How the future of nutrition can also save the Earth with Corinna Bellizzi | The Creative Solutions Podcast | Hosted by Izolda Trakhtenberg

How the future of nutrition can also save the Earth with Corinna Bellizzi | The Creative Solutions Podcast | Hosted by Izolda Trakhtenberg

In a compelling episode of the Innovative Mindset Podcast, host Izolda Trakhtenberg interviews Corinna Bellizzi, a natural products industry executive and omega-3 expert who is not just shaping the future of sustainable nutrition but also actively changing how businesses think about their impact on the environment. This post summarizes their enlightening conversation, which explores the intersection of health, business ethics, and environmental sustainability. The original air date of this episode was June 13, 2022. It is reproduced with the permission of Izolda T. and The Creative Solutions Podcast

The Power of Sustainable Business Practices:
Corinna Bellizzi opens the discussion by emphasizing the need for businesses to adopt sustainable practices from the outset. Her journey from leading Nordic Naturals, where she spearheaded significant growth, to focusing on plant-based omega-3 solutions illustrates a shift towards more environmentally friendly practices. Bellizzi highlights how traditional fish oil industries contribute to ocean degradation and overfishing, advocating for a pivot to algae-based omega-3s which offer a carbon-negative solution.

Innovative Approaches to Omega-3s:
Discussing the specifics, Bellizzi explains how omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for human health, supporting everything from cellular functions to inflammation management. Her new venture, Orla Nutrition, showcases the world’s first carbon-negative omega-3 oils, produced from algae rather than fish. This not only prevents overfishing but also uses carbon capture technology, turning a greenhouse gas into a high-quality, sustainable product.

Leading with Ethics and Impact:
A significant part of the podcast delves into Bellizzi's leadership philosophy, which blends ethical decision-making with strategic business practices. She describes how her teams operate under principles of collaboration and sustainability, ensuring that every business decision considers its environmental footprint. This approach not only helps the planet but also resonates with increasingly eco-conscious consumers.

Education and Advocacy for a Better Tomorrow:
Bellizzi also discusses her efforts to educate the public about sustainable nutrition through her podcast, "Nutrition Without Compromise." The show addresses the importance of dietary choices on personal health and the environment, featuring experts who advocate for reducing carbon footprints and enhancing sustainability.

Corinna Bellizzi's work is a beacon for those looking to integrate business success with profound social and environmental impact. Her story is a call to action for both consumers and business leaders to rethink how their choices affect the world. By fostering sustainable practices and advocating for change, Bellizzi is not just contributing to a healthier planet but also inspiring others to join her in making a significant difference.

Call to Action:
For those inspired by Bellizzi’s vision, engaging with her content on "Nutrition Without Compromise," and following Orla Nutrition’s innovations, can be the first step towards embracing a more sustainable lifestyle. It’s a testament to how individual actions and corporate responsibility can collectively pave the way for a regenerative future.

This episode captures the essence of a transformative dialogue, encouraging us to reflect on how our health and ethical choices intersect with our responsibility towards the Earth.

If you enjoyed this episode, please seek out The Creative Solutions Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts, or visit Izolda's site:


Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hello, and welcome to the Innovative Mindset Podcast. I'm your host, Izolda Traktenberg. I'm super grateful that you took the time to be here. Super excited about today's guest. Let me tell you about Corinna Bellizzi. She's awesome. She's an MBA. She's awesome. And a natural products industry exec and omega 3 expert who pioneered the growth of Nordic Naturals from less than 1 million to over 100 million in annual sales.

Wow. Given her concern for the future health of people and the planet, she shifted her focus from fish source omegas to algae in 2016. She's an activist at heart and that is awesome. So she launched her podcast, Care More, Be Better, which you know is catnip to me, in 2021 to cover social and ecological issues that affect all of us.

All of us today, she leads ORLO Nutrition, a new brand that features the world's first carbon negative Omega threes. Wow. She hosts a new podcast nutrition without compromise to support that effort. She covers health topics without compromising your ethics or the health of our home planet, the earth. You know, this is all catnip to me, Karina.

Thank you so much for being here. Welcome.

Corinna Bellizzi: Thank you so much. I don't think I've ever been called catnip. You are! That makes me chuckle.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: This is, you're, I mean, you're, you're, you're living the dream in many ways, especially if someone is, is, is vegan or cares about the planet or is a conservationist, you're doing it.

So I'm, I'm so thrilled to have you on the show. Thank you so much. Oh, thank you. I, I, I want to start with something that is probably very basic to you, but I just need to know, what are Omega 3s? Why are they important that you are creating an entire business and a brand around them?

Corinna Bellizzi: Well, I mean, start with the big guns, right?

So we all hear about things called essential fatty acids and why they're essential is we need to get them from our diets because our bodies cannot create them on their own. And so omega threes are an entire class of fats that support your endocrine system, that support your cellular lipid bilayers, Basically meaning they're included in every single cell in your body and DHA and EPA, which are two of the specific omega threes are essentially the forms of omega three that your body most actively uses to support things like your neurons, those cellular lipid bilayers to normalize any inflammatory events that happen in your body.

And what I mean by that is like, let's say you stub your toe, right? Mm hmm. You want inflammation to occur so that it can heal from being stubbed. And after that inflammatory event, you don't want to slide down this slippery cascade to where that inflammation rolls out of control, or you'll end up with arthritis in your toe,

Izolda Trakhtenberg: right?


Corinna Bellizzi: And so what Omega threes do essentially is they enable your body to return to what should be your homeostasis or balance of taking it back to Bali biology, right? Awesome. So your body returns to normal. After the inflammatory event, if you don't get enough Omega threes and you get plenty Omega sixes, like the standard American diet, that's, you know, ultimately sad.

If you're eating a lot of grains, fried foods, meats, things along those lines, you tend to be getting a lot of Omega six and a tiny bit of Omega three. And so why Omega threes are so critical is because we need to have these fats in balance because Omega sixes. You know, support the pro inflammation events to ensure that your body can heal and the omega threes support your return to homeostasis.

And so when you hear questions about omega threes as they relate to inflammation, that's what we're talking about. It's not like it's taken an aspirin that doesn't compete with something like a drug that would help you deal with pain. It really is about helping your body. Get to balance and that's it.

