Talking Global Food with 915 Labs CEO Mike Locatis

As a former high-level White House appointee who helped craft national policy on securing 16 critical sectors including food and agriculture, Mike Locatis has a broad knowledge base and unique perspective on improving the availability and sustainability of food around the globe.

Locatis, CEO of 915 Labs, says U.S. food policy should be viewed through a global macro lens, taking into consideration food’s growing impact on national and global security.

“Global food is out of balance and unsustainable,” says Locatis, who served the Obama Administration as chief information officer for the Department of Energy and as assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.

Locatis cites several dynamics at play in the global food economy, including:

  • the California drought crippling high-production growing regions and negatively impacting the food supply
  • the lack of a refrigerated supply chain in Southeast Asia, resulting in significant food wastage
  • a dependence on agricultural imports in the Middle East, creating a fragile food supply chain in a volatile part of the world.

Locatis says that while the ‘foodie’ culture and villainizing big food dominates our national conversation — not all Americans can buy all organic from the local farmers market.

“Seasonal availability and limited distribution of fresh produce as well as an ongoing need for safe, convenient packaged foods are driving the need for healthier versions of big food products,” he says.