard to change our habits. In this episode, we dive into:

The disconnect between plant-based messaging and target consumers
Types of messaging that can create personal and ethical conflicts in consumers' minds
Why combative messaging isn't the way to move the food system in a positive direction
How to avoid opposition and backlash resulting from inappropriate messaging or positioning
Causes of the dramatic shift in American health over the last 50 years
Why future growth projections for alternative protein may not indicate a reduction in meat consumption
How dietary guidelines regarding ultra-processed foods may undermine the work of the alternative protein movement
The psychology behind bad food choices
The importance of conveying the appropriate use case for alternative proteins
Scaling messaging as audiences change from the startup phase through growth
What alternative protein startups can learn from Big Food

...and a lot more! Jack looks at the food system from a unique angle and has some true gems to share for anyone who's trying to market a food product—or change their own eating habits.

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for more every week:

About Jack

Jack Bobo is the CEO of Futurity, a food foresight company that advises companies, foundations and governments on emerging food trends and consumer attitudes and behaviors related to the future of food.

Recognized by Scientific American as one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology, Jack is a global thought leader who has delivered more than 500 speeches in 50 countries on food technology and policy.

He previously served as the Chief Communications Officer and Senior Vice President for Global Policy and Government Affairs at Intrexon Corporation. Prior to joining Intrexon, Jack worked at the U.S. Department of State for thirteen years as a senior advisor for global food policy.

An attorney with a scientific background, Jack received from Indiana University a J.D., M.S. in Environmental Science, B.S. in biology and B.A. in psychology and chemistry.

Follow Jack's Work
Why Smart People Make Bad Food Choices on Amazon:
Jul 14, 202144:03
Plant Power Fast Food: Changing the World, One Burger at a Time

Plant Power Fast Food: Changing the World, One Burger at a Time

Can switching fast food to a cruelty-free, plant-based model change the world? Jeffrey Harris believes it can.

As one of the creative minds behind Plant Power Fast Food, Jeffrey believes building a network of "vegan McDonald's" can open more people's eyes to the health and environmental benefits of eating plant-based. He sees Plant Power as a bridge between the current state of the food system and—ultimately—a whole food, plant-based, organic future.

In this episode, we get cosmic about:

How the original vision for Plant Power Fast Food spawned a growing network of restaurant locations
How plant-based fast food can spark curiosity and open people's eyes to a new way of eating
Where Plant Power fits into Jeffrey's ultimate vision for changing the food landscape—and the world
The big impact that even small steps toward a more plant-based diet can have on health and the environment
Why thinking big may be the key to making a significant and lasting impact on the food system
The importance of integrating compassion into any business model
Why whole food, plant-based, organic diets make the most sense for long-term human and planetary health

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for more every week:

About Jeffrey & Plant Power

Plant Power Fast Food is a plant-based fast-food restaurant concept. Menu offerings are completely free of any meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, as well as artificial flavorings or colorings. With a selection ranging from burgers, fries, shakes and ‘chicken’ tenders to salads, fresh juices and raw items, they have often been referred to as the “Vegan version of McDonald's”.

Jeffrey Harris is both cofounder and co-CEO at Plant Power and has been vegan since 1996 (after being vegetarian since 1974!). The idea for building a nationwide chain of 100% plant-based fast food restaurants started brewing in 2005, and since then, Plant Power Fast Food has grown to 7 operational restaurants, 8 restaurants in development, 21 locations in the franchise development pipeline, an LA based food-truck, a world-class food production facility, a national distribution agreement and over $14.5 million in brand-wide retail net sales.

Jeffrey met up with partners Mitch Wallis and Zach Vouga in 2014 to begin to develop a 100% plant-based fast-food restaurant chain with the intention to demonstrate a new cruelty-free, environmentally sustainable and healthier version of traditional fast food. The first Plant Power location opened in San Diego in 2016, and the chain continues to introduce more people to plant-based diets every day.

Connect with Plant Power (and try their food!)

Restaurant locator:

Jul 07, 202142:06
ProdHealth: Empowering Better Health Through Plant-Based Nutrition

ProdHealth: Empowering Better Health Through Plant-Based Nutrition

What if it were possible for everyone to start leveraging the power of plant-based eating in an accessible and practical way? Through his work on the ProdHealth app, John Dieser is making it possible.

There's a lot to unpack on this topic, and we only just scratch the surface as we explore:

The mind-blowing research on plant-based nutrition that changed the course of John's career
Whether plant-based alternative proteins and oils have a place in a healthy diet
Why accountability and goal setting are important moving more people toward plant-based diets
The cost burden that chronic disease care places on employers
How the ProdHealth app helps people eat better, move more and understand how diet affects their overall health
Why ProdHealth includes a stool journal (It's integral to health!)
How small diet and lifestyle changes can lead to big improvements in health
The connection between improving health through food and improving the environment

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for more every week:

About John & ProdHealth

John emerged into the digital health space from a career in healthcare investments. He now hopes to replace many of the drugs he once invested in with a more effective approach: lifestyle medicine and plant-forward nutrition.

Thanks to the full-stack ProdHealth app, which securely connects users to health coaches and dieticians, doctor's orders can travel home with patients in the company of essential support and education.

John encourages plant curious individuals, employers, and exhausted medical professionals to reach out and partner to take health home.

Connect with ProdHealth!
Jun 30, 202138:09
Collin Tate: Making Plant-Based Brands More Visible and Accessible

Collin Tate: Making Plant-Based Brands More Visible and Accessible

Why should anybody have to scour Google in a never-ending quest for good plant-based options? Thanks to Collin Tate's work with Kind Co, you don't have to.

After becoming frustrated with the amount of trial and error he needed to go through to find the best plant-based and vegan products, Collin launched the Kind Find newsletter—part of the Kind Co suite of projects—to help others skip the searching and get right to the good stuff.

The newsletter puts brands in front of consumers in an engaging, highly visible format that lands right in their inboxes.

In this episode, we discuss:

How Collin went from "annoying" meat eater (his words!) to full vegan, and how his health changed as a result
How Kind Find is different from other curated lists of plant-based and vegan goods
How Kind Co.'s projects support the plant-based movement via consumers and brands
The power of DTC for expanding access to plant-based foods
The importance of having a good e-commerce experience as a DTC brand
How the trend toward greater brand transparency is enabling more consumer choice
The role the supply chain plays in improving the food system
The many opportunities available to impact the future of food

Want more plant-based nerdity right in your inbox? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates and insights:

About Collin

Collin Tate is the founder of Kind Co, which helps people discover plant-based brands through the weekly Kind Find newsletter and helps people find remote job openings at eco-conscious companies through the Kind Work job board.

Before he founded Kind Co, Collin spent 10 years doing SEO for organizations like Vistaprint, Stanley Black & Decker, and Verisign as well as helping tech startups like Medium, Tally, and TrueReview.

He’s now using his growth marketing skills and love for vegan brands to try and impact the lives of as many people as possible while having a lot of fun in the process.

Check Out Kind Co's Projects!

Kind Co:
Kind Find:
Kind Work:

Connect with Collin

Jun 23, 202140:20
Pleese Cheese: Bringing Plant-Based Pizza Cheese to NYC (and Beyond!)

Pleese Cheese: Bringing Plant-Based Pizza Cheese to NYC (and Beyond!)

