Why We Exist

Fat is good. "Vegetable" oils are bad. Bad for us. Bad for the planet. How bad?

Increased consumption of vegetable oils is shown to increase the risk of death by 62%, more than moderate smoking. They're also killing the planet. Four of the top five greenhouse gas emitting crops are industrially produced seed oils. And they are hidden everywhere. The average American consumes a staggering 20% of their calories from vegetable oils.

We're on a mission to replace these "vegetable" oils in the food system. We believe they are one of the biggest problems when it comes to both rising rates of chronic disease and agricultural impact on climate change and ecosystem destruction. We're using the ancient art of fermentation to make healthier and more sustainable oils and fats. We need your help! Read below to see if your skills can help us make this a movement that changes the world.

About Us

We’re a team of food lovers, nutrition believers, innovators, doctors, PhDs, and problem solvers. We believe in taking care of our health and our planet’s health without sacrificing the foods we love. We started Zero Acre Farms out of concern for what we’re all involuntarily putting into our bodies and the profound effect it’s having on our health and the natural world.

Zero Acre Farms is backed by an incredible group of investors, including mission-driven VCs, celebrities, influencers, and change-makers

The Role

We are seeking an intermediate level Laboratory Technician to assist with technical operations of our benchtop bioreactors and to support general laboratory management at our R&D site in San Mateo, CA. As a member of a small and growing team at a young and exciting food technology startup, you will serve a vital role by enabling the generation of high-quality process data to drive product development.

Responsibilities

Supporting tasks and direct operation of our 3L bioreactors and working closely with a fermentation engineer or scientist:

  • Follow existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Prepare and sterilize microbiological media and stock solutions in order to meet needs of scheduled batches and other experiments
  • Collect sterile samples and record process data from bioreactors on a set schedule
  • Perform basic analytical procedures including sample dilutions, centrifugation, optical density, and dry cell weight analyses
  • Disassemble, thoroughly clean, and reassemble bioreactors on a weekly basis
  • Monitor process variables and respond to alarms as needed

Provide support to the laboratory manager to help ensure smooth operations of our small team of scientists in other areas of research and development:

  • Organize and maintain stocks of consumables and raw materials.
  • Wash and autoclave glassware
  • Support receiving and shipping operations
  • Work on both weekend days is required. Flexibility in work hours to support process needs (full time position, primarily day-shift anticipated).
  • Observe and abide by all laboratory safety practices, including for the handling of acids, bases, hot liquids, flammable gases and liquids, and toxic chemicals.
  • Maintain work areas in a clean and organized state.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds.

Requirements

  • Associate degree in biotechnology/biochemistry, or high school diploma with prior laboratory or process experience.
  • Flexibility in scheduling, including weekend and/or off-hours shifts
  • Basic knowledge of chemistry, biology, mathematics, and familiarity with laboratory procedures and safety practices.
  • Demonstrated mechanical aptitude, problem solving skills, and familiarity with hand tools.
  • Computer and software proficiency including MS Excel and Word. Experience with bioprocess monitoring software is desired.
  • Organized, efficient, and detail oriented with strong record keeping abilities.
  • The ability to work and collaborate with a multidisciplinary team.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Preferred: 1-2 years of experience in laboratory technician or support position.

What We Offer

  • The excitement and purpose of a mission-driven startup and the stability of a well-funded company with experienced founders and executives at the helm
  • Empowered team members with minimal bureaucracy
  • Competitive salary and meaningful equity
  • Flexible vacation time (minimum 2 weeks)
  • Focus on uninterrupted deep work time every day
  • Medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, life coverage, health and dependent care FSA (flexible spending account). 401k coming soon!
  • Additional perks like Audible membership and free books
  • Fun and engaging community. Work with driven, ambitious, health-conscious people who care about their work

A Note From Our Founders

The majority of Americans are sick. Let that sink in. More people have a chronic disease than not in this country! 6 out of 10. And a hundred years ago, almost no one had a chronic disease. Our healthy life expectancy is decreasing for the first time in recorded history. Our solution so far has been more prescription drugs (in 2018, the average American filled eighteen prescriptions).

Our planet is also being destroyed by the day. The Amazon loses about 2 football fields of rainforest every minute, mostly to grow industrial monocrops like seed oils that make us sick. Species extinction is at an all time high. Some projections say we only have 60 harvests left before our soil doesn't support any more life.

The real issue? These problems are interconnected. We're destroying the planet to grow food that makes us sick.

How is this not one of the most important, urgent, and talked about issues of our generation? We want to change that. We want to slow down and ideally reverse the skyrocketing rates of chronic disease and environmental impact caused by what we eat. We truly believe that we can save millions of lives, as well as millions of acres of rainforest, if we are successful in our mission of replacing destructive vegetable oils in our food supply.

That’s what drives us, and we hope you’ll join us.