GRETA THUNBERG has issued a stark warning to humanity: stop eating meat and switch to a vegan diet otherwise “we are f***ed”.
The grim prediction came as part of a video statement posted to Twitter by the 18-year-old environmental activist.
In the clip, Thunberg outlined why a reduction in meat consumption would help avoid more ecological and health issues in the future.
“The climate crisis, the ecological crisis and the health crisis – they are all interlinked,” she said.
“The way we make food, raising animals to eat, clearing land to grow food to feed those animals… It just doesn’t make sense.”ADVERTISEMENThttps://5707369632581ac2ed7e0637c2e09413.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
The impact of agriculture on the ongoing climate crisis is well documented.
It is estimated that raising animals like cattle and poultry for food accounts for roughly a quarter of all carbon emissions, globally.
By switching to a vegan diet, humanity would effectively eliminate anywhere up to eight billion tonnes of CO2 which is currently being released into the Earth’s atmosphere each and every year.
“If we keep making food the way we do, we will also destroy the habitats of most wild plants and animals, driving countless species to extinction,” Thunberg added.ADVERTISEMENThttps://5707369632581ac2ed7e0637c2e09413.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
In addition to the environmental impact, Thunberg urged the public to pay more consideration to the feelings of animals born and bred for food.ADVERTISEMENT
Thunberg, who is a vegan herself, noted that many animals born into such circumstances live “short and terrible” lives inside the heavily industrialised factory farms where meat is produced.
The Swedish activist’s warning is part of a video funded by the charity Mercy For Animals, an organisation that campaigns to prevent animal cruelty in the livestock industry and encourage more people to take up veganism.
When I first adopted a plant-based diet, I wasn’t sure how to best replace animal products with vegan ones.
Fortunately, it turned out to be easy to get enough protein without meat, fish, dairy, or eggs. Even better, I quickly discovered that vegan protein sources are delicious and incredibly easy to prepare.
The average person needs approximately 0.45–0.73 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.0–1.6 grams per kg) daily, depending on your physical activity level. That’s about 70–113 grams for a 155-pound (70-kg) individual (1Trusted Source).
Because there are so many protein-rich plant foods, you can easily get enough protein on a vegan diet. Plus, experts agree that a well-planned plant-based diet provides all of the nutrients you need, including protein (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Here are some of the best vegan sources of dietary protein, plus a helpful chart.
A growing number of nondairy milks are available today, but not all of them are great sources of protein.
If you’re hoping to use nondairy milk as a source of protein, be sure to buy one of the varieties below. These can be used just like dairy milk in coffee, soup, and batter for baked goods, as well as smoothies, cereal, and cream sauces.
Vegan meats go beyond packaged plant-based burgers and hotdogs.
Soy foods like tofu and tempeh work well in breakfast scrambles, roasted in the oven, and in stir-fries, burritos, and sandwiches. Seitan, a savory protein made from vital wheat gluten, is great in soups, salads, grain dishes, tacos, and sandwiches.
Grains are a lesser-known source of plant protein but offer a great way to supplement your protein intake.
You can use cooked grains as the base of a meal, incorporate them into homemade veggie burgers and granola bars, top salads and soups with them, stuff bell peppers with them, and eat them in breakfast bowls and burritos.
Many people on vegan diets wonder how to get enough protein.
You’ll be glad to know that plenty of protein-rich plant foods provide more than enough of this nutrient to meet the recommended daily needs.
For example, legumes and vegan meat alternatives — and even certain nondairy milks, whole grains, and fruits and veggies — are great sources of protein on plant-based diets.
Just one thing
Try this today: One of my favorite high protein vegan dishes is a tofu breakfast scramble.
To make it, sauté your favorite chopped veggies (I like broccoli, bell pepper, onion, and garlic) with a little olive oil, then season them with turmeric, black salt, and nutritional yeast, and add a block of crumbled extra-firm tofu until it’s warm.
Optional additions include baby spinach, diced tomatoes, and vegan shredded cheese.
Two years ago, Beyond Meat became the first plant-based food startup to go public.Its shares surged 163 percent on its first day and today it’s valued at $9 billion, with shares now worth about five times their original value.
Since then, analysts have wondered which major plant-based food company would go public next.Late last month, they found out: Oatly, the Swedish maker of oat-based milk, yogurt, and ice cream.
Oatly’s stockdidn’t quite skyrocket like Beyond’s, but by the end of the company’s first day of trading, it was valued at about $12 billion. Now, Oatly is valued at $14 billion, over 50 percent more than Beyond’s valuation of $9 billion. Though Beyond and other high-tech vegan meat producers get much more attention than companies that make plant-based milks, Oatly’s valuation says a lot about the state of the plant-based food industry — namely, that plant-based milk has reached a point of maturation in the market that’s even more advanced than plant-based meat.