So you get enough Omega threes. You are in balance. You don't get enough. You're not in balance. And what happens when the body's not in balance? We end up in disease states, right? If you get too much Omega six, too little Omega three, the reverse could happen too. If you've got too much Omega three and too little Omega six, but we're so far from that reality, it's so hard to get too much Omega three that you just never see that really occur.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: Wow. Okay. Thank you so much for, for that explanation because it's something that like I've, I've thought about before when you twist your ankle, you sprain your ankle, it becomes immobilized and it hurts almost even more once it's doing the once it's swollen up, but the swelling keeps it sort of immobile so that you can heal and then eventually maybe even have to go through physical therapy or whatever.

But it sounds to me like what you're saying is that Omega threes allow the body to To help with that, to help with removing all of the stuff that was there to immobilize. Whatever the stub toe or the twisted ankle, and then to, to what flush out to remove. How does that process work?

Corinna Bellizzi: Well, I think, you know, getting into the rudimentary science of it, I would just like to keep it a little simpler because you can lose people really quick, but there are these things called resolvins and protectins, which are essentially turned on and off by the omega fatty acids that we eat.

And so you resolve. The inflammatory event where you resolve the issue. Um, and that's what the omega 3s support that pathway. They support the resolvents and the protectants. And so I think we just think about it as a return to normal after you have an issue. And so you can take that into the soft tissues of the body.

You could take that into, you know, um, your brain. Yeah. Anything that really relates to how your body handles, uh, you know, the, the signaling of pathways, all of it is connected to the omega threes that we consume the EPA and DHA. They're in our bodies because they are essential to normal function of our body

Izolda Trakhtenberg: and also obviously peak function, which I think is as important.

Uh, so. I'm gonna, you're going to see me jump around a little bit because I'm so fascinated by all of this, especially the notion that you are doing this without using animals, right? That's, I mean, to me, as a vegan, as someone who's trying to be as cruelty free as possible, that, again, catnip, right? I love I love that notion that you, that you are looking to do this cruelty free and with minimal impact as far as natural resources are concerned.

I was wondering if you could talk to me about, I, right before we started recording, you were talking about how salmon and some of, and not salmon, uh, oh goodness, the little tiny fish, what are they? Yeah,

Corinna Bellizzi: pelagic fish. Pelagic fish,

Izolda Trakhtenberg: yes. You were saying that a lot of these are feeder fish for bigger fish like salmon, but also that they, that they are what most Omega 3s are made out of.

I would love if you would talk a little bit about what drove your transition away from fish sourced and to what you're doing now. And if you would also tell us what you're doing now, that would be amazing.

Corinna Bellizzi: Oh, yeah. So, so basically. When we think about the omegas that we want or need in our bodies, so do all of the other fish that live in the ocean, right?

And the reality is that to get these omega threes, we've gone low on the food chain, sardines, anchovies, smaller fish, right? Because you, they grow in abundance. You they're easy to fish because they tend to ball up in a specific small area. We've all seen those nature channel shows where, you know, whales create a bubble net and then come up and slurp up all these sardines and anchovies.

Well, that's essentially how we fish them. And we fish them because They're very valuable. We can use the oils in their bodies to make fish oils. We can process their bodies to make, um, feed for aquaculture. So the fish that we grow what informed areas like the start, not the sardines, but rather, um, the.

Salmon or the tuna or whatnot, we can feed them to those fish as well. And then we can also use them in animal feeds and even in agriculture for fertilizer when we get down to the byproducts. And so their value is quite immense. And so, pardon me, a little frog in my throat still from the COVID. Um, so, so essentially what we have done is really optimize how you can use a single product of the ocean, which is animal based. And so the people on the fish oil side of the world would say things like, Oh, well, but we're using all of the fish, right? And that's true. It is true. All of the fish is essentially being used.

There's very little waste. However, Um, we, we know that the health of our oceans is in peril. We know that the temperatures of our oceans are warming. We know that this is even affecting the algae strains that are thriving in the oceans, which interestingly affects the omega three levels in our sardines and anchovies because they're eating different algaes, right?

And different algaes produce different EPA and DHA levels. And so they're getting. different levels of these omegas. And so much so that even within the fish oil industry, there was some conversation, even as much as a decade ago about the fact that we were seeing changes in the levels of EPA and DHA present in the fish oil.

And we were going to have to change specifications to what our end product would be that would then be supplied to the industry. Right. And I'm speaking generally of the entire fish oil industry. So they were aware of the changing health of our oceans more than a decade ago. But did they make changes to how they're really producing product and their models?

No, they just changed their specification. And I think this is so indicative of the, the reality of an extractive based economy that they aren't addressing the issue behind the issue, which is that our health of our oceans is in peril. We're overfishing them. Um, we develop all sorts of metrics to say, Oh, well, this is the catch we can take this year to remain within thresholds.

But even those thresholds are somewhat arbitrary. And we're not actually speaking of the peak health of the ocean there. They're using words like sustainability, like that. This is the sustainable level at which you can harvest. And yet illegal fishing continues. One of the largest fisheries of the world is the Pacific.

It's off the coast of Peru, right? And that's where most of the sardines and anchovies are caught now. Most of these pelagic fish and for years and years, you know, friends of the sea has certified them as a sustainable fishery. And yet illegal fishing will capture 15, 000 dolphins each year. And That illegal fishing is the problem I have with this entire thing, which is something I became aware of when I was still deep working in the fish oil industry and leading Nordic Naturals was that there's this entire thought that you can certify a fishery.

With friends of the sea or with marine stewardship council or any fisheries certifying body, you could certify it as sustainable and at the same time, not acknowledge that the sea, these illegal practices are happening and that the illegal practices are essentially in place partially because the fishermen in those areas.

Are feeling the bite. They're feeling the reality of not being able to sustain their communities by just paddling their boats offshore to do the fishing that their fathers and their grandfathers and their great grandfathers had done for years and years. So we call this sustainable, but it really isn't.

And so the more I thought about that, the more taxing it became on my psyche. And the reality is I was a proponent of producing algae based products early in my days at Nordic Naturals. We produced a product early on called Veggie Omega, which was encapsulated in a starch shell before there were even things like tapioca based soft gels available or carrageenan based soft gels available.

