Slashing CO2

Founded: 2020

HQ: San Mateo, CA

Cooking oil that’s better for you, and Earth.

Big Picture

Vegetable oils like soy and palm are the most consumed food product in the world after rice and wheat. The scale of consumption makes them one of the primary drivers of deforestation and biodiversity loss, particularly in carbon-rich forests like the Amazon and Indonesia. And while “vegetable oils” may sound healthy, their consumption is causally linked to all manner of chronic diseases from obesity to heart disease.

How it Works

Zero Acre Farms is introducing a new category of oils and fats made by fermentation, not deforestation. Fermentation is the process of microbial communities, or cultures, converting natural sugars like those found in barley and grapes, into entirely new foods like bread and wine. Just as there are sourdough and wine cultures, there are also oil cultures, which produce the healthy fats in Cultured Oil.

Unfair Advantage

Cultured Oil is healthier, tastier, and better performing in culinary applications than conventional vegetable oils, all with a small fraction of the environmental footprint. Zero Acre Farms is developing additional products, proprietary fermentation processes, and microorganisms to address all the ways that vegetable oils and fats are used, across home kitchens, restaurants, and packaged food.


Sq. feet of land saved

per bottle compared to olive oil


Jeff is the owner of Bay Area restaurant Kitava and was previously the CEO and co-founder of Extrabux, which was acquired by Rakuten.

Follow: @jeffnobbs


Steve del Cardayre was previously Head of Microbiology at Codexis and co-founder of LS9, which was acquired by Renewable Energy Group.


Jay Keasling is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Berkeley and the CEO of the DoE’s Joint BioEnergy Institute.

The Purpose and Plan Behind Cultured Oil

Zero Acre Farms

Fermentation 101: How Cultured Oil is Made

Zero Acre Farms

What Are Seed Oils And Should You Avoid Them?

Zero Acre Farms

The World Needs an Oil Change

Zero Acre Farms

Zero Acre Farms puts microbes (and $37M) to work on a better alternative to vegetable oil