Does vegan cheese have a place on authentic New York pizza? Kobi Regev and his wife, Abev, proved it does with their unique plant-based pizza cheese, Pleese.

In this episode, Kobi and I do our best to avoid being cheesy as we dive into:

The journey that led Kobi and Abev from making their first vegan pizza to creating their own plant-based cheese.
Why Pleese is based on beans and potatoes instead of nuts
The many possibilities for plant-based cheese in the "new world" of food
How switching from dairy cheese to plant-based cheese—just on pizza!—can have a positive impact on both the environment and people
The unexpected demand for vegan cheese that's making Pleese an NYC sensation—and how it helped pizzerias in the city during the pandemic
Innovations in plant-based cheese and restaurant tech that are changing the world of pizza (and food)
How the plant-based industry can open new doors for farmers to embrace climate-friendly crops and practices

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for more every week:

About Kobi

One "ugly" vegan pizza sent Kobi Regev and his wife on a trajectory away from his (rather nerdy) background in urban planning and jewelry sales toward the mission of creating a better plant-based cheese. His target? The discerning, pizza-loving palates of New Yorkers.

Beyond making a better plant-based cheese that everyone can enjoy, Kobi has a vision for a future where city rooftops are transformed into gardens and restaurants grow all their own ingredients.

About Pleese

Pleese (which stands for Plant Cheese) is a plant-based cheese developed by New Yorkers specifically to melt on pizza. Pleese is all natural, made from bean and potato proteins and crafted using traditional methods. Pleese is so good that people can't tell the difference—and it's approved by the world's harshest food critics: kids from NYC.

Connect with Kobi and Pleese Online

Clubhouse: @pleesecheese

For further listening:

Clayton Wood, episode #23
Veronica Fil, episode #26
Jun 16, 202143:09
Natural Machines: Bringing Foodtech to Your Kitchen

Natural Machines: Bringing Foodtech to Your Kitchen

Could 3D food printers be the next "must-have" kitchen appliances? Lynette Kucsma of Natural Machines sees it happening!

From enabling healthier food choices to opening up new opportunities in personalized nutrition, Natural Machines is looking to bring the benefits of 3D-printed food to the kitchens of the future.

In this episode, we geek out about:

How making 3D food printers household items can accelerate the decentralization of the food system Benefits of 3D food printing for health and sustainability How simply changing the shape and presentation of foods can encourage healthier consumption The practical application of foodtech—particularly 3D printing—in education Why foodtech companies need to focus on adaptability for wider adoption in the future The necessity of marketing solutions, not features, especially in foodtech Why we need to fix the perception of food's true value

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Natural Machines & Foodini

Natural Machines creates innovative kitchen solutions to delight people around the world and generating positive feelings about the food they eat. Their first-released product, Foodini, is a 3D food printing kitchen appliance that allows consumers to personalize food, eat healthier, improve kitchen efficiency and lower food waste.

About Lynette

Lynette, co–founder and CMO at Natural Machines, believes everyone would be healthier if they ate freshly made wholesome meals and snacks. But it needs to be easier and faster for everyone to create healthy foods made with fresh ingredients. So she’s helping to build a new-generation kitchen appliance.

Lynette is a senior marketing professional with international experience and a proven track record of full marketing responsibilities in companies ranging from start­ups to Fortune 500 organizations – prior to Natural Machines she was at Microsoft. She's passionate about healthy eating, technology and "doing the right thing," which makes her a great fit for her role at Natural Machines!

Follow Natural Machines Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: LinkedIn:, Email: lynette (at) naturalmachines (dot) com
Jun 09, 202140:22
Tyler Mayoras: Making Plant-Based the Healthiest Choice (with Beans!)

Tyler Mayoras: Making Plant-Based the Healthiest Choice (with Beans!)

Can a whole-food plant-based revolution start in the frozen food aisle? Tyler Mayoras of Cool Beans sees the transition coming—and believes it can grow across the plant-based space.

With simple ingredients and upbeat branding, Cool Beans wraps are making it easier to eat whole plant foods on the go. But for Tyler, that's only part of a bigger picture that includes everything from regenerative agriculture to better-for-you plant-based products.

In this episode, we get groovy about:

How a lack of convenient whole-food plant-based options spawned the idea for Cool Beans
Why Cool Beans focuses exclusively on gluten-free, whole-food plant-based products
The benefits of beans for gut health
The environmental impact of animal agriculture
Potential health effects of glyphosate used in conventional farming
Why Tyler believes a return to regenerative agriculture is essential
The role of indoor agriculture in the future of food
The need for a "clean ingredient" revolution in the plant-based space
How cellular agriculture and precision fermentation fit into the larger plant-based picture

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Tyler & Cool Beans

Tyler Mayoras is the Cofounder and CEO of Cool Beans. One could say he’s the Cool Executive Officer.

Tyler has spent more than 20 years in private equity investing and consulting, focused on sustainable food and agriculture. After adopting a plant-based lifestyle and seeing the incredible health benefits, he wanted to continue helping to create a sustainable future of food and worked with partners to create the 100% plant-based taste adventure that is Cool Beans.

Prior to founding Cool Beans, Tyler was a principal in the Advantage Capital Food and Agriculture Fund. In addition to leading Cool Beans, he continues his support of other plant-based brands as an angel investor and mentor. He’s a board member of Naturally Chicago and ACG Chicago, and an avid speaker on plant-based food and sustainable agriculture, appearing in the media and on podcasts.

Tyler lives in the Chicago area with his wife Sasha and their two daughters. Tyler received his BS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Connect with Cool Beans!


You can also purchase Cool Beans products at Vegan Essentials, Good Eggs and select retailers throughout the U.S.

For Further Reading

The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé
My post on SWAP-MEAT: <
Jun 02, 202139:16
FreshCap: Educating the World About the Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

FreshCap: Educating the World About the Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

Why doesn't everyone know how cool mushrooms are yet? Tony and Tegan Shields of FreshCap are working to boost awareness—and bring the benefits of medicinal mushrooms to everyone's daily routine.

Built on Tony's childhood love of mushroom hunting and Tegan's background in nutrition, FreshCap has grown from a single product to a diverse line of medicinal mushroom supplements and drinks. Now, the company is using its content platforms to reach the "mushroom unaware" with entertaining, educational information.

In this final episode of May Mushroom Month, we dive into:

The role of mushrooms in the broader health and food movement The ongoing learning experience of growing mushrooms at home Why medicinal mushrooms are a great addition to a healthy lifestyle The difference between fruiting body supplements, mycelium and mycelium grown on grain The explosion of interest in mushrooms across categories from food to packaging to environmental initiatives The need for more visibility for and education about mushrooms, particularly medicinal mushrooms The importance of learning how to choose high-quality supplements

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Tony, Tegan & FreshCap

FreshCap started out of a passion for mushrooms by founders Tony and Tegan. While operating their small-scale mushroom farm, they learned that many of the supplements on the market weren’t actually made from mushrooms, and wanted to change that for the better.

None of FreshCap's products contain grain-based fillers. Instead, they stand "against the grain" and use pure, organically grown whole mushroom fruiting bodies, to create supplements that actually contain the beneficial compounds medicinal mushrooms are known for.