And so, um, We were early to that because I pushed so hard, right? I was like, we need to do this. We need to take this mantle. We need to do more than fish based products. That product failed because the integrity of the soft gel failed, not because the concept failed, but it was a big ask to ask a fish oil company to make a big pivot to something like an algae based product.

Mantra, so to speak, right? The same issue that existed within the entire fishing industry, this fish oil supply industry would exist within the company because we were a fish oil company, right? And so

while this is not the sole reason that I ended up finally leaving Nordic Naturals, it really did play in because again, it got into my psyche. And so over the course of the last 11 years that I have been out of that company. I have focused mostly my efforts on plant based supplements and omega 3s. I have worked for companies like Super Nutrition, which was a legacy brand to lead their growth and development.

They were a vegetarian line. Um, they did use vitamin D3, which comes from sheep's wool, but it was ethically sourced and, and we really were focused on giving people whole nutrition. That company is since sold to now foods, which is also a family owned kind of run company, privately owned. So. You know, in the end, I have just really focused my efforts on ensuring that the products that I work to produce, that I work to bring to market, that I formulate are truly sustainable and not just speaking lip service to the word world.

I do not, and I have not ever formulated with, uh, Um, you know, anything like palm kernel oil, because the reality is it comes from Borneo and forest that the orangutan should live in. Right. So, so these are some of the things that I have, you know, kind of put my foot down on what, because I tend to lead sales marketing and also the formulation of the products that I would work to sell.

So over the last couple of years, I've been working for Vaxa Technologies, uh, to help them commercialize their incredible, um, production processes. They're really kind of a tech approach to growing LGD and what they're doing. It is really so different because we're completely isolated from our oceans. We don't impact marine ecosystems or even pond ecosystems because we're growing algae indoors using a photo bioreactor that can grow 24 seven.

That can create Omega threes and other phyto nutrients that come from the algae, um, and really work to optimize it's growing and intention through the use of AI. And so we are doing all of this in Iceland using only green energy. That is used from a thermonuclear plant there. Most of the energy in Iceland is actually green from thermonuclear events.

We feed the algae CO2, the waste stream from those thermonuclear plants, and we produce oxygen as by product. So all of this in the end means that for every one month supply of the product I sell, It's 110 fish not taken from the ocean and 1. 1 kilograms of CO2 equivalent saved. And so that is a huge kind of penance for all the work I've done over the years to grow the omega 3 category and to build a fish oil giant that is Nordic Naturals.

I think that was my soapbox.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love your soapbox. I think it's fabulous. Sorry. I usually take, like, I, I should, I should have warned you before we started recording. I, some people call it dead air. I call it anticipatory air because I sometimes take a little pause and sort of take in everything that you said so that I'm really actually sort of really listening.

And I'm, you blow me away at first of all, like I'm now, you know, I was your big cheerleader before, now I'm your biggest cheerleader. I, I, there's so much to what you just said that I want to unpack, but one of the things that I, uh, am sort of really thinking about right now is sustainability versus conservation.

And when you're talking about carbon negative. Being carbon negative is huge because it's not just carbon neutral. It's not, you know, you take out what you put in. You're actually doing something that is, that is incredibly innovative because I think we need to, we need to be looking further than tomorrow.

We need to be looking 10 years, 50 years, a hundred years from now, and carbon negative is the way to go. So that's a huge innovation. Can you talk a little bit about what that is? First of all, what decided you on this? And I think you probably already answered it when you were on the soapbox, but also how, how are you able to do that and what are your plans moving forward to keep that going?

Corinna Bellizzi: Well, I mean, the reality is any, any task like this is, it's a big audacious goal. And I joke around, I said, because that's my bag, baby. The reality is that we have to be thinking differently about the way that we build businesses, about the life cycle of every ingredient that we use, about creating something that is going to both help us to survive and help the planet to thrive.

And so I feel like. The biggest disconnect that we've had over the course of the many last decades since the industrial revolution really took hold is that we haven't considered the earth as a stakeholder. We haven't considered the ecosystems as a stakeholder. We've been willing to create cheap products by sacrificing the people who labor to create those products.

We've been borrowing from our future time and again, which is something that Paul Hawken, who I, Had the pleasure of interviewing on care more, be better says so eloquently that we're borrowing from the future. And I think that that entire concept has to stay in our mind as we seek to build the future that we want to live in.

And so how you do that, the how of it, the how of how we've created this with the facts of technologies is by continuing to ask the question, Over and over. How can we do this better? And I mean, that has come through and the development of the Orlo nutrition brand in more ways than I could tell you, like the many hours that have been spent behind the scenes, even looking at what partners we seek to work with.

I mean, I worked within a female led and female owned all female design agency out of San Francisco on the creation of Orlo. I gave them some tall asks with regard to how we designed the product. I said, look, you know, let's think about one thing. We can make black ink from algae. So what if we were to take a brand and make it monochrome and really just lean into black to create the look because we know we can print with that, right?

We can print with waste stream algae created by living ink, which is a company out of Colorado and insane genius, beautiful researchers. Scott Fulbright, who's a dear friend created this, um, beautiful, Innovation where he's able to replace carbon black ink using algae, right? And so we print our post consumer recycled boxes with that.

We use that ink to create t shirts that emblazon the branding of the company. And we're making it using, you know, we'll make those t shirts in California with organic cotton. They're cut and finished here. They're printed with algae ink. So we're looking at every single aspect of the business as we go to promote it to the world.

The shippers are post consumer recycled, the insert in the shipper is post consumer recycled. The glass bottle that we've created is very durable. It's made of Miron glass, which is a violet glass that's super dark and really protective of the oil inside. So we're not going to see as much waste. The refill pouches that we send on subscription are made from post consumer recycled plastics.

So while they are not Not plastic yet because they have to preserve the integrity of the product inside. And we could not really create an affordable product in this beautiful glass bottle and ship a new glass bottle. Every time a consumer buys the product first time, they get the beautiful glass bottle and then they get their replenishment only using a minimal amount of plastic that's post consumer recycled every time they get their refills.

And so we took it to the entire of the model. Um, not only that, but even the soft gel material itself is made from carrageenan, which is a, it's from seaweed. So we're taking sustainable ingredients at every step of the way into our products that are non GMO. They're not animal based at all. We don't use preservatives that are not needed.

