Spotlight: Julia Collins on Creating Businesses to Fight Climate Change

julia collins moonshot crackers

Food is a love language for many, but for Julia Collins, her connection to food and her passion for technology helped her start her small business, Moonshot, a food business to fuel a climate-friendly food environment.

The journey to foodtech

From a young age, food was an expression of safety, joy and connection for Collins and her family. After she graduated from Harvard, she moved to New York and spent a decade working with and building companies like Murray’s Cheese Bar and Harlem Jazz Enterprises, the company responsible for the award-winning restaurant, The Cecil.  She even managed Mexicure, a popular Mexican barbeque fusion restaurant.

While her culinary journey was growing, Collins decided to pursue her love for technology and move back to the Bay, where she grew up. Here, she co-founded Zume Pizza, and began understanding the ways in which the intersection of food and technology existed to create delicious food that’s better for people and accessible.

Foodtech is the application of technology to address challenges in the food industry, such as improving food safety, increasing efficiency and sustainability, and creating new food products. This industry is rapidly growing, driven by advances in areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology.


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But, that’s not all. After giving birth to her first son, Mosi, Collins began to see the growing concerns around climate change, and wanted to use her background to take action.


Blogilates spoke to Collins to understand the impact she has made in foodtech and what’s next for her.

Climate change is clearly a big topic right now. What does climate-friendly food mean to you?

Did you know more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from land use and food systems? This is one of the climate change statistics that made me wake up and say that enough is enough, and no more. I believe that all people have the right to be a part of the solution to climate change and sometimes it can be as simple as choosing your favorite snack.

So in 2020, I launched Moonshot, leaning into my passion for and experience in the food industry with the vision of building a climate-friendly food movement. 


How does Moonshot follow this mission and what’s the objective?

Moonshot restores and heals the relationship between humans and nature by expanding regenerative agriculture. At Moonshot we make every decision with the health of people and the planet in mind. We source our ingredients from organic farmers who are practicing regenerative agriculture. We reduce transportation impacts by managing the length of our supply chain so that the majority is less than 100 miles long. We use packaging made from recycled materials. We are also carbon neutral certified, meaning we neutralize our unavoidable emissions with high-quality carbon offsets. 

The vision has always been to build more than just one cracker or brand.  Our mission is to catalyze a climate-friendly food movement, where everyone contributes to a healthier future for all beings and the planet. 


What can the community do in terms of education/awareness to help the world better understand the relationship between sustainability, food and climate change?

I like to call myself a Climatarian, living a planet forward lifestyle. This means that when it comes to what I eat, where, and purchase, I am always thinking about how to choose the actions that support my desire to live on a healthier planet. Being a Climatarian is actually a lot of fun because it allows me to enjoy life more fully, knowing that I am living in alignment with my values. 

To begin living a more planet forward lifestyle, the best thing that you can do is to ask a lot of questions and really explore where your food and products come from. Reading labels for calorie counts is so last decade! Now, it’s time to get curious about how our favorite brands are taking action on climate change. Look for clues like organic and regenerative ingredients, circular, compostable or recycled packaging, carbon labels or carbon neutral certifications. These are good indicators that brands are standing up for people and the planet. 


What have been some of the successes you’ve experienced in your career?

My biggest successes are rooted in my ability to live and work in my authentic truth. By simply being my full, Black, female self in a position of power and strength, I push back on societal norms about what Black women can or should do. It’s an honor to pave the path for more Black excellence to emerge. 

More tangibly, I focus on using my position to advance the work of other women, specifically women of color, and non-binary people. As an angel investor, as a board member of organizations like the Climate Collaborative, as a founder and a mother, I’m constantly in search of ways in which my privilege can lift others coming up behind me.   


What about some challenges and how did you deal with them?

One of the challenges I’ve faced is the lack of Black voices in the current narrative around climate change. This has only motivated me more to become vocal in the movement. I see a huge opportunity for Black people to emerge as strong voices in the climate movement because the worst of what is happening in the context of our rapidly warming planet disproportionately affects Black and Brown people. 

There is no social justice without climate justice. It’s vitally important that climate activism be radically inclusive. All people have the right to be part of the solution to climate change. 


What’s next for you?

Our team is really focused on empowering the next generation of Climatarians. We are more than just a team that built a brand, we are a community of catalysts. Through our work at Moonshot and our sister company Planet FWD, we are excited to support brands and consumers alike in building a regenerative and climate-friendly future!

Also, we’re working on some exciting new things, including a new flavor which we will unveil in the near future. 

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