In this episode, we head to upstate New York and Portland, Oregon, to sample some of the flavors competing for the future of our palettes, and our wallets.

Have you ever tasted a habanada pepper? An upstate abundance potato? A Robin’s Koginut squash? These new vegetable breeds, all created by Row Seven Seed Company, are bursting with new flavors that come straight from the earth. But what about those wasabi seaweed snacks? Or something like beer chips? Or crazy ice cream flavors that seem to come from natural sources but are most-likely made in a lab?

The flavor industry is worth billions of dollars, but with new technology, our changing environment, globalization, and a better understanding of how to invent new types of food, the future of flavor is being pulled in two very different directions. As different players in the food industry invent new flavors, consumers will have to make new choices about what flavors they want: flavors from the farm or the lab.

In this episode of the Ideas podcast, we explore these two different locations to understand the future of the flavor industry. First, we travel to the Fingerlakes region in upstate New York, where we’ll tag along with Michael Mazourek, a plant breeder and co-founder of Row Seven Seed, as he delivers his produce and spreads Row Seven’s mission: to change our agricultural system by breeding for flavor.

We then head to a lab across the country in Portland, where we’ll meet Sarah Masoni, a flavor designer with a “million-dollar palate.” There, Sarah will tell us why the future of flavor isn’t as subjective as we might think. And, finally, we’ll hear from Vincent Sinisi, a food retail analyst at Morgan Stanley, about how consumers and food retailers are creating new opportunities for both farm and lab-made flavors to appear on your supermarket shelves.