The end product produces. Um, superior effect, honestly, to Omega threes from fish oil because it has phospholipids and glycolipids, which basically make it like an even more bioavailable krill oil, but without taking whale food from the whales. And so, you know, we've really worked to make something that is both efficient, keeps in mind the fact that these products are even shipped to consumers.

So we offset every purchase with carbon credit to, um, to ensure that our entire. business practices, all of our business practices are centered around the end goal of creating a product that will enable a sustainable future, a truly sustainable, a regenerative future.

Yay. It's hard. No, I'm sure. We can't produce a t shirt for 5. It costs us, I think, somewhere in the realm of about 15 bucks to make one of them. That's just to make it, you know, not to ship it, not to buy into the quantities that we need and all that jazz. So we do sell them on our website and some people are actually buying them already because they're nice looking, they're good quality, they're organic cotton, they're made in the United States.

All fair labor practices and printed with algae ink. That's awesome. That's pretty cool.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: I need one of those t shirts. I will be getting one right after this phone call. Uh, you know, it is interesting to me, though, that when you are talking about this, first of all, I so appreciate your dedication and your passion to it.

And yet you're also the leader of a team. And you, as the team leader, need to sort of set up the process, if you will, by which you will support the people on your team so that they can all do this. And so how, if you wouldn't mind talking about that a little bit, what is your mindset? Because this is the Innovative Mindset Podcast, so I have to ask about it.

What is your mindset when you're leading a team to do this? And also, this is a strange question, but I have to ask it like I, the best way I can say it is a programmer, uh, doesn't give a program to the QAQC people thinking it's full of holes. They think, okay, I've done the best I can. And then it's up to the QAQC people to find all the holes to find where it's broken.

So if you can Talk a little bit about both how you lead the team and how you develop that mindset with them to look at it sustainably. But also, how do you think up all the things in the process that you can make carbon neutral or that you can make cruelty free? What is the process of going through all of those steps and figuring out where you can keep tweaking and making changes?

Corinna Bellizzi: Well,

Izolda Trakhtenberg: these are some big

Corinna Bellizzi: questions, aren't they? I know. I should expect nothing less. I mean, I love it. So, so let's start with this whole idea of what my professional philosophy is. Um, you know, I have always kind of come from this perspective that my, my goal in life is really to help people achieve what they didn't think was possible.

And it's a great goal. Um, I say that because, you know, I came at certain points in my life thinking things weren't possible. Like, Oh, I could never run a mile without feeling like I'm going to hack up a lot. Right. I smoked for 16 years. You can probably hear residuals of that in my, in my voice. Um, though most of that is probably the COVID.

Um, but what I will say is that I've since run marathons. I did so to raise funds for team and training. I ran. Two full marathons, five half marathons. My second full marathon was the Boston marathon in 2009. And so I've run some really big races. I achieved more than I ever thought I could possibly do.

And it was really through just opening my mind to possibility. And so that is one thing that continues to lead me in every Avenue and every thing I commit to both personally and professionally that I can do more than I thought was possible. And that so can the people around me. And the other piece that I lay into this puzzle every single time is collaborative leadership.

And what I mean by that is that, you know, I tend to perhaps to a fault sometimes include everyone in decision making because I acknowledge every single time I have to face a challenge that I'm one person with one brain and there's power in that shore. And I might have a lot of experience making these sorts of decisions, but there's always a different perspective that I might not have considered.

And so I tend to share, you know, even in the challenges. These are the elements that I'm concerned with. What am I missing? You know, how can we make the best decision moving forward? I tend to also pair people together in ways that are somewhat surprising, I think, to other market leaders and brand developers.

So for instance, I'm using a social team and a PR team to help us grow or low nutrition. And because I really do value this collaborative. And I, I think we do better work together and also make fewer stumbles when we're involved in these conversations together. I have a biweekly call that includes both the PR team and the social teams, or we all come together and share ideas.

And so this fosters collaboration across groups that aren't paid necessarily to collaborate together, but they are part of the same venture, right? So they're sharing ideas. And my only requisite with them is like, Hey, if you're sending correspondence across teams, I just want you to copy me. So I'm in the loop, but it fosters ideas.

It enables creativity in a way that we otherwise might not see and tends to save a lot of time. So for instance, we're using share a sale as an affiliate partnership to get kind of people out there selling product and advertising it on commission basis, right? Well, they're, they both have the login credentials.

We're all able to see what one another are doing. And when one of us runs into a challenge or sharing it across, or we got a really cool influencer that shared something on Twitter and we wanted to help the Twitter feed go on forward. Fire shortly after it launched and literally an e blast went across all those teams and said, can everyone go give this some love?

And we acted on that. We act in concert. And so because we're all bought in to the same thing, because honestly the teams that I've selected believe what I believe that collaboration is King and that together we can do more, that we're actually able to do more. With less time waste and with less, Oh, well, this is my job.

That's your job. And I'm not going to take on a little extra or provide my insights because that's your job and not my job. So I think that that attitude honestly is a little toxic. I I'm allergic to silos. I don't like it when people aren't in it together. And so I create an environment where we're in it together.

The more time we march forward. With locked arms so that we can achieve more so that we can blast through our own ideas of what we can achieve and achieve the unattainable

Izolda Trakhtenberg: and mic drop. I love it. I love it. I, I feel, uh, I feel like what I'm hearing from you is that, uh, it's that notion of True, true collaboration.

And it's bringing to mind my favorite quote, which is, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. And, and that, that notion to me of we, we do this together and then everybody's, everybody has something to contribute and one person's strength may not be another person's strength.

And so together you can make it happen. And that reminds me, I don't know if you've ever read Daniel Coyle's The Culture Code, but you're speaking, it's like you're quoting exactly from, from that book. I've never read it, but maybe. Maybe I should. Well, it would be old hat to you. So I don't know. You know, I mean, that that's part of this is that in hearing what you're saying, I'm kind of going, Oh, this is that that leadership aspect is so important because together, you know, the, the, the, some, the, some of the parts is, is, you know, that whole greater, the whole is greater than the sum of his parts is so true, especially since you're able to also coach them on mindset a little bit, but it sounds to me like you also chose people who had a similar mindset to begin with.