Creating the highest-quality mushroom supplements lets Tony and Tegan live out their passion and make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Find FreshCap on the Web




(check out the Chaga Pet video for a good laugh:



Best Ever Mushroom Tacos:

Watch Tegan cook them on YouTube!:

May 26, 202142:57
Midnight Harvest: Combining Innovation and Sustainability to Unlock the Power of Mushrooms

Midnight Harvest: Combining Innovation and Sustainability to Unlock the Power of Mushrooms

Is growing mushrooms farming or science? For Matt Hall of Midnight Harvest, it's both.

From attempting to cultivate morels in a sterile environment to the ins and outs of Midnight Harvest's gourmet mushroom growing process, Matt is dedicated to blending innovation with sustainability to unlock the full potential of mushrooms.

In this episode, we chat about:

Matt's journey to becoming a mushroom farmer in northern Michigan
How training dolphins prepared him for growing mushrooms
How to differentiate yourself as a mushroom (or food) grower
How increased access to supplies for mushroom growers is diversifying the gourmet mushroom market
Why it's important to step out of your industry "bubble" and educate the public
Why Matt thinks eating plant-based is the best way to go
How unlocking the science of plant-based foods opens our eyes to the true diversity available for our diets

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Matt & Midnight Harvest

Matt Hall, owner and founder of Midnight Harvest Mushroom Farm was born and raised in northern Michigan and spent some time in the marine mammal training space before getting hooked on growing food as both a passion and a business.

Matt gravitated toward mushrooms due to Michigan's climate, capital needed and general interest of doing something that not many others were doing in the area. He sees mushroom production as an intersection of science and farming—and a huge space for innovation. Running Midnight Harvest allows him to be productive and sustainable on a small scale while pursing his own innovative ideas.

Midnight Harvest's moonshot goal is to one day use mushrooms to clean up water, eat plastic waste and many other applications to help heal the human impact on the planet. Matt believes fungi are truly the frontier and hopes to be continually pioneering in that space.

Connect with Matt & Midnight Harvest

Website: LinkedIn: Facebook: Instagram:

For Further Reading on Plant-Based Nutrition

Whole and The Future of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell

May 19, 202143:55
Moku Foods: Helping the Environment, One Bag of Jerky at a Time

Moku Foods: Helping the Environment, One Bag of Jerky at a Time

Can mushroom jerky save the world? Maybe not on its own, but Matt Feldman from Moku Foods believes it's a small step that can have a big impact.

In this episode, we get 'shroomy about:

Matt's inspiration for Moku, and how he settled on king oyster mushrooms as the perfect foundation for plant-based jerky The setback that turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Moku's product development Why Moku focuses on clean-label, allergy-friendly ingredients The positive environmental impact of eating mushrooms instead of beef Weird and wonderful characteristics of mushrooms How factory farming and pesticide use are harming both people and the planet Why we should be teaching kids more about growing food and choosing plant-based options How (and why) Moku is giving back to the community in Matt's home state of Hawaii

About Matt and Moku Foods

Moku turns king oyster mushrooms and other clean ingredients into delicious, savory alternative "meat" snacks. After failing to find a plant-based jerky that he could enjoy, Moku founder, Matt Feldman decided to make his own and partnered with former Head of Product Development at JUST, Thomas Bowman to turn the mighty mushroom into a jerky that emulated the taste and texture of meat.

Moku launched their mushroom based jerky in December, 2020 in three flavors: Hawaiian Teriyaki, Original, and Sweet n Spicy. The jerky is currently available on their website and Amazon. Soon to launch on Thrive Market!

Find Moku Online!

Website (with online ordering): Instagram: Twitter:

For Further Watching:

Fantastic Fungi Island Earth Cowspiracy

Also Check Out:

Clayton Wood, CEO of Picnic, episode 24 Nikhil Arora, co-founder of Back to the Roots, episode 25

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

May 12, 202138:02
Forij: Using Functional Snacks to Create a Better Food System

Forij: Using Functional Snacks to Create a Better Food System

Can snacks powered by functional ingredients make a positive impact on both health and the food supply chain?

Parker Olson of Forij is working to make it happen with his sustainable mushroom-infused granola.

In this episode, we kick off May Mushroom Month by exploring:

The wonder and excitement of foraging for your own food Considering the entire supply chain when creating a sustainable product The unique characteristics of functional mushrooms like reishi, chaga, cordyceps and turkey tail How Western science is waking up to the potentially powerful properties of mushrooms as medicine The fruiting body vs. mycelium debate! The nutritional benefits of whole foods over processed foods Why we should be focusing more on localizing the food supply chain

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Parker & Forij

Parker is the founder of Forij, a first-to-market concept disrupting the breakfast category by creating foods that provide focus and energy in every bite! Forij is committed to creating healthy foods and snacks with functional benefits and sustainability baked in to every part of the process—from sourcing to packaging.

Parker is shamelessly committed to building Forij into a national brand, spending over 18 months trying different diets before crafting Forij. And he's spent the last year sleeping in his tent while Forij operations take over his bedroom.

Connect with Forij Online

Instagram: YouTube: Website: Email Parker: parker (at) forij (dot) co

Further Reading & Listening

How Not to Diet by Michael Greger

PolyNatural, episode #11: Hank Adams, episode #12:
May 05, 202141:07
David Benzaquen: Advancing Plant-Based Brands for Maximum Impact

David Benzaquen: Advancing Plant-Based Brands for Maximum Impact

How can we stop the cycle of trying to solve the problems in our food system with more problems? For David Benzaquen, the answer comes down to helping companies create desirable and enjoyable plant-based products everyone feels comfortable incorporating into their diets.

In this episode, we delve into:

How to encourage a broader consumer base to adopt plant-based products as part of their diets Why objective market research is important for plant-based brands Problems with the fishing and fish farming industries and how simple changes on an individual level can make a positive impact How putting too much distance between ourselves and the production of our food can blind us to the problems in the food system How the current food and healthcare systems tend to solve problems with problems—and why getting back to basics is essential to break the cycle

Hungry for plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for more every week:

About David

David Benzaquen is the Managing Director at Mission:Plant, a holding company advancing the plant-based food industry through strategic investments and consulting services. He is also the co-founder of Moonshot Collaborative, the world's first consumer research firm focused on plant-based and sustainability-minded shoppers.

Prior to his current roles, David spent nearly a decade leading a corporate strategy consulting firm for plant-based consumer products and founded one of the first plant-based seafood companies, both of which he successfully exited.

David serves as an adviser with multiple food accelerators and venture capital funds and has spoken at conferences all over the world about the plant-based industry. Companies David works with or invests in include Hooray Foods, Bramble, Apres, Plantcraft and CHKP Foods.

Connect with David on the Web



Moonshot Collaborative:

Apr 28, 202143:28
Pandemic Punditry: Pursuing the Powerful Impact of Human Ingenuity in the Food System

Pandemic Punditry: Pursuing the Powerful Impact of Human Ingenuity in the Food System

What do new food technologies, ethical marketing and deep philosophical questions have in common? Lavindra del Silva and Karthiga Ratnam, creators of Pandemic Punditry, see them all as essential parts of the current conversation around the changing food system.

