How can consumers eat well without destroying the planet? – Food tank
Can Setting Dinner Fix the Planet?
This is the question asked by Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at John Hopkins University. It is also the title of her new book that explores the relationships between nutrition, health, equity and the environment.
In her book, Fanzo argues that three of the biggest problems we face in the 21st are directly related to the food we eat.
Proponents of the debate about the role of the agri-food system in global ills are familiar with the doomsday headlines. Acute hunger will rise in the coming months in over 20 countries without urgent and extensive help, warned the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program in March. At the same time, many nations, including developing countries, are grappling with the opposite problem of obesity, which is linked to higher incidences of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
While the world is at “critical juncture” in correcting the course of the problems we face, there are significant opportunities for equitable, healthy and sustainable food systems if we can translate quality science into policy “faster than ever” “Argues Fanzo.
“I am optimistic about the many scientists and inventors around the world who are helping to correct the problems we face and put us on the right track,” she writes. “Your decision to put that pile of bananas – or beef or sugar or palm oil products – in your shopping cart has a butterfly effect. It may seem like a trivial decision, but it has implications for the global food system, the people who create and rely on it, and the environment that supports it. “
Fanzo is one of the panellists attending Pinduoduo’s Food Systems Forum, which will take place July 14-15 in a session entitled “How Can Consumers Eat Well Without Destroying the Planet?” She also includes David Yeung, founder of the plant-based lifestyle platform Green Monday Group, and Professor Christiani Jeyakumar Henry, Senior Advisor at the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI). The meeting will be moderated by the President and Co-Founder of Food Tank, Danielle Leberberg.
Yeung recently appeared on CNN Business announcing that OmniFoods, the Hong Kong plant-based startup under Green Monday, is launching a new line of plant-based fish fillets, fish burgers and pieces of tuna.
The new products made from soy and rice are expected to be available in Hong Kong restaurants in June. “It is the largest white space that has not yet been developed,” he says. “Everyone was obviously focused on beef, chicken, pork.”
OmniFoods is one of the startups that are being supported with venture capital and are creating a new generation of plant-based alternatives that are supposed to taste like real meat. OmniPork, the company’s plant-based pork substitute, is sold by McDonald’s in China.
But the growing popularity and availability of meat substitutes begs the question of whether they are good for human health. To try to quantify the effects, Pinduoduo is working with SIFBI to conduct a study aimed at determining the nutritional effects of replacing traditional animal proteins with plant proteins.
“As Asian consumers become more educated and wealthy and therefore demand more plant-based protein, many food and nutrition companies are responding by developing alternative protein foods,” says Henry, who leads the study. “Human nutrition is a complex field and we need more studies that take a holistic view of the nutritional effects of these foods over time to inform the food industry of their potential benefits or the need for reformulation.”
To learn more about this topic, visit Food Tank and Pinduoduo on Wednesday June 14, 2021 at 10:00 AM EDT for the virtual panel “How Can Consumers Eat Well Without Destroying the Planet?” Experts will explain the measures that we can take to ensure that consumers eat healthily and serve the planet. Register now by clicking HERE.
Photo courtesy of Ivan Samkov, Pexels