I would love your thoughts on that, but I, I still remember that I asked you a question about how you identified the parts of the process that you could, uh, tweak and change to make them more carbon negative. So I do remember that question still, but I would love it if you would, could ask that question, answer that question, this question first, this notion of choosing your team and how you work with them on mindset.

Corinna Bellizzi: So, I mean, I, I don't choose teams lightly. I spend time reviewing, you know, what they do, how they think, and Um, what you're, you know, are they in my world? Because you know, you can hire someone and teach them to fish, so to speak. Let's just go back to the little fishing, but you know, if you, if you already are hiring someone who believes what you believe, then you're just not going to stumble as much.

Things will just march forward. And I think this was actually. Um, from Jim Collins, good to great. I think this is a concept I captured from there early on, because if you are working with people that believe what you believe, then it's just not work. It's not hard. I also created a quote that I put on my care more, be better website for the podcast, which is together.

Together we can create. Caring communities and regenerate earth. Um, I think that is at the center. That's at the center of the mission of the podcast for one, but also just how I see things. And so in something like what I work. to architect with Orlo. I actually identified the PR team by listening to podcasts.

I happened to hear the founder on Sean Weisbrot's, um, We Live to Build, which is, uh, a leadership entrepreneurial podcast. And I was listening to his show cause I'd recently been a guest and I just wanted to see if he'd, you know, put the show out there yet. And Loretta was interviewed there and I felt like I was.

Hearing someone who was inside my head already. And so when I reached out to her, I was like, look, I heard you on this podcast. I think we need to know one another. And I have a project that I like to pitch to you if you're a fit for it. And we can make this work. Let's make it work. And so she came back and we connected and she and her team impressed myself as well as our CEO and, uh, co founder Ohad Bashan.

So we all felt like we were on that same page and it was easy. And so that was just a no brainer for me. I was like, okay, this, this gal believes what I believe, but also setting expectations because I said, look, here's how I come at things when I'm working to pioneer a brand. We all know this is hard and we need to be in it together.

So are you on board with me? If I say, yeah, I don't want to hire your social team. I want to hire a social team I've worked with in the past that I think does great work and supplements because working in supplements is hard. Okay. And so they said, yes, great. We value collaboration. And the proof comes out when you start that early work, right?

I actually involved both parties in a couple of collaborative discussions before I even signed the papers that would say, okay, We're on, right? So they had to, in a way, as part of the vetting process, prove to me that they meant what they said, that it wasn't just, Oh yeah, I'm telling you what I want to, what you want to hear because you're going to pay me, right?

Because what I'm seeking to build every time is not something that is just about the bottom line and the dollars and cents. Because I think again, when you come at it from that perspective that you're, you know, You're thinking from an extractive perspective, not a build perspective, not a regenerative perspective.

And so not to say I don't pay them fairly. I do like everybody's on the team, not to say I'm not, you know, looking for where we can save. I am, I'm in the entrepreneurial world, right? You've got to save where you can save. You have to make concessions where you can make concessions if possible, especially when you're in the build.

But really it came down to ensuring. That everyone really believes that same thing, that we're going to do this together, that collaboration is king and that though we are honestly answering to the brand. We're in it together. It's not like they answer to me. They're not doing it for me, right? They're doing it for Arlo and getting back to that, that second question, which is how do you feed in and build something that is spinning that flywheel in a positive direction always and making something that is more carbon responsible, more ecologically responsible and on and on.

It's easier to do when you can do it from day one, right? Mm hmm. With Orlo, I got to do it from day one. With VAXA technologies, we're doing it from day one in a way, because we are creating something new. We're creating the future of nutrition. We're creating something that can not only build out an omega 3, but that can one day harness the protein power and the other phytonutrients from these algae sources, and grow spirulina that is a league above anything that you can grow in a pond, and continue to grow.

Doing things just a little differently each step of the way, mindful of resources, using that same water over and over again, only using alcohol to extract and not other toxic chemicals that could harm the environment. I mean, all of those things are taken into consideration because we're thinking about it from the beginning.

But when you come into a business that is already established, it is so much harder. And I think that you have to kind of be willing to deconstruct what you've constructed and look at every piece of it and say, okay, where do we start? What is the first step? And the first step is almost always the low hanging fruit that you can convince the finance team is a good decision, right?

And, and usually that is, Oh, well, here's the long term payoff. But sometimes that struggle is more. Sometimes you have to do things like say, okay, here's what all the market research says. If we don't act now and make some changes, our customer base is going to disappear because consumers are making buying choices today.

Differently. And they expect a different level of accountability than we built ourselves on. And that change is both expensive and hard, and it's going to take everybody's buy in. And there's a lot of research that has to go behind it. And you have to work all the political angles within the company. The larger it is, the harder it is to steer.

Right. But that doesn't mean that the job isn't worth it and, and absolutely fundamentally necessary because consumer buying patterns are shifting and you can make yourself extinct like an old dinosaur if you don't make a change. And so that would be my advice to anybody that's leading a company where they say, Oh, well, you know, I just can't afford this change right now.

You have to be playing the long game. You have to be thinking five years in the future and you have to consider. What are the changes along the way that I can make now that are going to make a bigger difference in the future? And that's outside of even just saying, Oh, well, we want to build a regenerative world.

We kind of have to, like there isn't really a choice. And I think that we've been thinking from this perspective for too long, that it is a choice. And. That thinking is archaic. It's not going to help us build anything that's sustainable. And we could basically be paving a path to extinction as an entire species if we don't get real with this.

So that's, that's the, uh, that's the soapbox that I take with me from the MBA that I just got at Santa Clara university in 2021. I heard far too many people still thinking in an extractive way among my classmates. Among my classmates. And I would kind of give them my, that's the kind of the one, two punch.

I think I practiced a few times on them.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, that was brilliant. I love it. And you know, there's something here that I think is so It's crucial. There's, there's a, quite frankly, Karina, there is a psychology around thinking that you can make a difference. Not that you have to, right? Because I know you're saying, listening to what you're saying, we have to make these changes.

But there are a lot of people walking around there thinking that there's nothing I can do. There's no, there's nothing that I can make an impact on. Why bother? So, I would love it if you, if you would give your opinion on this. What do you think needs to happen to our collective mindset, the psychology around thinking that yeah, my actions today can have repercussions tomorrow in a beneficial way.