In this episode, we discuss:

The power of combined technologies, including AI, in accelerating alt protein R&D How cell-based technologies could allow countries lacking resources to gain more sovereignty with their food The potential philosophical, theological and existential implications of cell-based meat The benefits of plant-based alt proteins for farmers in emerging economies The need for better distribution infrastructure to make new food solutions accessible to everyone The importance of ethical marketing based in human values and approached with long-term sustainability in mind How the pandemic should act as a wakeup call to use human potential, creativity and genius to create companies and initiatives that can positively impact the world and the human condition

...and a lot more.

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Pandemic Punditry, Lavindra & Karthiga

Karthiga Ratnam is an impact-driven category designer who introduced the 4th element of category creation: Impact Design. She believes categories should be created with social, community, and planetary impact in mind. She's moved on from co-hosting Pandemic Punditry to pursue more opportunities in creating impact through category creation.

Lavindra del Silva is a sales innovator and advisor to disruptive startups and companies looking to rapidly expand into new markets. Lavindra believes that we need new sales models that redefine how companies attract buyers and acquire customers, compensate and incentivize sales teams, and properly position and market their wares.

Their podcast, Pandemic Punditry, is a carefully curated series that addresses issues that have become top of mind in light of the global pandemic. As a digital platform that brings together pundits from across the globe to discover, debate, and debunk key issues by sharing their personal perspectives and prescriptions on how humanity can best survive—and thrive—in a pandemic (and post-pandemic) world.

Watch and Listen to Pandemic Punditry

Website: YouTube: Sam on Pandemic Punditry:

Connect with Lavindra & Karthiga

LinkedIn: Lavindra's LinkedIn: Karthiga's LinkedIn: Karthiga on Medium:
Apr 21, 202137:08
Veronica Fil: Global Domination Through Novel Plant-Based Cheese

Veronica Fil: Global Domination Through Novel Plant-Based Cheese

Is making a sustainable alternative to dairy cheese out of cauliflower and hemp crazy? Veronica Fil of Grounded Foods doesn't think so.

Driven by the innovation of her husband and business partner (who just so happens to be a chef of some renown in Australia) and their collective love of good food (including cheese), Grounded is on a mission to fix dairy.

Including the often dissatisfactory experience of non-dairy diary.

In this episode, you'll hear about...

The origins of Grounded Shortcomings (and triumphs) of vegan cheese in the past and now How the stunning—yet amusing—generation gap between Millennials and Gen Z affects product marketing The power Gen Z holds to educate older consumers and transform the food system Why plant-based brands should avoid pigeonholing themselves with aggressively vegan brand messaging The logistical challenges involved in sourcing upcycled produce and creating sustainable products The plight of farmers within the factory farming system and why they need help to be able to benefit from the plant-based movement

Want more nerdy plant-based news and insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Veronica & Grounded Foods

Grounded was built on a love of dairy—but a dissatisfaction with both Big Food and existing diary-free cheese options.

In 2019, Veronica and her husband, fine dining chef Shaun Quade, decided to leave behind their lives, careers, and restaurant in Australia, and launch a different kind of plant-based cheese company. For the next 6 months, they lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment in NYC while closing a fundraising round and simultaneously launching a product line.

Today, they're continuing to challenge and question tradition by making plant based cheeses from natural ingredients that come from the ground, using traditional fermentation techniques, without cutting costs by using unnecessary additives, flavor enhancers or cheap fillers.

They decided to fix dairy using cauliflower and hemp: two of nature's superfoods, reimagined as cheese.

Find Grounded on the Web (and try the cheese)!

Website: Instagram: Facebook: LinkedIn:
Apr 14, 202136:49
Back to the Roots: Bringing the Joy and Magic of Growing Food to Families Across America

Back to the Roots: Bringing the Joy and Magic of Growing Food to Families Across America

Could re-igniting the young generation's curiosity about food transform the food and agriculture system as we know it? Nikhil Arora believes it can—and he's working to make it happen.

As co-founder of Back to the Roots, Nikhil sees firsthand the problems that face today's food system—particularly the impact on kids' health and well-being. He and his co-founder, Alejandro, are using their brand to make it possible for anyone to grow food at home and learn the real joy of engaging with the true roots of food.

In this episode, we explore:

The serious gaps in the average consumers' knowledge of where food comes from and how it's grown How connecting kids and families back to the origins of their food can make a positive difference in the food system Why farmers deserve the same level of attention and celebration as today's most advanced foodtech companies The powerful impact of bringing joy, magic and experience together when educating consumers about food

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Back to the Roots & Its Founders

Nikhil Arora co-founded Back to the Roots with Alejandro Velez and now serves as co-CEO of the organic gardening company—which (literally) grew out of the discovery that gourmet mushrooms could grow on recycled coffee grounds.

Since then, Back to the Roots has evolved from an urban mushroom farm in Oakland, CA to a thriving national brand and the fastest growing gardening company in the country. On a mission to reconnect kids & families back to where food comes from, Nikhil and Alejandro want to make it easy for anyone, anywhere to grow their own food.

Back to the Roots has launched over 20 varieties of beginner-friendly grow kits—designed to be grown indoors year ‘round—in over 10,000 retailers nationwide including Walmart, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, Whole Foods Market, Target, Costco and Cost Plus World Market, reshaping what the Garden Center looks like for consumers coast to coast.

The company also launched the first-ever 100% USA Grown and Organic packet seed program nationwide - helping bring the stories of inspiring American farmers to millions of families.

If you purchase a kit, share your pictures using the #GrowOneGiveOne tag—they'll donate a kit and curriculum to a school in need!

Find & Connect with Back to the Roots on the Web!

Website: Facebook: LinkedIn: Twitter: Brand Instagram: Nikhil's Instagram: Alex's Instagram:
Apr 07, 202135:36
Picnic: Automating the Future of Foodservice

Picnic: Automating the Future of Foodservice

Could foodservice automation be the next marketing frontier for plant-based brands? Technology like the Picnic Pizza System has the potential to make it possible.

Picnic CEO Clayton Wood joins The Modern Health Nerd Podcast to unpack the amazingly nerdy technology behind Picnic's automated modular solution and discuss:

How automation could revolutionize foodservice, hospitality and even the plant-based movement How a system like Picnic can improve inventory control to reduce food waste and loss Using automated solutions to create the ultimate personalized food experience Merging foodservice technology with social media to create a new kind of marketing for brands in the plant-based space Why packaging needs to improve—including becoming more sustainable (for more on this, see the Red to Green Podcast at

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Picnic and Clayton Wood

Picnic is a privately held, Seattle-based automation and robotics company specializing in designing and building food assembly systems for kitchens of all sizes and types. Founded in 2016, the company has now grown to include a team of world-class leadership in hardware, software, design, and robotics.

Clayton Wood is a mechanical engineer with extensive experience working with and heading up startups. He joined Picnic as CEO in 2018 to help the company grow its vision and continue to provide solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in the foodservice and hospitality industries.

Find Picnic & Clayton on the Web!




Clubhouse: @cdub58

Mar 31, 202136:49
FoodHack: Making the Foodtech Space More Accessible

FoodHack: Making the Foodtech Space More Accessible

What's one of the plant-based movement's biggest barriers to growth? Arman Anaturk would argue it's consumer education. (Although people need to give startups a break, too!)

