Abi Aspen Glencross: ‘My career in food’
We are well and truly into exam results season in many parts of the world and so we are having a bit of a focus on careers.
In this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast, we welcome the brilliant Abi Aspen Glencross to the podcast.
Abi is Co-Founder of FoodSquared, which makes plant-based shellfish.
Her previous role at Duchess Farms saw her spending her time searching the globe for the best varieties of grains, whilst she also co-founded The Sustainable Food Story, a platform to help tell stories of what sustainability could look like from different perspectives, including farmers, academics, activists and more.
She says her mission is to add a sense of hope to often bleak discussions on the ecological crisis and encourage collaborative efforts towards finding solutions.
Abi also has a background in cellular agriculture.
Listen to the full episode as we delve into Abi’s career, find out more about FoodSquared and The Sustainable Food Story, and explore her expertise in the worlds of agriculture and biotech.
Abi Aspen Glencross, Co-Founder, FoodSquared
When I began my career out of university as a cellular agriculturalist (growing skeletal muscle tissue in vitro) I thought that was it, I was a scientist and that was that. I had found my ‘thing’.
And I had, but I wasn’t quite ready for it yet. I didn’t quite understand what ‘it’ was. My calling was actually repairing our broken food system, I understand that now, however I needed to return to the fields to understand and gain respect in the foundations of our food system – farming.
After a few years of lab research I swapped lab grown meat for fields of wheat. Now after 4 years building the new arm of a farming business I have learnt so much about growing, policy, society and supply, I feel the time is coming to bring this knowledge back to biotech.
My speciality lies in the intersection between farming and biotech. I have the understanding of and experience in both, from growing muscle cells on the roots of plants and building 3D bioreactors, to growing arable crops and the issues surrounding agricultural trade. I understand how one can feed the other to create a better food system. I also specialise in sustainable food systems, from growing to cooking and eating. I thrive when public speaking and in science/farming communication, making technical topics easily accessible to the general public, and have appeared in the likes of VICE, on My Million Pound Menu and in Code Hospitality’s ‘100 most influential women in food’.
Co-founding The Sustainable Food Story adds another string to my bow, and has helped close the gap from farming to what we eat from our plates. I continue to work as a cook, as the key to people eating sustainability focussed food is that food being darn delicious, and am excited about our first book being released in early 2022 to share that knowledge further.