What are your thoughts on that?

Corinna Bellizzi: Well, I think, you know, the key is that we need to remain optimistic and we need to see an effect even in our own lives to making simple changes, because if we can just stay connected to the small changes we make, then you know what, you're, you're going to feel like there's hope.

Uh, so I'll give a couple of examples that I've just implemented in my home life that I think are relatively easy and that can actually create strength in people. for one, you know, I've been composting for years now and my husband would argue he's been composting for me. I just put the stuff in the bucket, so to speak.

But, um, but you know, we use this as soil. I have not had to buy soil for my gardening and I don't know how long, right. Because I literally make my own. And because I also knew that it was It's not likely I would ever convince half the people in my community to begin composting. I lobbled, I lobbied my, lobbled, that's not even a word, lobbied, my, my local community, um, time and again, even just sending little emails to representatives and saying, you know, we really need to consider what we're doing with all of our food waste.

Can we please start putting this in our grain bin? There are some communities around the world that are doing this. Why can't we? We're supposed to be this progressive community in Santa Cruz County. Get with the times. Right. And I did this time and again. Well, this winter I get a card in the mail. Nobody ever responded to me.

Okay. I know I am one of many voices and I'm not the only reason this happened, but I got a card in the mail that said, guess what? You can start putting your food scraps. in that green waste bin now. And it includes any of my animal based products, which means if we had a chicken carcass that we could put that in there too.

Now, those were things that I was not composting in my green bin because of, you know, the critters that it would bring in. Right. And because of smell and other things. So now guess what? Our household is even able to be greener. These things have a measurable effect. Organic matter should be put back into organic matter, put back into earth, used to create soil so that we can have healthy topsoil so that we can grow healthy food.

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but like this is one small thing that I just committed to. So now. You know, you can get a little greener in how you're even approaching your energy use in your own home and see a difference in your power bill. Now, that's something small you can do, and you can see measurable results.

You can create a simple reuse. Perspective for the papers that are used in your office, you can champion a program like that without really spending a penny. One of the things I did while I was at Nordic naturals to say, we have these recycle bins full of all this paper that isn't confidential. That's printed on one side.

Can we please make 2 changes? For one, can we make it automatic that everybody who prints prints on two sides of the paper within their computer settings to save on paper resources unless they opt out of it? Okay. Programmatically they were able to do that. And for two, can we take the single-sided paper, put it in a separate pile, and as long as it's not confidential, create notebooks from that for us to jot notes on.

And guess what? We did that too. And so, you know, while these are simple little. It affected how we used material and got people thinking differently about the materials that we did use. So I think staying optimistic on those things, picking something that you know, you can affect and champion and then doing it.

I mean, it's inspiring. It's inspiring to see the effects that you personally can have, even if they're small.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: I think especially if they're small, actually, because small begets small, which will eventually become big, right? Small steps are still steps. That's one of my other favorite sayings. And so your point is very well taken.

And I think that when, you know, one of the things when I work with kids and I do a lot of environmental science work with, with kids the world over, one of the things I asked them to do is to put a bowl at the bottom of the bathroom sink when they wash their hands. See how much water would just drop down into the, into the sink, you know, into the drain while you're washing your hands if you leave the water on and, and that moment is visceral for them, right?

They see it and they go, Oh, that's a lot of water. Yeah. And so, so when they get to that place, you know, like you saying, Hey, these are things that are simple that we can build awareness on. They're not simple. Right? to me, right there. They're actually you're making great changes by not just helping people see this one thing, but again, helping them perhaps to change their mindset on other things in their lives, you know?

So there's something there that I think is really important that we should not gloss over that one tiny change might also change the perspective of the person making that tiny change to want to make bigger changes. What do you think of that?

Corinna Bellizzi: Well, yes, I mean, I I'm reminded of the intense drought we've had here in California and, you know, the fires that have raged and everything else.

I mean, I've gotten very wise about how we use our water. We have rain barrels to capture rain and we use that to water our fruit trees. We don't water our fruit trees in the summers anymore. So they just get the water they get from the rain season and also from the rain barrels. And so when we're having a particularly dry period, I have even started taking buckets from the bath that my boys are in and refilling our rain barrels.

or putting a bucket at the bottom of my shower and doing the same. And even, you know, when I clean out my fish tank using that water to water my plants, it's full of all the stuff that the plants need anyways. So that wastewater ends up giving them things that they would need to be healthy and thrive.

So, you know, it's all the little things that you can do because if you put them all together, the measurable effect you have is much, much larger. One of the other things I did is kind of a contest or challenge within my home is I tried to limit, especially as gas prices continue to hike, my driving. We had an electric car for a while.

We've since turned it in from the lease and now we have older gas powered vehicles. And so I'm very conscious about how much I drive. So when I take the effort of going and doing errands, I've literally plotted a circular trip. And I only go to the stores that are on that circular trip, and I even refill my gas when I'm on that circular trip.

And so I try to limit not only the miles driven, but the efficiency of the trips I take and have moved more of my exercise into the home. So I'm not even driving to the gym as frequently, though I still do go, you know, cause I like the equipment here and there. Overall, these changes have meant that I'm saving money.

That I'm not expending as much carbon and that my kids are also now becoming conscious about when they ask to go places because they say, Oh, well, mom, when you're on the way to go do X, Y, and Z, can you take me here? Can we go there? Because it's just becoming endemic. It's becoming the pattern. Right. And so they are learning about this at the same time without me having to sit there and lecture them about resource use, mindfulness, about things like gasoline, it's just becoming the norm for them.

And so while I don't live in a 15 minute city where I can walk to and get everything I need within 15 minutes of my house, I'm at least ingraining some of this kind of responsible perspective in the future generation that we're seeking to create.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: You're singing my song. I love it. I love it. Uh, you know, this is so, it's crucial and it's a mindset that I think we, we could use much, obviously much more of.

And I love that you're teaching your boys to, to think in this way also. I would love it if you wouldn't mind. One of the things that we've all, we all throw around some of these terms, green, greenhouse gases and, and all of that. They're, they're, They're important to know about, but some of these other things are also important.

Why is, why do we care about how much carbon is in the, carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere? Why do we, why is that important? And there, I know you're not a scientist in this way, but it's something that I think is crucial that we need to know. Why it's, why should, why should we care? You know, like you said, you're going to save money if you do this.