In this episode, we discuss:

How FoodHack is helping startup founders make connections in the foodtech space The origins of FoodHack, its mission and how the platform has adapted during the pandemic The biggest struggles for startups trying to position and scale in the plant-based space The role of big brands in advancing the foodtech and plant-based movements Why consumer education is the missing piece in the quest to transform the food system

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Arman & FoodHack

Arman is the cofounder of FoodHack, a community-driven media and events platform for the food and foodtech industry. A university drop out at the age of of 18, Arman went on to launch multiple ventures including a coding school in London and a communications and strategy agency for the food and science fields before getting to his current startup, FoodHack.

Today Arman's role has him overseeing the growth of the meetups, which are now active in 18 cities across the globe and building new products for their community of 10k food entrepreneurs, innovators and investors across the globe.

Connect With (and Follow) Arman & FoodHack!




Secret Sauce Podcast:

Mar 24, 202139:24
Plantcraft: Educating Consumers to Empower Better Food Decisions

Plantcraft: Educating Consumers to Empower Better Food Decisions

How can plant-based meat address the dual challenge of protein over-consumption and a serious lack of fiber in Western countries? Kati Ohens' approach to product formulation at Plantcraft may have the answer.

In this episode, we discuss:

How shopping environments influence consumer habits and perpetuate problems in the food system What plant-based meat needs to offer beyond good taste The potential impact of consumer education from plant-based brands and organizations Why unity is important in the vegan and plant-based communities

Want more industry musings and nerdy plant-based insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Kati & Plantcraft

After a 20-year marketing, advertising, and software executive career, Kati exited her agency to start working in the mission space. While working as a vegan transition coach, she noticed the gap in the alt meat market and the need for deli slices.

Kati met co-founder Csaba during a work project as they were looking at commercialising a new food tech IP--and she discovered that it could be used to make groundbreaking plant-based meat alternatives. Together they formed Plantcraft.

Find Plantcraft Online!





More Food & Nutrition Resources:

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM):

Dr. Michael Greger (videos and articles):

Mar 17, 202136:29
Supplant Foods: Making Functional Ingredients for Better Plant-Based Products

Supplant Foods: Making Functional Ingredients for Better Plant-Based Products

Can functional flours solve the challenges of taste and texture in plant-based food formulations? Chirag Sabunani of Supplant Foods is on a mission to make it happen.

Many alternative protein products rely on plant protein isolates and a number of additional ingredients to achieve tastes and textures similar to meat, but Supplant is taking a different approach. Through a minimal-waste process, they're producing functional chickpea flour that's flavorless, versatile and affordable.

In this episode, we dig into the implications of that functionality, as well as some of the areas where plant-based foods could use improvement to start appealing to the masses.

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Supplant Foods

Supplant Foods specializes in sourcing, processing and marketing high-quality plant-based ingredients. By partnering with some of the world’s most celebrated formulators and scientists, they're able to develop and offer functional, cost-effective, sustainable products that allow companies to develop new concepts and products that are good for people and the world.

Located in India, Supplant has access to a diverse range of raw material feedstock, which helps keep ingredients affordable.

About Chirag

Chirag spends much of his time on the road, connecting with customers, identifying their needs, ideating and developing alliances where he applies his expertise in bakery and meat analog formulation, and also his degree in Materials Science. In addition to his work, Chirag enjoys adventurous travel, sports and deep philosophical conversations.

Get in Touch with Supplant & Chirag




Mar 10, 202137:31
Revo Foods: Saving the Oceans with Foodtech

Revo Foods: Saving the Oceans with Foodtech

Overfishing, fish farming and aquatic pollution are ravaging the world's oceans. Robin Simsa and the team at Revo Foods (formerly Legendary Vish) believe the right combination of plant-based ingredients and foodtech can spark change.

How? By making the world's first 3D printed plant-based salmon that looks and tastes just like the real thing -- minus the heavy metals, microplastics and negative environmental impact -- and scaling up the process to make it available to the masses.

Looking for more plant-based industry insights and nerdy food news? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Revo Foods

Revo offers seafood made of plants with the goal of providing better health for people and planet. Their products make it possible to enjoy the delicious treats of the ocean without the negative impacts of overfishing or toxic heavy metals.

By developing proprietary 3D food printing technology, Revo is able to precisely recreate the texture and appearance of seafood. In the 3D Printing process, natural ingredients such as pea proteins, algae extracts and dietary fibers are combined to mimic (or exceed) the nutritional value and taste experience of seafood.

Revo's process was optimized to avoid food waste in the production process and retain more vitamins and omega 3 oils in the final product.

Find Revo Foods on the Web!






More about how to change food choices (Chuck Carroll, episode #9):

Mar 03, 202135:51
Patrick Suarez: Moving Better to Prevent Injury

Patrick Suarez: Moving Better to Prevent Injury

What's the missing piece in a healthy lifestyle where diet, exercise and sleep are on point? Patrick Suarez would say it's knowledge of and commitment to better mobility.

Patrick is changing the way people view and approach physical therapy. By building relationships through one-on-one sessions and teaching people not only how to recover but also how to move better in everything they do, he's enabling athletes of all disciplines and fitness levels to keep doing what they love for longer.

He digs into the why in this special bonus episode for Fitness Month!

Why fitness month? Because we can fix our food, we can fix our diets, but if we're not moving, we're missing a critical part of the holistic care of our bodies. A solid fitness regimen is the perfect companion to a plant-based diet -- and you'll get insights from some of the most innovative and interesting minds in the fitness space all month long on The Modern Health Nerd Podcast.

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Patrick

Patrick Suarez and his team are dedicated to individual one on one physical therapy for motivated clients. He's working to change the conventional physical therapy model to provide the best care possible for clients, meaning the client gets maximum time with the physical therapist for better care and better results.

Patrick has been a Doctor of Physical Therapy for 10 years and created Suarez Sport and Orthopedic Physical therapy in order to take a holistic approach to making people feel and move better. Suarez Physical Therapy is a performance based clinic geared toward getting people back to the activities, workouts and sports they love.

Patrick graduated from Hamilton college earning his Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology and went on to receive his Doctor of Physical Therapy from The George Washington University. He then went on to complete an Orthopedic Residency through Evidence in Motion and is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist.

Patrick is a dedicated practitioner who is committed to remaining at the top of the profession through evidence-driven practice and continued education courses. He also helps to educate and mentor physical therapy students in order to continue to develop the profession. He's been active for most of his life playing both soccer and baseball at the varsity level for Hamilton College. Currently, he continues to coach and play soccer recreationally and also maintains an active lifestyle through CrossFit.

Find Patrick on the Web!





Located in Latham and Saratoga Springs, NY

Feb 26, 202138:35
Geoff Palmer: Doing Something Radically Different with Sports Nutrition

Geoff Palmer: Doing Something Radically Different with Sports Nutrition

What do plant-based diets and the gut microbiome have to do with exercise performance? Geoff Palmer has the answer.

As a vegan for 35 years, a bodybuilding champion and sports nutrition enthusiast, Geoff digs into the science of nutrition to uncover the best the plant kingdom has to offer. Through his company, Clean Machine, he's bringing the nutrients back into sports nutrition to fundamentally change the way people think about supplementation, protein and the sport of bodybuilding.

It's all here on episode 4 of The Modern Health Nerd's Fitness Month!

