About Time: You Heard About The Future of FoodBy Iona Goulder
There’s been a lot in the news recently about the food we eat. Whether it’s sugars harming our health or meat harming the environment, now more than ever people are asking just what the future of food will look like in the UK. Spice Box is a brand new food company that as well as delivering tasty, fresh food are hosting a series of talks with the aim of answering just that. We sent our Film Editor, Cass Horowitz to catch up with them and find out about the business and their vision for a sustainable future of food.
Tell us about SpiceBox?
SpiceBox is giving the Indian take-away a much needed update, making it healthier, fresher and more sustainable. We’ve replaced fat, sugar and meat with veg, pulses and nourishing spices.
My co-founder Sagar and I actually came up with the idea while we were living in Silicon Valley last summer. We’d been accepted onto a tech accelerator with our last company, Clippet News but quickly became disillusioned by the tech scene and it’s infatuation with automation, scale and other meaningless jargon. Our release was going and exploring the amazing food scene in San Francisco and LA where startups are changing the way people eat – whether through super-quick delivery, affordable prices or or using tech to make ‘good food’ appealing to a wide audience.
One of the other big trends we noticed was a movement towards vegetarian and plant-based diets. This was something that we’d always thought about doing – we were becoming increasingly aware of environmental impact of eating animal products. But it was too difficult in London because there weren’t many reasonable eating options. In California things were different – every high street had affordable and delicious vegan food, so there was no excuse not to convert!
We set up SpiceBox to address the lack healthy and sustainable fast-food in London. At the moment, we’re focusing on healthy, plant-based curries because we think Indian food is a great introduction to vegan/vegetarian food- who doesn’t love a curry?!
You recently held the first event on the ‘Future of Food’ tell us about that – why is it important for you guys?
At the core of our company’s ethos is trying to provide solutions to some of the pressing food issues the world faces. Personally, we’re trying to reduce food waste and encourage environmental sustainability, but we also want to highlight the fantastic work others are doing and inspire people to do the same.
That’s why we’ve launched this series of events. At our first talk we had Tristram Stuart talking about beer made from surplus bread, and Patrick Drake from Hello Fresh explaining how important it was to educate people from a young age on healthy food practices.
What does your future of food look like?
We’re all about letting people enjoy the foods they love, but without having a harmful impact on the environment.
Our main reason for encouraging people to eat less meat is that numerous reports have shown that animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change. We know it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to turn vegan and to stop eating their favourite foods. Yet, in the future they might not have to make that choice. In America a number of tech startups are carrying out some incredible innovation in this field. Beyond Meat are and Modern Meadow are creating artificial meats and leather from labs, with no harm to animals and the environment – it’s mind-blowing!
What have you learnt from trying to set up your own food company?
One thing that’s struck me, moving from digital media to food, is just how physical setting up a food business is! If you’re not running around town to meetings, you’re delivering food, cooking or setting up street food stalls. Days/evenings off are also rare, especially as our team is so small! But it’s totally worth it – everyone in the London food scene is so friendly and willing to help each other out. We’re all working towards similar goals and it feels like a really exciting space to be in.
Most importantly of course, how can we get a hold of your food?
You can order takeaway/delivery through our website or through our delivery partners Take Eat Easy. We’ve also got a month-long residency at Druid Street Market every Saturday in March. At the moment, we’re only delivering in East London, but keep an eye on our social media for updates as we plan to expand as soon as possible.
Spice Box are offering all About Time readers a Take Eat Easy discount code – £10 off first order with code MKXP