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Ctrl Alt Meat: Good Global Health Makes a World of Difference

by Katie Briefel

Last year’s word of the year, according to Merriam Webster, was ‘vaccine’, which followed ‘pandemic’ in 2020 and ‘climate emergency’ in 2019. It reinforces the sense that our health and our climate are at the forefront of public concerns – and nowhere are these issues more interconnected than in our global food system. Last month saw both World Health Day and Earth Day, so it’s a timely moment to consider how we can address and improve human, animal and planetary health by improving the food system. In particular through addressing emissions and land usage, disease outbreak and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  These are topics covered widely by antibiotics expert Dr Lance Price and investigative journalist Andrew Wasley in the podcast produced by the Jeremy Coller Foundation, …

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Heüra Marc Coloma

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Marc Coloma: “The Magnitude of the Problem with Animal Ag and Why I Turned to Corporate Initiatives to Solve It”

When I was a teenager I couldn’t understand the way people were treating animals and the planet. This is why I decided to become an activist. I dropped out of high school to dedicate all my time to fighting for what I believe in and leading the regional section of an international animal rights organization.  We achieved some small victories: we changed laws and forced the closure of farms that were operating illegally. But this wasn’t enough to make the problem disappear.  At this point in my life, I realized that the whole food system is broken.  But instead of pointing to the problem, I needed to bring solutions. So I transformed my anger to create Heura and improve the food system.  I understood that …

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The Plant Revolution: Clean Label Food Needs to Be The Norm, Not the Exception

Priyanka “Pri” Srinivas, founder and CEO of The Live Green Co, here writes a special guest article for vegconomist, putting forth her thoughts on why companies in the health food industry need to get on board with clean label products. Perspectives on healthy eating have been shifting significantly worldwide, inaugurating a general “green” trend moving towards more plant-based and sustainable diets. It was shown that plant-only eating doubled in continental Europe between 2016 and 2020 and another report found the number of vegans in the United States rocketed up by 500% over a similar time period.  While it is important that this “plant revolution” retains its authenticity and credibility, even vegan ‘meats’ can fall into the newly recognized category of ‘ultra-processed’ food, which has been …

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Isabel Fernandez © Heura

Heura’s Lead R&D Scientist Isa Fernández Farrés: “It is Everyone’s Responsibility to Address Gender Bias”

My scientific background has been instrumental in developing new technological solutions or even improving existing ones. And by scientific background, I am not referring to the acquired knowledge during a PhD, which is the understanding of a narrow scientific field, but rather the tools I learned by practising science throughout 10+ years in research, both in academia and in industry.  Learning how to learn These tools are the ability to make testable predictions and the most powerful one for me is “learning how to learn”, which I constantly use to broaden my scientific knowledge in order to maximise technological outcomes. Balancing depth and breadth of expertise is the key to achieving technological impact.  And I found that learning the basics of different scientific fields was …

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CEO Marisa Heath ©Plant Based Food Alliance UK

Marisa Heath, CEO of Plant-based Food Alliance UK

The Plant-based Food Alliance UK was created to act as a voice for Britain’s growing plant-based food and drink sector. Founded by Oatly, Alpro, The Vegan Society, Upfield and ProVeg UK, we are a coalition of civil society groups and businesses with a collective aim of making the UK a global leader in plant-based food and drink. Food systems account for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions globally and plant-based foods are a hugely impactful way of ensuring our food choices are sustainable in the future. “A shift towards plant-based will be vital in achieving the Government’s net zero target by 2050” A shift towards plant-based will be vital in achieving the Government’s net zero target by 2050. We are seeing people introducing more plant-based meals …

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Jeremy Coller, image supplied

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Jeremy Coller: Why We’re Launching the Alternative Proteins Association

The UK has always been seen as a pioneering nation – from the steam engine and industrial revolution to the computer and world wide web.  We are renowned for our scientific and research quality, as well as our engineering expertise.  British universities remain the envy of the world.  And the success of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout points to a new golden era of British bioprocessing and distribution. We, therefore, have the opportunity to be a global leader in food technology if we harness the power of our entrepreneurial spirit, leverage the UK’s world class R&D capabilities and get the right regulatory framework in place. So companies, investors, NGOs, academics, scientists and entrepreneurs are coming together to launch the Alternative Proteins Association (APA) in Parliament …

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Eat Beyond CEO Michael Aucoin: How Foodservice is Pushing the Plant-Based Industry Forward