Why fitness month? Because we can fix our food, we can fix our diets, but if we're not moving, we're missing a critical part of the holistic care of our bodies. A solid fitness regimen is the perfect companion to a plant-based diet -- and you'll get insights from some of the most innovative and interesting minds in the fitness space all month long on The Modern Health Nerd Podcast.

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Geoff

Geoff Palmer is a 58-year-old, 35-year vegan who is a Natural Bodybuilding and Natural Physique Masters Champion, the owner of Clean Machine Plant-Based Fitness Nutrition, author, national lecturer, vegan patent holder and 2 Time NEXTY Winner for “Best Supplement of the Year” in 2016 & 2018.

Geoff was selected #40 of the “Top 100 Most Influential Vegans” by Plant Based News, co-created the First 100% Vegan Bodybuilding Competition in the World and will be featured in 3 Vegan Documentary Films.

Clean Machine donates 10% of sales every quarter to organizations that promote a healthy plant-based lifestyle and 2 plant based meals to feed hungry children with every sale of Clean Green Protein.

Find Geoff on the Web!


Facebook: and


More on duckweed with Tony Martens of Plantible Foods:

Feb 24, 202147:42
Robert Cheeke: We Need a Better Understanding of Where Our Nutrition Comes From

Robert Cheeke: We Need a Better Understanding of Where Our Nutrition Comes From

Can you go from skinny to strong, buff and healthy JUST eating plant-based foods? Robert Cheeke has proven you can.

From an 89-pound kid to a 220-pound natural bodybuilding champion, Robert Cheeke underwent an incredible transformation on a plant-based diet. And he's still going strong, showing the world through his books and talks that anyone can build muscle eating plant-based -- while reducing disease risk and helping the planet in the process.

What inspired him to make the change and take up bodybuilding? Find out in episode 3 of February Fitness Month!

Why fitness month? Because we can fix our food, we can fix our diets, but if we're not moving, we're missing a critical part of the holistic care of our bodies. A solid fitness regimen is the perfect companion to a plant-based diet -- and you'll get insights from some of the most innovative and interesting minds in the fitness space all month long on The Modern Health Nerd Podcast.

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Robert

Robert grew up on a farm in Corvallis, Oregon where he adopted a vegan lifestyle in 1995 at age 15, weighing just 120 pounds. Today he is the author of the books, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, Shred It!, and Plant-Based Muscle. He is often referred to as the “Godfather of Vegan Bodybuilding,” growing the industry from infancy in 2002, to where it is today. 

As a two-time natural bodybuilding champion, Robert is considered one of VegNews magazine's Most Influential Vegan Athletes. He tours around the world (when touring is possible!) sharing his story of transformation from a skinny farm kid to champion vegan bodybuilder.

Robert is the founder and president of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness and maintains the popular website, He is a regular contributor to No Meat Athlete, Forks Over Knives and Vegan Strong, is a multi-sport athlete and an entrepreneur and has followed a plant-based diet for more than 25 years. 

Robert lives in Colorado with his wife and two rescued Chihuahuas.

Find Robert (and more about vegan fitness!) Online 



The Game Changers:

Plant-Based Nutrition Course @ the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (online):

Feb 17, 202148:38
Millionaire Hoy: Chase the Right Things for the Right Results

Millionaire Hoy: Chase the Right Things for the Right Results

Is the world of online fitness encouraging people to make better choices for mental and physical health -- or feeding into unhealthy, self-destructive thought patterns?

Millionaire Hoy says it's time to change the paradigm in episode 2 of February Fitness Month.

Why fitness month? Because we can fix our food, we can fix our diets, but if we're not moving, we're missing a critical part of the holistic care of our bodies. A solid fitness regimen is the perfect companion to a plant-based diet -- and you'll get insights from some of the most innovative and interesting minds in the fitness space all month long on The Modern Health Nerd Podcast.

About Millionaire

Following a health scare in his 20s, Millionaire Hoy (yes, that is actually his name) made a switch from graphic designer to fitness instructor. He began with local, free bootcamps to make fitness accessible to those in his local Chicago area who couldn't otherwise afford it and began launching free fitness videos and challenges on YouTube. His end-of-workout "fist bump" soon became a signature catch phrase.

His growing community offered enough support to allow him to launch his own subscription streaming service,, where he continues to release new and innovative challenges that draw on the input from his "Fist Bump Family" and feature his creative, authentic style. His "Breakthrough 100" challenge, released during the COVID pandemic, inspired many in his community to have their own fitness breakthroughs and is arguably the magnum opus of his over 1900-video workout library.

Follow (and work out with) Millionaire online




Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

Feb 10, 202142:36
Sean Vigue: We Need to Learn to Breathe (and Sleep!)

Sean Vigue: We Need to Learn to Breathe (and Sleep!)

What are the three most neglected areas of physical health? According to Sean Vigue, it's sleep, hydration and breath.

Sean "Coach" Vigue joins the Modern Health Nerd Podcast for the inaugural episode of February fitness month. He brings his unique perspective on movement, health and yes, breath, to his highly popular YouTube channel, teaching people of all ages and fitness levels to move better and stay flexible -- all with an engaging personality and a hefty dose of humor.

Why fitness month? Because we can fix our food, we can fix our diets, but if we're not moving, we're missing a critical part of the holistic care of our bodies. A solid fitness regimen is the perfect companion to a plant-based diet -- and you'll get insights from some of the most innovative and interesting minds in the fitness space all month long on The Modern Health Nerd Podcast.

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Sean

Sean Vigue is one of the most followed yoga, Pilates, power yoga, flexibility training and performance enhancing instructors in the world with millions of followers in every corner of the globe from beginners to elite professional athletes. He is a bestselling author--including his last major release, "Power Yoga for Athletes", his new book, "Pilates for Athletes"--and enjoys writing books which are accessible to everyone regardless of age and fitness level.

Sean has produced thousands of online workout videos, a full DVD line and his own podcast, and he loves teaching at fitness conferences. The more he works in the health and fitness field, the more excited and motivated he gets. He also likes shoveling snow at night. 

In his spare time he is an amateur film, opera and classical music historian and MST3K/RiffTrax fanatic. 

Connect (and train!) with "Coach Vigue"



Fitness Unleashed podcast:

Training app:

Amazon author page:

Feb 03, 202136:11
Babylon Microfarms: Using Tech to Reunite People with Food

Babylon Microfarms: Using Tech to Reunite People with Food

Jan 27, 202131:21
IWon Organics: Bringing Happiness to the CPG Space

IWon Organics: Bringing Happiness to the CPG Space

Can happiness and healthy eating coexist? Mark Samuel's answer is an emphatic YES.

Mark is the founder and CEO of IWON Organics, a health and wellness company that makes bold, flavor-infused snacks made from plant-based proteins like peas, beans and brown rice. He asserts that we've strayed from the healthy relationship we're meant to have with food and is using both his company's products and his own personal platform to spread a message of positivity, passion and happiness.

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About IWON Organics

IWON stands for "I'm Winning on Nutrition." The company is focused on healthy snacking and successful, long-term eating habits based on the principles of balanced nutritional profiles, made up of healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

IWON's snacks can be found in over 5,000 stores nationwide, including Kroger's, Sprouts, Whole Foods (SoPac and NorCal regions), Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, Safeway, Brookshire’s, as well as online at, Amazon and Thrive Market.

