Tetrick has ambitious plan to release a product sometime in 2018; he is eager to “get it into shops” so people can purchase it as soon as possible—part of a larger, more lofty goal to supplant the animal agriculture system.

On Sept. 14 Hampton Creek announced it was reconfiguring its board to add leaders in the worlds of agriculture, food safety, and animal rights activism. Those people include billionaire Saudi Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal; Larry Kopald, the president of the Carbon Underground environmental group; Cliff Coles, a veteran food safety consultant; deep-sea explorer Sylvia Earle; and Jim Borel, a former executive at agricultural giant DuPont.

And to help Tetrick sell his high-tech meat to the public is Ira van Eelen, whose position as an advisor to Hampton Creek gives her a front seat to what many hope will be an inflection point for the food system—when a sustainable meat product that never needed the death of an animal makes it to market.

But in her, Hampton Creek has more than an advisor. In a food technology space replete with scientists and venture capitalists, Ira van Eelen represents the very consumer these types of companies hope to attract. And because of her relationship with her father, she doesn’t lose her way in conversations with scientists, which can often be bogged down with technical terminology. She’s a bridge: connecting past to present, science to food, complicated technique to layperson language—and she’s eager to get to work.

“I’m not trying to sell anything,” she says. “I’m just a regular, ordinary person who believes in this.”

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