Great. That's, that's a lot of people's motivation, right? That they're going to save money. But what I've noticed is if you're looking at carbon sequestration or things like that, you know, and, and the, the, the melting of the permafrost, these are things most people aren't going, Oh, this is important. I need to be paying attention to, right?

Most people are worried more about. putting food on the table and they're not necessarily thinking long term, what are your suggestions for someone who wants to learn more about some of this and how can they go about it?

Corinna Bellizzi: Yeah, you know, I've had the pleasure of connecting with Tom Newmark, who's the co founder of the Carbon Collective.

You, I'm sorry, not Carbon Collective, Carbon Underground. Um, so if people are interested in learning more about why carbon is so critical, I would advise them to check out the carbon underground. org because they're really, their whole mantra is about drawing down carbon from the atmosphere and the reality of the moment that we're in the moment.

Is that we need to draw down that carbon from the atmosphere back to earth in order to slow the global warming issue. And the reason we need to care about that is because. We're already seeing those thousand year, 100 year, 20 year storms with increasing frequency, and they completely disrupt our way of life.

And so even if you haven't been concerned with this, it's something that we could all benefit from learning more about. So for one, we need to sequester more carbon, which means draw it down from the atmosphere. So we don't have as many greenhouse gases up there. It's one of the few greenhouse gases that we can actually affect.

Many of them we can't draw down. And so we need to look at other ways that we're leading our lives. So one of the big ones that people will know about is methane. Um, methane is created through the decomposition of, um, animal products and food products that are poorly sequestered in our, um, You know, dumps and things like that when they aren't turned into rich soil and actually have their carbon converted into something that can be good, then, you know, methane can result.

Um, we all know that animal husbandry results in more methane gases. Uh, so things like eating more animals actually creates more methane. There's one really interesting company though, that is seeking to change that by feeding uh, seaweed to cows. Because it actually reduces the methane that they produce by an incredible amount.

We're also able to do that by actually feeding cows, biochar, and that reduces the amount of methane that they release by as much as 90%. And so all of these things can be kind of on deck for shifts that we make, but the carbon in the atmosphere, we can affect, we can affect it really two primary ways.

Planting more trees and drawing it down, ensuring that we're doing our participating in no till agriculture practices. So we don't release the carbon every time we till. And then also just emitting less carbon, which means burning less fossil fuels, burning less wood, burning, burning, burning less. So if we can burn less and we can also draw down more.

Then we can start to win this game. But the reality is that there will be a lag no matter what. And so even if we were to stop all emissions today, the effects that we've created over the last several decades, we're still going to see a lag in the climate responding because the climate as Paul Hawken, also I'll quote him again, the climate is perfect.

It's always doing exactly what it should. The problem is that we have created a system that has changed how the climate responds. And so if we're going to get to a sustainable future where we create something that our grandchildren can live within without having to be in a bunker, then we need to think about this right now.

And we need to start to emit less, draw down more and change the way we look at greenhouse gases as a whole. So really think about our impacts and build something that is much more circular. When we think about building or buying products that we consider what the life cycle of that is. So it's cradle to cradle rather than just cradle to grave, because at this point, nothing is cradle to grave.

We have to think about the next generation.

For sure.

music: I can

Corinna Bellizzi: talk about this all day long

Izolda Trakhtenberg: my soapbox. No, you know, and it's here's the thing though. So much of what you're saying I'm sitting here. You can't see me, but I've got metaphoric pom poms up. Yes, yes, absolutely. And the thing is, we don't think about those cycles, right? We don't think about those natural cycles very much, especially those of us who live in big cities.

But just, just a cycle as simple as what do humans breathe in? Oxygen, roughly. What do they breathe out? Carbon dioxide, roughly. What do plants breathe in? Carbon dioxide. What do they breathe out? Oxygen. That is a cycle that I think is something that, you know, third graders love this when I pointed out to them because it's simple.

It's huge if we look at it from the perspective of the planet, but it's it's it's a simple way of showing why it's important to have that balance. What you were just saying is so crucial for us to, to focus on, you know, we, no, I don't want to compromise my health. No, I don't want to compromise my ethics, but I also absolutely do not want to compromise the health of the planet.

Right? So, so how do we do that? And I, and I know that talking about it like we are doing right now is important, but I would love it if you would chat a little bit about the way that you're reaching out in your latest podcast to talk about some of these, podcasts. crucial topics. It's called nutrition without compromise.

And that notion of no compromise on these three major things, health, ethics and the health of the planet is so important for all of us to be thinking about.

Corinna Bellizzi: Right. And I think one of the primary reasons I haven't made that Like a vegan focused podcast. Well, for one, there's many out there. But for two, I really think we have to have conversations and serious conversations about animal husbandry and how we are actually acting in concert with our entire food system.

Right. And so what I seek to attack with that podcast is really supporting people's understanding of how we can live our healthiest while treading a little lighter and a lot lighter. Right. And so what I'm seeking to do is give people the basic education and tools that they would need to To be able to make small changes.

And sometimes those changes are even just in their mindsets. Like how do they think about the trees and their yard? How do they think about the weeds in their garden? Um, I got the chance to interview Dr. Bill Moomaw in an, I think that was episode three. I don't know. Episode two. Um, and he is the progenitor.

Uh, he came up with the term pro forest station. He also shares the Nobel peace prize with Al Gore and his team because of his work with the intranet. Enter a governmental panel on climate change. He was the lead author of the first five reports. And I got to sit down with him for an hour and talk about it and just dish about the fact that, you know, algae can be part of the solution that we seek, um, when we're looking at solving both nutrition problems and also regenerating this kind of carbon Uh, cycle because algae has this exponential growth rate.

It can, these micro algae species essentially can double every couple of days, right? And so you need to continually harvest them, which means that you have the ability to continue to build more and more product from them. Right. And then you continue to grow them by feeding them more carbon dioxide and some other phytonutrients.

Right. And this cycle continues and continues. And you're creating oxygen. You're creating a product that can be consumed. And you're essentially creating something that can be a circular cycle that benefits the earth by expelling oxygen, sequestering carbon, and essentially moving in a direction that that we can all be more proud of.

