Alpha Food Labs and the Future of Food

At its core, Alpha Food Labs has a simple mission: research, invest in, and create innovative foods that are more sustainable, healthy, and tasteful than what currently exists today. And co-founder and co-CEO Mike Lee is committed to bringing the conversation around the future of food and its current problems to the community.

“The future of food is everything,” says Lee. “We want to inspire and educate the food industry on where the future of food might go. We’re not dictating what the future of food will be—we’re offering opportunities for conversation and inspiration.”

While growing up in Detroit, Lee loved to go to The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) every year. He most loved to see the cars that were not going to be for sale: the concept cars. Lee eventually began to ask himself: “Who is doing concept car level stuff in food?” Concept cars are designed to inspire other automakers; he wanted a food company that did the same for the industry.

And consumers are asking for it. “People have woken up to the fact that food impacts your body and the environment in very profound ways,” says Lee. Plant-based has become a billion dollar industry, and what started as a niche market is becoming a key investment for companies like Tyson Foods.

Alpha Food Labs also includes companies Food+Tech Connect and The Future Market. Food+Tech Connect specializes in providing the most up-to-date research on what is currently happening in food technology, while The Future Market offers concept food products and experiences largely based on that research.

Lee and his company have been involved in flavor development for a number of products, including plant-based yogurt Lavva. The yogurt uses plant-based ingredients—including Pili nuts, young plantains, coconut, and cassava—that together create a creamy, delicious taste eerily similar to that of animal-based yogurt.

Lee does not advocate for any particular diet, and is determined to maintain a critical eye on all types of products—whether animal-based or plant-based. “There is no such thing as one optimal diet,” adds Lee. “At the end of the day, it’s not about the right diet. It’s the diet that’s right for you.”

Listen to the above episode of Food Out Loud to learn more about the future of Alpha Food Labs and the ever-evolving problem of sustainability.

Produced by:

Nathan Mikita


Food Out Loud: Keto, Intermittent Fasting, and Grass Fed Butter Coffee

On this episode of Food Out Loud, I interview Mark Yu, co-founder of the keto-friendly, butter coffee brand, Grass Fed Coffee. We discuss our experience with the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. Mark tested this diet and lifestyle on himself and after losing 45 pounds in just four months, he simply became a believer.

At this point, you should have heard about the ketogenic diet, unless you’re in a carb-induced food coma. Contrary to popular belief this diet is not about weight loss and it is not new. The roots of the ketogenic diet go back to the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy and recently has re-emerged as a performance diet for the mind and body.

Intermittent fasting’s effect on chronic diseases like diabetes, is nothing short of astonishing. Fasting is of course not new with roots in most if not all major religions. Maybe we are rediscovering something here?

In America, we are struggling with obesity and as a result: our health. We have to take a look at what we are eating because the current American diet seems to be out of whack.

I will be talking a lot about the American diet in depth on this show because there is a lot of information to study and misinformation to debunk. I am also experimenting with my diet along the way. So, let’s get the conversation started!


23:57 - Should everyone be drinking butter coffee?
26:01 - Will Keto have as much of an effect on food-service as gluten free did?
27:36 - Where can we get Grass Fed Butter Coffee?

01:44 - Mark Yu - Welcome to the show
06:09 - Intermittent fasting
13:16 - Keto is not Atkins
18:30 - Grass Fed butter Coffee - Yes please!
23:57 - Should everyone be drinking butter coffee?