Posted in: Denmark

Industrial Hemp in the Nordics – A Startup Story

Hemp is considered nature’s miracle plant. With over 25,000 known applications hemp can be used to make everything from paper to textiles, fuel, building materials, plastics, food, livestock feeds, medicine, paint, and oil. Hemp is a rising star for its immense utility, ability to replace big pollutants, and because it can grow in almost any climate, multiple times a year with little water, fertilizers, and pesticides. It also can drawdown CO2 and regenerate the soil making it a sustainability wonder. At the same time, hemp is nothing new. In the Nordics, hemp seeds have been found dating back to the 5th century, but as in so much of the world, it has been misunderstood and heavily regulated. It’s just now that we are starting to see it make a comeback. 

My guest today is Signe Anker, one of the co-founders of Børnhølmerhampen. Listen in to their unique startup story of how they started growing hemp and producing products on the little Danish island of Børnhølm. We also discuss hemp’s history in the Nordics, what makes this plant so special, the challenges and regulations of working with it, and what’s needed to help the industry grow. 

  • 7:30 Hemp vs. marijuana 
  • 14:00 What makes hemp sustainable and its many uses
  • 16:30 Harvesting and regulations around growing hemp
  • 20:30 History of hemp in the Nordics
  • 25:00 Challenges of growing this industry

For more conversations, join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io.

Posted in: Denmark

Relæ's Restaurant Manager on COVID, 10 years of service, and the end of an era

This year has been wild for everyone in the restaurant industry, but 2020 has proven to be especially memorable for Relæ. Not only did they celebrate their 10 year anniversary in August, they also announced that they will be closing their and Manfreds’ doors by the end of the year.  

Join me in conversation with Relæ’s restaurant manager Luca Donninelli as we recount the restaurant’s journey to a Michelin star and the world’s 50 best list. We also discuss the Relæ community and its partners Rudo, BÆST, Mirabelle, and the Farm of Ideas, its impact on the global food scene, COVID-19, and what its like to create so many memorable dining experiences.

This episode was recorded live on @nordicfoodtech‘s Instagram. If you’d like to watch the conversation, follow the link to the video here

  • 5:00 The story of Relæ
  • 12:00 The Relæ community and how it works
  • 17:50 Sustainability at Relæ
  • 20:20 How service changed during COVID-19
  • 25:00 The future of the restaurant scene

PS: I coach entrepreneurs and business professionals on creating the change they want to see in the world. If you’re curious, sign up for a free chemistry call with me here to learn more.

Posted in: Denmark

Kinga Eysturland on Faroese Food

Isolated in the North Atlantic, for many years the Faroese largely relied on eating what was found in the environment around them. They learned to use every bit of animal and how to store and preserve as much as possible for as long as possible resulting in a fascinating and unique food culture that I discuss with Kinga Eysturland who runs a bed & breakfast in the Faroes and is an author of “Faroe Islands: A Tourist & Cultural Guidebook.

This episode was recorded live on @nordicfoodtech‘s Instagram. If you’d like to see the foods Kinga shows and tells about, follow the link to the video here

  • 4:30 How the Faroe Island’s history and geography has influenced its food traditions
  • 12:30 Faroese fermentation or ræst and why it’s a revelation
  • 17:30 The Faroe Island’s alcohol prohibition and the upcoming beverage scene
  • 24:00 The influence of Koks and eating-out culture in the Faroes
  • 30:30 The dishes Kinga serves for a Faroese dinner

And my fall coaching program is now open! If you are an entrepreneur or changemaker looking to make a business or leadership breakthrough, sign up for a chemistry call here to work 1-on-1 with me. 

Posted in: Denmark

The Fabric Source's Mie Tingsager Nielsen on farming fabrics

My guest today is Mie Tingsager Nielsen whose relationship to design and sustainability is expansive. She is a sustainable business advisor at Closed Loop and the manager of The Fabric Source, a sustainable textile library with more than 2,000 sustainable fabrics from more than 200 suppliers around the world that is focused on showcasing the latest and most innovative materials that can be applied across the fashion and textile industry. Join us as we discuss the world of farming fabrics and how textiles made from crops like cotton and hemp are not so different from the agricultural commodities we grow, harvest, and eat.  

Posted in: Denmark

Juno the Bakery’s Noah Erhun on the resurgence of heritage grains

Noah Erhun has 8 years of experience working in artisanal bakeries in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and today in Denmark where he leads production at Juno The Bakery in Copenhagen. His expertise is in naturally leavened breads and heritage grains. In this episode, Noah takes us on a ride through time and around the world as we explore how heritage grains are making a comeback with the surprising help of Instagram.

  • 1:20 How Noah became a baker
  • 6:30 The resurgence of small craft bakeries
  • 9:00 How industrialization changed the game
  • 14:30 Instagram and the alternative grain economy 
  • 21:40 What you should know about Scandinavia’s heritage grains 

For more conversation, join our community on Instagram and hear more episodes at www.nordicfoodtech.io.