Consumer interest in plant-based foods is at an all-time high and only shows signs of accelerating. This interest is not solely from vegan consumers, but also from a growing class of flexitarians looking to integrate more plant-based food into their diets, without fully committing to major lifestyle changes. In line with this, we have seen an explosion of plant-based products becoming available at the retail level and, while these were initially confined to the natural/specialty section of stores, they have now begun to take hold in the mainstream aisles as well. While the broad introduction of plant-based options in foodservice establishments has been slower, foodservice provides a unique opportunity to introduce new and innovative products to consumers in what can potentially be a much more …

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Future Proofing Our Food System, by Katie Briefel

How do we sustainably grow food to meet future demand? This was the key question for policymakers and business leaders at the UN’s Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods event in Dubai last week. With the human population set to reach almost 10 billion by 2050, and precious resources such as water and land dwindling, reshaping the future of our food has never been more important. The meat industry produces 44% of global anthropogenic methane emissions, is a significant driver of deforestation worldwide and produces double the waste created by the entire human population. Despite this, the average per-capita consumption of meat globally is increasing. Is it inevitable that such a system with meat consumption at the forefront will remain the incumbent? Or are we shifting towards …

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Ctrl Alt Meat: Veganuary and the Future of Plant-Based Foods

by Katie Briefel

The global food system is facing unparalleled challenges and changes. So how can we reset for a better, more sustainable future? The answer is already emerging, with investment in alternative protein companies reaching an all-time $3.1 billion high, policymakers beginning to push for reduced meat consumption and supermarket shelves hosting more vegan options than ever before. This Veganuary it is easier than ever to make the switch to a more plant-based diet. Veganuary, the movement which encourages individuals to adopt a vegan diet for the month of January, has proven to be wildly popular with over 500,000 taking the pledge last year, and two million signing up since the campaign began in 2014. As consumer engagement with Veganuary has grown, so too has the food …

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The Top 5 Year End Must Do’s for Plant-Based & Vegan Small Businesses

The Top 5 Year End Must Do’s for Plant-Based and Vegan Small Businesses are here compiled by Bonnie Brown, Co-Founder of Passion Placement and New Earth Partners, to help you reflect on the past year as year-end approaches. What were the wins and losses? What worked well or didn’t? Strategic Planning & Know Your Numbers Start with a personal review. You need to be in the right place and have the key events analyzed from your perspective before you gather your leadership team, stakeholders and perhaps consulting experts. Strategizing begins with planning. Assess the goals set at the beginning of the year and determine if those goals have been met. If not, why not? Should they be on next year’s goal list? Is there a …

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Robert Hagemann, co-founder and CMO of Aether Diamonds

Robert Hagemann, co-founder and CMO of Aether Diamonds

Robert Hagemann On Creating World’s First Vegan Diamonds With Carbon Sourced from Air Pollution

Robert Hagemann, co-founder and CMO of Aether Diamonds, producer of the world’s first positive-impact diamonds made from air, is an animal rights advocate and an outspoken proponent of how a vegan lifestyle can help to create a better world. In his role as the brains behind the idea of a vegan certification for diamonds, we invited Robert to share some of his knowledge on this fascinating subject. Why the world’s first vegan certification for diamonds is important for the jewelry industry “Aether Diamonds recently became the first company in the world to receive a vegan certification for their diamonds. The certification was granted in April by Vegan Action (vegan.org), which is one of the leading vegan certification organizations in the world. Vegan Action has over …

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Moku jerky

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Matt Feldman of Moku Foods: How to Create an Investible Plant-Based Brand

Matt Feldman is the CEO and co-founder of Moku Foods, a meat alternative brand turning clean label, plant-based ingredients into products that emulate the taste and texture of meat. Moku launched its first product, a plant-based jerky, in December 2020. Moku is backed by the founders of Thrive Market, Casper, Soylent, and Mendocino Farms as well as VC heavyweights, Siddhi Capital and Vanterra Capital. Additional investors include Mana Ventures, Barrel Ventures and KBW Ventures.  In 2020, Moku earned a coveted spot in Amazon’s invitation-only Emerging Brands Program and Matt was listed on Forbes 30 Under 30. Here Matt offers insight into how up-and-coming product founders can create a brand designed to attract investors. How I Created an Investable Food Brand – and How You Can, Too …

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David Benzaquen of Moonshot Collaborative

David Benzaquen: Should Plant-Based Meat Companies Prioritize Health or the Perfect Taste?

*The opinions expressed here represent only the author, and not any companies he may be affiliated with. 

Innovation often brings with it heated debate, and plant-based meat is no exception. With the recent wave of highly-realistic meat alternatives, we’re faced with the question: is the perfect taste worth arguably imperfect ingredients?

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