Follow Mark & IWON

Mark Samuel on LinkedIn:

Let's Eat series on YouTube:

IWON on Instagram:

IWON on Facebook:

IWON on Twitter:

Jan 20, 202134:39
Rise Gardens: Bringing Produce Close to Home (Literally)

Rise Gardens: Bringing Produce Close to Home (Literally)

Wouldn't it be great to have access to fresh, homegrown produce all year long? No worrying about what got sprayed on it, how long ago it was harvested or how far it traveled. No wasted resources, no nutrient loss -- just fresh taste.

Hank Adams and the team at Rise Gardens is making that dream a reality with their hydroponic indoor gardening systems. They've merged all the best of personal gardens with today's technologies to create a range of IoT-connected growing systems for greens, microgreens, tomatoes and even some root crops like beets!

But it's more than a pretty tech toy (although it is that!). Rise Gardens systems address some of the biggest problems with our food system today and provides individuals and families with the opportunity to learn how to grow--and then enjoy--a variety of healthy foods.

In this episode, Hank talks with Theresa "Sam" Houghton about Rise Gardens' systems, the food industry, the importance of traditional regenerative farming and why Rise wants to get kids involved with growing their own veggies.

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

Hank Adams - CEO & Founder, Rise Gardens (

Prior to founding Rise Gardens, Hank Adams started three previous sports technology companies, including Sportvision, which was named one of the world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company Magazine (#34, Fast Company, March 2010) and earned Hank a spot on Fast Company’s “Ten Most Creative People in Sports” list (June 2009). Sportvision forever altered the sports landscape with its iconic products such as the “Magic Yellow Line” for football. Seeking a new venture that would make a lasting impact, Hank decided to focus on solutions to the broken food system, which contributes to poor health, depleted soils and environmental degradation. In addition, Hank has had a lifelong passion for gardening, starting as a boy growing strawberries in his native Colorado. Combining these interests, Rise Gardens was born.

About Rise Gardens

Rise Gardens designs state-of-the-art indoor hydroponic produce gardens that make it easy for anyone to grow their own food. The system makes a complicated process productive and fun for gardeners constrained by busy schedules, short growing seasons or access to land in urban settings. The modular, WiFi-connected platform allows for expansion and enables growing of a wide variety of greens and vegetables. Founded in 2019 and backed by $3.1M in seed funding from investors including True Ventures and the Alexa Fund, Rise Gardens encourages better nutrition and healthy outcomes by helping people grow their own food year-round and by partnering with schools to build nutrition education into the classroom.

Follow Rise Gardens!




Jan 13, 202139:46
PolyNatural: Extending Shelf Life and Reducing Food Waste Naturally

PolyNatural: Extending Shelf Life and Reducing Food Waste Naturally

How much wax have you eaten today? Vicente Traviesa of PolyNatural is working to make sure you can confidently answer, "None!"

The sad (and kind of gross) truth of the matter is that much of our conventional produce is coated in things we don't want to eat, including synthetic waxes. It gives fruit that shiny look, but it's not so great when it comes to our health. 

What's the alternative? PolyNatural has developed an all-natural solution called Shel-Life.  Founder Francisco Palma and the rest of the team aim to make this coating the preferred alternative for preserving fruits and vegetables--thereby reducing food waste and ensuring the fruit we eat is 100% good for us.

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About PolyNatuaral

At PolyNatural, we focus on reducing "food waste" and enhance fruit quality. Our product Shel-Life is the preferred all-natural "shelf life extender" because our coating allows for the elimination of synthetics while reducing waste, enhancing quality and boosting sales appeal PolyNatural is engaged in cutting-edge research, innovation, and development. We use the potential of completely natural components to make unique products in the market that benefit the quality of food for people all around the world.

Shel-Life is a 100% natural emulsion (plant-based) manufactured with natural extracts, lipids and plant polymers that forms a covering on the fruit which reduces food waste by delaying the growth of microorganisms. Shel-Life is a product for agribusiness that differs from its competitors since the coatings used by the vast majority of fruit exporting companies in the market consist of synthetic waxes that are made up of components derived from petroleum.

Connect with PolyNatural online




Jan 06, 202131:17
The Leaf Protein Company: Supporting Sustainability with Pereskia
Dec 31, 202036:48
Chuck Carroll: Let's Step Outside the Plant-Based Bubble

Chuck Carroll: Let's Step Outside the Plant-Based Bubble

News flash: The plant-based space is living in a bubble! How can we reach everyone "outside" who's looking for real, actionable information on how to be healthier?

According to Chuck Carroll, it's time to simplify consumer education.

As the host of The Exam Room podcast, Chuck has interviewed some of the biggest names in the plant-based space--and shared his own inspiring story. On this episode of The Modern Health Nerd, we talk about everything from the reality of food addiction to how the big plant-based and alt protein brands can change their messaging to make a bigger impact on consumer choices.

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Chuck

Chuck Carroll is truly “The Weight Loss Champion.”

At his heaviest, he weighed 420 pounds and had amassed a 66-inch waist while requiring a size 6xl shirt. At just 5-foot-6, his tiny frame struggled to support his enormous figure. A severe food addiction continued to fuel an unhealthy lifestyle as his waist expanded at such a pace that soon it would outgrow even the big and tall catalog.

Still, there were times when, like millions of others battling the bulge, he tried and failed to lose weight. Fearing that his life was spiraling out of control and nearing an end, he opted to undergo weight loss surgery. Prior to the procedure he was convinced that the drastic measure would become like all the other failed attempts to lose weight. Chuck was just 27 years old at the time and didn’t think he would live to see 30.

But then the unexpected happened. He woke up from the surgery and never looked back. Although a critical component, the surgery proved only to be the first step in his journey. In fact, he only attributes 10 percent of his weight loss success to the procedure.

In just over a year, Chuck shed 265 pounds by conquering food addiction and devoting himself to a healthier lifestyle. He’s now maintaining the weight loss by eating a plant-based diet. The confidence he gained from the weight loss enabled him to pursue his dream of becoming a sports reporter. Chuck’s career took a twist when he became a reporter for the all-news CBS station in Washington. From there, he went on to anchor national newscasts at NBC News Radio.

Yet, he felt something was still missing in his professional life. He wanted to give back and inspire others to follow in his footsteps whether they had already lost weight or were just beginning their weight loss journey. In 2018, he teamed up with PCRM to launch The Exam Room™ podcast where he has interviewed the biggest names in the plant-based community, including Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and Dr. Michael Greger. The show has grown to become one of the most downloaded nutrition podcasts in the world. 

Follow Chuck on Twitter and Instagram at @ChuckCarrollWLC

Check out The Exam Room Podcast on Apple:

More about the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine:

Dec 16, 202034:21
Mal Hebblewhite: Unlocking the Gut Health "Black Box" with Atmo Biosciences

Mal Hebblewhite: Unlocking the Gut Health "Black Box" with Atmo Biosciences

What if you could know exactly what's going on in your gut and fix it -- once and for all? Mal Hebblewhite's company, Atmo Biosciences, is working on the solution.

We've got a bit of a different focus on the podcast for this episode. Gut health is a hot topic -- and no wonder. Food allergies, food sensitivities and conditions like IBS and IBD are running rampant in today's society. Our damaged guts are affecting our quality of life, and up until now, we've only had the tiniest window into what's going on.

