Sachi Singh: Building a Healthier and More Sustainable Future of Food
Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hello, gang! Spiffy here, back with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Sachi Singh, the founder and CEO of Rootless. Let’s see what she is doing to make a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me today, Sachi! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing?
Sachi: Happy to be with you, Spiffy! For starters, our food system is making us sick AND the planet sick! Six in ten Americans have at least one chronic, preventable disease, primarily due to lack of nutrition and exercise. Our methods of producing food (industrial agriculture) is ruining our soil, biodiversity, and groundwater, all while contributing to climate change. As populations grow, we need to produce more nutritious food for more people with less environmental and climate impact. There is no single solution. However, there is a bright spot: seaweed!
Spiffy: Interesting! What motivated you to take on this challenge?
Sachi: Well, I’ve spent the last decade of my professional life thinking, living, breathing international climate and oceans issues. Somewhere along the way, I stumbled upon seaweed and was hooked! Not only is seaweed one of the most nutritious foods we can eat, it is also bonkers good for the planet. It sucks carbon out of ocean water, improving the health of oceans and making it healthier for fish and other ocean critters to thrive! It also provides jobs to people (especially women!) living along the coasts. Seaweed is a win-win-win for people, communities, and the planet. So, in November 2020, I quit my job in climate philanthropy to get more people to eat and grow sustainable seaweed!
Spiffy: Way to lead by example! How are you and your team at Rootless working towards a more equitable world?
Sachi: We launched with our first product, the Daily Bite, which is a date-almond-seed-and seaweed nutrition bite packed with vitamins, minerals, and prebiotic fiber (good for your gut!), and bioactives that boost your metabolism, energy, and immunity! Seaweed is a "zero-input crop" which means that it doesn't require freshwater, fertilizer, or even land to grow! Simply put, the more seaweed we eat, the more seaweed we grow and farm, the more impact we can have on our health and the planet's health! By helping people find an easy and enjoyable way to eat seaweed everyday, we are building a future of food and farming that is healthier and more sustainable than what currently exists.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent milestone by Rootless. What impact does that make?
Sachi: Since launching in January 2022, I've received an increasing number of messages from our consumers that describe how the Daily Bites are improving their health! From improved digestion (the bites make your … poop more regular!) to increased energy levels and improved thyroid health, it is so fulfilling to hear how seaweed-powered clean nutrition is making people (especially women) feel. These messages serve as an amazing reminder that we're on to something impactful! And we're only just getting started.
Spiffy: Awesome! Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from that experience?
Sachi: As a founder building something new, you face rejection all day every day! I'm learning that "failure" is just redirection - it forces you to think of ten other ways to solve a problem. Don't get me wrong, "failure" still hurts. But my approach is this: feel your failure, learn from it, and move on to the next problem or solution!
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Sachi—it’s been an honor!
With a decade of experience in international climate change solutions across non-profits, academia, and philanthropy, Sachi is well aware of what we’re collectively up against. In seaweed, she found a rare bright spot: a timeless ingredient with transformative potential for health, climate, and local economies. After a year of experimenting with different recipes, she became the founder and CEO of Rootless with the Daily Bite. (Nominated by the Ladderworks team. First published on the Ladderworks website on July 27, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.