Posted in: Denmark

Dyrehøj Vingaard’s Betina Newberry on why Scandinavia wine production is good business

Climate change is warming the Nordics making it increasingly possible to produce wine commercially. Recently, the New York Times published a front page article exploring the budding scene of wine makers who see the Nordics as the next frontier. My guest is Betina Newberry who was featured in the article and owns Denmark’s largest vineyard, Dyrehøj Vingaard, along with her brother. This episode is full of insights on what it takes to produce wine in the Nordics and how the industry is developing as Betina shares her entrepreneurial journey. 

  • 1:40 How the vineyard started 
  • 5:00 Lessons learned in starting a Danish vineyard
  • 14:50 How climate change is changing the wine scene
  • 18:30 The taste of Nordic wine
  • 24:50 The future of wine making 

For more conversation, join our community on Instagram and hear more episodes at www.nordicfoodtech.io.

Posted in: Denmark Iceland

Wholi Foods’ Malena Sigurgeirsdóttir on why a vegetarian eats insects

Malena Sigurgeirsdóttir is the co-founder of Wholi Foods, which was one of the first European companies to produce products with insect protein. Their portfolio includes snack bites, crisp bread, protein bars, and an insect-based meat alternative, which premiered at Roskilde Festival

In this episode, you’ll hear how insects are tiny, but mighty, able to fight poverty, boost nutrition, reduce pollution, and combat climate change. Malena gives us the inside scoop on how they solved her own health issues and why soon they may not feel like such a novel food.  

  • 4:30 The avocado of insects
  • 5:15 How Wholi Foods was started
  • 12:40 Insects vs beef in taste, sustainability, and nutrition
  • 18:50 Vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians take on insects
  • 29:10 Why the western world needs insects in their diet

For more conversation, join our community on Instagram and hear more episodes at www.nordicfoodtech.io.

Posted in: Denmark Iceland

Hey Planet's Malena Sigurgeirsdóttir on why a vegetarian eats insects

Malena Sigurgeirsdóttir is the co-founder of Wholi Foods, which was one of the first European companies to produce products with insect protein. Their portfolio includes snack bites, crisp bread, protein bars, and an insect-based meat alternative, which premiered at Roskilde Festival

In this episode, you’ll hear how insects are tiny, but mighty, able to fight poverty, boost nutrition, reduce pollution, and combat climate change. Malena gives us the inside scoop on how they solved her own health issues and why soon they may not feel like such a novel food.  

  • 4:30 The avocado of insects
  • 5:15 How Wholi Foods was started
  • 12:40 Insects vs beef in taste, sustainability, and nutrition
  • 18:50 Vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians take on insects
  • 29:10 Why the western world needs insects in their diet

For more conversation, join our community on Instagram and hear more episodes at www.nordicfoodtech.io.

Posted in: Denmark Greenland

University of Greenland’s Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann on how the world’s diet revolution is challenging Greenland

For a millennia, the Inuit people have managed to survive off the land of Greenland, an extreme Arctic environment. Assistant Professor Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann has been conducting a two-year postdoc on the Greenlandic Diet Revolution, which looks at the microbiomes of traditional Greenlandic foods, an almost exclusively animal-based diet.

Aviaja’s work encompasses culture, climate change, nutrition, microbiology, biotech, big industry, and politics. Full of fascinating insights, this conversation will get you thinking about what health really means for humans and the planet and how the two can and can’t be connected. It’s also an important conversation to consider how vulnerable communities fit in to our global climate solutions.

  • 5:20 Overview of diet, traditions, and culture
  • 10:20 Why a plant-based diet is causing problems in Greenland
  • 26:00 Vision for the future food system 
  • 30:30 How Arctic micro-organisms create big business opportunities beyond oil & gas
  • 38:00 Wisdom collected from nature and the Inuits

Join our community on Instagram and find more episodes at www.nordicfoodtech.io. Lastly, Aviaja would love to work with top chefs on how the fascinating and rare fermented foods of Greenland could be used to gain new sorts of taste. If you’re a chef listen in at 35:50 for instructions on how to get in touch!

ReGeneration 2030's Emil Vincentz on the youth's vision for our future food system

Emil Vincentz started his climate activism as a 12 year old. Today he is in his 20s and a member of Regeneration 2030, a movement led by teenagers and young adults in the Nordic and Baltic Sea Regions focused on making the United Nation’s sustainable development goals a reality. He is also the founder of Symplistic, a company helping private and public organizations implement concrete solutions on environmental sustainability.

At the Nordic COP25 in Stockholm, ReGeneration 2030 will be presenting their views on the future of the food system. Join us as Emil and I discuss what actions ReGeneration 2030 is calling for from policy makers, what it’s like to be a young person advocating for the future today, and ways to champion the next generation.

  • 6:00 An inside look into youth climate activism
  • 18:30 Key issues talked about in Emil’s circle (it might surprise you) 
  • 20:50 Actions for policymakers and vision for the future
  • 32:30 How you should engage youth in your community
  • 38:25 The role of parents and what it means to be a good ancestor 

This episode is part of Taste the Transition, a series of lunch conversations during the COP25 climate negotiations highlighting individuals taking climate action through food. Tell us your vision for the food system on www.nordicfoodtech.io/answer or by using the hashtag #NordicClimateAction