Right. And so this is, I think, something that he covers better than most, because it's just so much easier to understand when you're, when you're talking to somebody who is both an incredible scholar from MIT, um, but has spent a lot of time Lobbying Congress, working with senators, talking to the LA public about the sorts of things that we need to be aware of.

So these are the sorts of conversations I'm hosting there. I also got the chance to sit down with Dr. William Lee who wrote eat to beat disease. And he's just an incredible individual who's advocating for a more plant based diet and responsible nutrition, getting people to return to a whole. Foods diet to build their healthiest selves and to avoid diseases.

I mean, these conversations that we need to be having. I mean, he espouses a more responsible way of living and consuming and not over consuming. Right. And so I think that that is what people will get. I mean, I know that's what people will get from nutrition without compromise. Um, really kind of the sorts of information that can feed your health while also ensuring that you understand how you can live a little bit more responsibly, how you can commit to your ethics.

Live well without really coming from this extractive continual perspective where we're taking more than we're giving back.

So that's the aim anyway, and, um, we're four episodes in, I think released and it's already gaining traction. I'm very excited about that. I feel like, uh, A little feather in my cap is that, um, as weeks of launch, it was in the top 100 for the nutrition category in Canada and the top 200 for the nutrition category in the United States.

And this is as rated by Apple podcast, but I just got an email this morning that it's number one on good pods and independent nutrition. So.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yay! No, that's great. And especially since one of the things that I love about, about your show is that it is looking at both individual health and also the health of the planet.

I mean, most of the time we're not thinking nutrition for me equals how it impacts the planet and I love that you're doing that. And I think it's, I mean, for me, I'm, I'm, I'm right there with ya. And yet, when we're, when we're talking about this stuff, we have, again, that mindset idea of, I'm thinking bigger than me.

I'm thinking bigger than me. And I, I love it. And I find that sometimes people, again, get scared. of it. So I'm glad you're out there doing this work. And and I'm grateful to you for for taking the time to be on the show and to talk about this. It's a huge topic, but it's also extremely personal. And so I so much appreciate the work you're doing.

Having said all that if somebody goes, I need to know more about Karina. I need to know more about what she's doing How what are the best ways do me a favor? I know people learn differently so I like to have sort of the I'll put all that stuff in the show notes But if you wouldn't mind saying what are the best ways that someone could follow you or reach you?

I would love it if you do that.

Corinna Bellizzi: Yeah, you know I'm probably easiest to reach if people are interested in collaborating in some way via LinkedIn, just because I'm the only Karina Belizzi out there. So I'm pretty visible and you can see the many things I'm involved with thing, including in the world of podcasting, because I do have a few podcasts.

Um, and what I would say about everything I'm doing with Orlo nutrition and nutrition without compromise is that simply by following at Orlo nutrition on any of the social. platforms that you love, you'll stay apprised of what we're doing there because that's where I tend to share that information. I'm also active on care more, be better.

And so if you have a topic that you'd like to see covered in the sustainability space that doesn't touch on nutrition, you can always go to that website, which is. care more, be better. com. There's even an option to leave me a voicemail by clicking a microphone in the bottom right corner. And so I encourage people to check out the podcasts and also Orlo Nutrition.

And if you want to talk to me specifically about something related to nutrition and sustainability. If you have a guest you'd like to see featured or a topic that you want to see dug into a little bit, I love that investigative journalism. And I'm willing to put that hat on just about any time. You can always send me an email at hello at Cause again, that's everything for nutrition without compromise. And also the omega three products we're releasing. It's, um, it's a repository for everything related to that. Okay.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: Awesome. That is great. And I just noticed looking at the little things that I have, I don't have your LinkedIn. You gave me Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and Twitter and TikTok.

So we're going to have to need to make sure that I get that URL so that I have it. You being the only Korean who believes in that. That makes it a lot easier, but, but I like to make sure that I have, if someone wants to find you, that they will be able to find you very easily. So again, Karina, thank you so much for taking the time to be here.

And if you don't mind, before we move off to the bonus episode and do that real quick, I would love to find out if I can ask you one last question. And it's a question that I ask everybody who comes on the show. And it's a silly question, but I find that it yields some profound answers. Is that okay? Okay.

Of course. Yay. I love

Corinna Bellizzi: silly questions.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yay. Good. All right. Cool. So here is the silly question. If you had an airplane, environmentally friendly of course, that could sky write anything for the whole world to see, what would you say? Hmm.

Corinna Bellizzi: Gosh, I have to think about that for a minute.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: Just

Corinna Bellizzi: go and make it. I love it. Yeah, just go and make it. Make that reality. Build it. That's great.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: That's great. That's great. I love it. Just go and make it super simple. And you know, it's really funny. I have, uh, I asked this of everybody and recently I did a, uh, sort of set of episodes of just the answers to this question.

And so many people said one of two things, something like, just start. Just go and start like you did or something like be kind. It seems to fall people who are successful and people who love what they do seem to fall in one of those two camps for what, how they answer that question. So I'm, it's, it's very interesting.

I just had that realization. Karina, why I had

Corinna Bellizzi: to come up with it. When I left Nordic naturals, which was 11 years ago, I printed these personal business cards and I had been known to say this almost jokingly. Um, I actually printed it on the back of the card and that was, you just go and you make it. And so I was like, you know, I think that still holds true.

You just go and you make it, you take the leap of faith and you, you just do what you know is right. So that's awesome. Yeah. That's how I was like, what, what would I put up in the skywriter? No, it's great. Go and make it. It still works. I think it still works.

Izolda Trakhtenberg: It's still, it's, it's obviously central to, to your entire life process, which I think is amazing.

Karina, once again, thank you so much for being here. We're going to be back in just a minute to do the bonus episode, which I'm super excited to get your thoughts on. This is Isolde Trachtenberg for the Innovative Mindset Podcast. I'm super grateful to Karina for being here and to you for listening. If you have questions, you know how to find me.

You also know how to go to the show notes and find Karina and her information. Until next time, as always, I remind you to be bold, be creative, and most of all be kind.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new, and it would mean the world to me if you told a friend about it. Today's episode was produced by Isolde Trachtenberg and is copyright 2022. As always, please remember this is for educational and entertainment purposes only past performance.

Does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time. Remember to be bold, be creative, and most of all, be kind.

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