Join the conversation - What is Food Lab News?

Food Lab News is a social news website created by Local Food Lab to organize the conversation around entrepreneurship and innovation in sustainable food and agriculture. In the same way Hacker News serves tech startups, Food Lab News (FLN) aims to serve the food startup community by offering an up-to-the-moment snapshot of what is happening in this dynamic and innovative ecosystem.

Essentially, FLN allows users to do three key things: post links, ask questions and discuss. The site is designed to keep the most popular links and conversations near the top of the homepage so you can always see the most discussed issue of the minute.

We created Food Lab News because we believe that systemic change to the way we grow and consume our food is needed but that any change of this size must involve collaboration between many subsectors of the food system. These subsectors include but are not limited to:

  • Urban Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (any technologies that improve our ability to grow food sustainably)
  • Packaged Food and Packaging
  • Food Service, Food Retail and Mobile Vending or Food Trucks
  • Distribution and Logistics
  • Food Justice and Access to healthy food for all
  • Food Science and Food Safety
  • Water Use and Food Waste
  • Farm Bill and Food Policy
  • Fair Labor for Food Workers
  • Media and Consumer Education about eating and growing our food
  • Consumer FoodTech and Enterprise Technology for the food industry

While many fascinating developments are going on in these subsectors that new startups and entrepreneurs need to be aware of to create successful businesses, the system-wide conversation is fragmented. Without a close understanding of other subsectors, systemic change is impossible and productive customer and market understanding is unlikely. The majority of this fragmented conversation currently revolves around new releases of information via links i.e. news articles, research reports, blog posts and event listings. In the same way Reddit functions, Food Lab News will efficiently organize and rank these links and the surrounding conversations to reflect the most active and dynamic issues in food entrepreneurship. This form of discussion sidesteps the downsides typically associated with email-clogging listserves and troll-frequented forums. By improving the likelihood of meaningful communication between food system subsectors we hope to effect meaningful system disruption and assist food entrepreneurs in growing their ventures.

If you want to ask a question to the community that is not directly associated with a link you can do so under "Submit Story." Simply leave the URL field blank and tag your post with "Ask FLN." If you are targeting your research on a certain subset of the food startup ecosystem, say "health" or "distribution" you can use filters to ensure that only relevant links and discussions appear on your FLN page.

For ease of posting, FLN also includes a bookmarklet that you can drag to your browser so that whenever you come across a link that the FLN community might find interesting, you can quickly post and tag.

If you are interested in sustainable food, sustainable agriculture, food justice, local food, foodtech, food and agriculture startups or just helping to create a better food system, then join the discussion at Food Lab News and share your links and thoughts. Request an invite to the beta below, once you are registered click on your Profile to invite your friends and colleagues to the site. Looking forward to chatting with you.