clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The 10 Best Food-Focused SXSW Panels to Check Out This 2022

Eater’s recommended picks, from quirky global foods to normalizing eating bugs to creating sustainable food systems

A huge pile of red elongated berries.
Miracle berries.
Miracle Fruit Farm/Facebook

South by Southwest (SXSW) begins on Friday, March 11, and food-focused programming is sprinkled throughout the conference, which ends on Saturday, March 18. Here, we’ve assembled some of the best panels about food to attend during the festival.

For those looking to dig through all the sessions, there are a few talk tracks during SXSW that have a food component: Food/Food Alternatives is the main one, although Climate Change and Sustainability and even Digital Media both cover food-adjacent topics. There are also two days’ worth of panels at the Future of Food at SXSW, which is free and open to the public, and includes speakers, film screenings, and more (the detailed schedule for this has not been announced yet).

Friday, March 11

Down on the Farm: Addressing Climate Change
10 to 11 a.m.; Courtyard Marriott, Rio Grande Ballroom
300 East 4th Street, Downtown

The Walton Family Foundation is presenting this panel that brings together farmers, policy analysts, and members of the foundation to discuss a comprehensive climate change plan for the agriculture sector.

Monday, March 14

Exploring the World with Gastro Obscura
4 to 5 p.m.; Austin Convention Center, Room 9 ABC
500 East Cesar Chavez Street, Downtown

The quirky world guide’s panel will cover the stories behind the sweet miracle berry from Nigeria, Victorian table etiquette, and a pecan pie vending machine in Texas.

Tuesday, March 15

Eating Up the Oceans: How Do We Save Our Seas?
11:30 to 12:30 p.m.; Hilton, Salon C
500 East 4th Street, Downtown

One of the few food panels with big-name people, this panel featuring television writer and producer David E. Kelley and celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern delves into the damage of overfishing and climate change and a path forward with sustainable seafood.

City Food Waste: A Burgeoning Climate Solution
11:30 to 12:30 p.m.; Hilton, Salon G
500 East 4th Street, Downtown

Representatives from Baltimore, DC, Orlando, and the National Resources Defense Council will discuss strategies, successes, and plans for reducing food waste in their communities.

The Psychology Behind Mainstreaming Insect Cuisine
11:30 to 12:30 p.m.; Austin Marriott Downtown, Waller Ballroom
304 East Cesar Chavez Street, Downtown

Eating bugs is often presented as a more sustainable alternative to meat. In this panel, an entrepreneur, a chef, and a scientist discuss how to normalize eating insects for Americans, similar to how other less-desirable food like lobster has now become mainstream.

What’s the Best Glass of Milk? It’s Complicated
4 to 5 p.m.; Hilton, Salon G
500 East 4th Street, Downtown

As dairy milks and plant milks productions both struggle with sustainability, this panel will discuss the complexities of what we eat and drink using milk as an example.

Wednesday, March 16

Featured Session: Future Intersections of Food, Technology & Culture
11:30 to 12:30 p.m.; Austin Convention Center, Ballroom E & F
500 East Cesar Chavez Street, Downtown

Emily Ma, head of Food for Good at Google, Stephen Satterfield of Whetstone Media, Denise Osterhues of Kroger Co., and celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern explore the intersections of food, technology, and culture with an eye to creating a food system that is more just, equitable, sustainable, and scalable for our growing planet using technology.

Thursday, March 17

Plant-Based Meat: Green Eats or Just Junk Food?
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Austin Convention Center, Room 18 CD
500 East Cesar Chavez Street, Downtown

A researcher, an entrepreneur, and an investor explore the intersection of insect agriculture and cellular agriculture, and how these two unique forms of protein production can learn from each other.

What We’ll Eat in 2030
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Hilton, Salon g
500 East 4th Street, Downtown

This panel will discuss what comes next in food, from fungi to lab-made meat to 3D printed meals.

Plant-Based Meat: Green Eats or Just Junk Food?
4 to 5 p.m.; Hilton, Salon F
500 East 4th Street, Downtown

Dr. P.K. Newby of Food Matters Media will get into the data of the environmental costs of beef production and how plant-based food technologies play a critical role in climate-friendly diets.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Austin newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world