Atmo Biosciences is working on an amazing technological solution to give a window into the "black box" of gut health and help break the cycle of trial-and-error gut treatment. It's time for a more personalized approach!

Malcolm (Mal) Hebblewhite is CEO of Atmo Biosciences, which he co-founded in 2018 to commercialize novel ingestible gas-sensing capsule IP licensed from RMIT University.

Mal holds a BE (Aerospace) with Honors from the University of NSW, Sydney, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Company bio:

Atmo Biosciences is a digital health business focussed on providing objective real-time insights into gut health and microbiome function. Atmo’s world-first ingestible gas-sensing capsule senses clinically important gaseous biomarkers in real time at the source of production, and transmits the data wirelessly to the cloud for aggregation and analysis. Atmo addresses the need to monitor microbiome function, allowing improved diagnosis and personalised therapeutic approaches, resulting in earlier and more successful relief of symptoms, and reduced healthcare costs.

Connect with Atmo:

Twitter --

LinkedIn --

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

Dec 09, 202037:31
Jeff Rosenblum: Living an Abundant Plant-Based Life
Dec 02, 202033:53
Actual Veggies: Pioneering the "Plant-Only" Food Category

Actual Veggies: Pioneering the "Plant-Only" Food Category

In a market full of "meaty" plant-based protein alternatives, where do you turn if you want something made from actual vegetables?

Why, Actual Veggies, of course!

Co-founders Jason Rosenbaum and Hailey Swartz are pioneering a category for all those who want fresh, delicious (and, incidentally, really colorful) burgers that can be a daily part of a healthy diet. It's not just's plant-only.

Follow Actual Veggies (Warning: Their IG feel will make you hungry!):

Instagram: Facebook: Twitter:

Get in touch with Jason & Hailey!

About Actual Veggies, from Jason & Hailey

At Actual Veggies, we make burgers that are large, filling, naturally colorful & made with just veggies and nothing else. Our burgers are made with only whole ingredients that you can pronounce, see, smell and actually taste. Our chef designed burgers are exciting and delicious for everyone, while still tasting like veggies. In 2021, you will be able to find Actual Veggies across the country in the refrigerated section at your local grocer, or you can order online at starting in December!

Hungry for more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to the Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

Nov 25, 202031:48
Mark Rifkin: Why Not Just Eat Chickpeas?
Nov 18, 202037:42
Elysabeth Alfano: Doing it All for the Plant-Based Cause
Nov 11, 202036:39
Cyd Notter: Combing Whole-Food Plant-Based Nutrition with Timeless Faith Principles

Cyd Notter: Combing Whole-Food Plant-Based Nutrition with Timeless Faith Principles

What is the "Plan A" for the human diet? According to Cyd Notter, it's 100% whole plant foods! 

Hungry for more plant-based info and industry insights? Subscribe to the Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Cyd and The Plan "A" Diet

Cyd Notter is a graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, a certified instructor for The Starch Solution and other dietary courses, a past newspaper columnist, and the founder/author of The “Plan A” Diet. She offers a variety of health and cooking classes – both locally and online.

Cyd also provides nutrition coaching to both individuals and corporations, speaks to local groups, and has worked with school district employees and a hospital’s fitness center. Her book, titled The “Plan A” Diet, released in October 2019.

Cyd lives with her husband in Illinois where they enjoy outdoor activities, classic movies, and old Volkswagens.

Check out Cyd's classes at: Learn more about The "Plan A" Diet: Cyd's advice on evaluating dietary research: Get in touch with Cyd: cydnotter (at) cydnotter (dot) com

Curious how Beyond & Impossible burgers compare to regular meat and whole plant foods? Read the breakdown here:

Nov 04, 202029:27
Deb Czech: Putting the Whole Food Back in Plant Based

Deb Czech: Putting the Whole Food Back in Plant Based

What's the difference between "plant-based" and eating plants? Deb Czech knows! As a knowledgeable student of all things whole food plant based, she shares valuable insights on why going beyond the "plant-based" label to eat closer to the source is important for health and sustainability.

Hungry for more plant-based info and industry insights? Subscribe to the Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

About Deb Czech, Owner/Founder of Planted Platter, LLC

Inspired by the movies Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc., in 2012 Deb Czech switched up her meals to harness the nourishing power of plants. She studied plant-based nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and eCornell. Upon finishing the six-week intensive program, she pushed animal foods off her plate for good.

Later, Deb sliced and diced her way through the Forks Over Knives plant-based cooking course at the Rouxbe Online Culinary School. After establishing Planted Platter in 2018, Deb earned a spot in the selective Food for Life instructor training through the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, becoming licensed in 2019 to teach a wide range of the group’s research-supported, plant-based nutrition programs.

Prior to Planted Platter, Deb’s marketing and public relations career has included experience with consumer brands, agriculture, recreation, hospitality, and wellness clients. Before pursuing recent education in the plant-based nutrition field, she completed her undergraduate degree in political science at Yale University and received an MBA from Simmons College in Boston.

Deb credits her parents for planting an early seed in her mind about healthy eating: they cultivated a large backyard garden behind her childhood home, providing abundant vegetables and berries, and cooked almost all family meals from scratch. Nowadays, when Deb isn’t teaching plant-based nutrition or trying out a new recipe, she puts her plant-powered energy to use leading an active life outdoors and spending time with family and friends.

* Planted Platter website:
* Upcoming classes:
* Facebook:
* Instagram:

For Further Reading/Watching

* Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
* Forks over Knives
* The Game Changers
* Code Blue

Oct 21, 202036:01
Tony Martens: Making Plant-Based Protein from Duckweed

Tony Martens: Making Plant-Based Protein from Duckweed

Hi there, fellow nerds! I’m excited to announce the launch of The Modern Health Nerd Podcast. In this inaugural episode, I connected with Tony Martens of Plantible Foods to talk plant-based protein, clean label concerns, sustainability and more.

Find more of Tony’s unique insights in Industry Interviews: The Future of Protein is Plant-Based on The Modern Health Nerd:

Please bear with me as I navigate the ups and downs of podcasting. The audio for the first few episodes isn’t 100%, but I promise the conversations are amazing! New episodes drop every Wednesday.

Meet Tony Martens!

Tony is the co-founder of Plantible Foods, a startup that is redesigning the food production supply chain by combining aquafarming techniques with innovative technologies in order to produce more sustainable, functional and nutritional food ingredients. Prior to Plantible, Tony was part of the management team that drafted and executed a 5-year strategy that transformed a small and traditional agricultural commodity trading and processing firm into becoming Europe’s largest commodity trading company.

You can connect with Tony on LinkedIn:

About Plantible Foods

Plantible Foods has developed a patent pending and vertically integrated agricultural system that produces a plant-based protein ingredient that can replace myosin, egg whites, whey and/or casein in food and beverage applications. The protein, named Rubi Protein (RuBisCO), has a better organoleptic and functional profile than any of the plant-based proteins currently being commercialized. Plantible’s production system is 100x more sustainable than soy and climate change proof, enabling the company to produce 24/7/365.

Check out Plantible Foods at

Want more plant-based nerdity and industry insights? Subscribe to The Modern Health Nerd for weekly updates:

Oct 07, 202030:36