March 31 Mar 31
08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Friday Fri

2023 Food Summit

The latest research on plant-based solutions for health and sustainability

Welcome to the 2023 Stanford Food Summit! Hosted by Stanford Medicine’s Plant-Based Diet Initiative, this day-long conference brings together Stanford researchers to collaborate in creating a more healthful and sustainable world.

The day includes:

  • Keynote: Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat

  • Stanford Plant-Based Diet Initiative seed grant research presentations

  • Expert panelists from across Stanford schools

  • Plant-based lunch and snacks

  • Networking mixers

  • Funding opportunities

  • Breakout sessions

Topics: microbiome, food as medicine, teaching kitchens, seed grant funding opportunities, menus for health and sustainability, healthy school lunches, food and nutrition security, nutrition science, food systems, entrepreneurship, public policy, Stanford research, and more.

Come all day or for a la cart events including

Tentative Schedule Subject to Change

8:00am     Coffee, registration, mingling
8:45am     Opening remarks
9:00am     Ethan Brown keynote speech
9:30am     Plant-Based Diet Initiative Seed Grant Award Winners and Their Research
10:20am   Open Mic
10:30am   Networking
11:00am   Food As Medicine Panel Discussion
12:00pm   Open Mic
12:10pm   Plant-Based Lunch
1:30pm     Microbiome Panel Discussion
2:20pm     Open Mic
2:30pm     Networking    
3:00pm     Breakout working group sessions with experts
4:00pm     Networking, plant-based snacks, fermented food bar

Event Descriptions

Keynote Speaker - Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat
Ethan Brown was convinced that a change in the origin of the protein that we place at the center of our plates—from animals to plants—could simultaneously address human health, climate, natural resource, and animal welfare challenges. In 2009, he founded Beyond Meat. As of September 2022, the company sold products at approximately 188,000 retail and foodservice outlets in over 85 countries worldwide.

Stanford Plant-Based Diet Initiative (PBDI) Seed Grant Award Winners - 10 plant-based research projects at Stanford that were funded by PBDI present either their research outcomes, or their ongoing or upcoming projects. Learn more about how to get funded here as well as at the conference.

Food As Medicine - This emerging topic was featured at the White House Food and Nutrition Conference on Health and Hunger. The American Heart Association, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation has pledged substantial funds to address this in a major clinical trial over next 10 years. Stanford is likely to play a major role.

Microbiome - Expand our exploration of the connection between diet, the gut microbiome, and inflammation/immune function with Drs. Justin and Erica Sonnenburg, other Stanford faculty and all-star early career investigators.

Food Research Across Universities - Stanford and the Culinary Institute of America along with 70 other universities in the U.S. and abroad are developing research programs with chefs and dining halls as part of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative.

Child Nutrition / K-12 Lunch Programs - This part of the program will be led by Eat Real, a nonprofit organization currently working with hundreds of school districts across the country, particularly in California, on improving school lunch programs. Possibility for many Stanford research partnerships across different schools and departments.

Teaching Kitchens - Leaders from teaching kitchens across Stanford's schools (Medicine, Stanford Residential & Dining Enterprises, the Farm) collaborate to create synergy and impact on health and sustainability.

Blue Foods - Food discussions tend to focus on agriculture but the extraordinary diversity of foods that are captured or cultivated in aquatic systems offers abundant opportunities for helping to build healthier, more sustainable, more equitable food systems.  Stanford experts from the Blue Food Assessment illuminate the possibilities. 

Open Mic – To help with networking, we will offer several opportunities during the event for individuals or groups to address the audience with what they have to offer and what they are looking for.

The 2023 Stanford Food Summit is hosted by the Plant-Based Diet Initiative (PBDI), a research unit of Stanford Medicine made possible through generous funding by Beyond Meat. For more information about research projects and how to apply for seed grants for pant-based diet research, please visit


Arrillaga Alumni Center
326 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA 94305

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Arrillaga Alumni Center

326 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA 94305
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Christopher Gardner, PhD

Christopher Gardner has a PhD in Nutrition Science and is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford’s School of Medicine. He has been researching the health effects of a plant based diet and its components for 20 years, primarily with federal (NIH) funding. He recently served on the American Heart Association’s Nutrition committee and is currently on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Culinary Institute of America. On the Stanford campus he has taken the lead in organizing the Stanford Food Summits which have now been held annually since 2010. These events have successfully connected faculty and students from across all seven of Stanford University’s undergraduate and professional schools, and connected these academics to community food activists and advocates.