In fact, Starbucks, which started using Oatly products last year in select US stores and rolled it out nationwide earlier this year, says its share of orders that use plant-based milk jumped from 17 to 25 percent after it introduced Oatly.
These shifts from traditional to plant-based dairy are important in the fight against climate change, as traditional dairy is an especially resource-intensive sector. According to a 2018 University of Oxford study, any way you slice it, cow’s milk uses much more land and water and emits far more greenhouse gases than any plant-based milk. For example, almond milk gets a bad rap for being water-intensive, but cow’s milk requires about 70 percent more water to produce, emits more than twice as much Co2, and requires more than 15 times as much land. Compared to almond milk, oat milk uses much less water but a little more land.
On top of the environmental impact of traditional dairy, most dairy cows, at least in the US, are raised in factory farms.
Yet despite the popularity of plant-based milks, they haven’t quite made a dent in taking the cow out of dairy, their raison d’être. Some farmers do say plant-based milk is affecting their bottom line, and a late 2020 report that was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture found that “increased sales of plant-based alternatives are negatively affecting households’ purchases of cow’s milk” but that it’s “not a primary driver.”
There are a lot of factors that affect dairy production and consumption, and adoption of alternatives is just one of them. But in order for plant-based startups to become a primary driver in displacing conventional dairy, stealing market share fromthe milk shelves of the supermarket isn’t enough. Oatly and its competitors need to figure out how to make a great alternative for another dairy product: cheese.
Milk sales are plummeting, but there are more cows than ever
This can be explained, in part, by Americans’ love for cheese; per capita cheese consumption has risen 25 percent since the early 2000s, which is one factor that has kept milk production high, since it takes nearly 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese. (Butter consumption is rising even faster, and it takes more than 21 pounds of milk to make one pound of butter.)
There are plant-based cheese alternatives on the market, and they generally fall into two categories. The first are the pricey, fermented wheels or tubs of spreadable cheese, often made of nuts, seasonings, and cultures (and sometimes oils, gums, and starches),which have managed to impress the taste buds of omnivorous food critics. Bigger brands like Miyoko’s Creamery, Kite Hill, and Treeline Cheese dominate this first category, but there are dozens of smaller, artisanal outfits like the Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis and Rebel Cheese in Austin.
The second category consists of the bags of shredded or sliced mozzarella or cheddar, often made with oil and potato starch or cornstarch, which don’t melt and stretch (or taste) the way cheese from cow’s milk does. The problem is best summed up by the joke about how a vegan’s house burned down and the only thing that didn’t melt was their cheese.
But Americans eat a lot of shredded and sliced cheese, and the vegan versions haven’t improved much since I last heard that joke some years ago (though if you’re curious, I suggest giving Violife, Field Roast, and Follow Your Heart products a try). And even though the plant-based food industry has grown rapidly in the past few years, its startups loaded with billions in investment, no company has come close to making a “breakthrough” shredded or sliced cheese product akin to the Beyond or Impossible burger — or a carton of Oatly — that can bring in curious omnivores.
Not yet, anyway.
The future of animal-free cheese
The absence of great shredded and sliced plant-based cheese could be a problem of demand or innovation, or both.
Meat gets much more attention for its ecological and animal welfare harms than cheese, to the point where nearly a quarter of Americans say they are trying to cut back. But you don’t hear much about people trying to reduce their cheese intake, even though globally, the dairy sector emits more greenhouse gases than all meat sectors (except beef), and most dairy cows, at least in the US, are factory-farmed.
On the innovation side, it’s simply much harder to replicate stretchy, melty cheese made from cow’s milk than the soft, spreadable varieties.
“Achieving the stretchy quality and texture consumers expect from harder cheeses upon melting has proven challenging to date, which is why soft plant-based cheese may be more prominent,” Dr. Priera Panescu, a senior scientist at the Good Food Institute, told me over email.
Ryan Pandya, the CEO and co-founder of Perfect Day — a food technology startup based in Berkeley, California — shared a similar sentiment with Wired, explaining, “The melty, stretchy thing is absolutely the most challenging holy grail thing to do. Because there’s only one protein known to man that does this, and it’s casein.”
Through precision fermentation, which is used to make specific proteins, enzymes, or vitamins, Perfect Day has developed a microflora (fungi) that converts sugar into whey, another protein in milk, for its ice cream products. The company says it’s also working on cheese but doesn’t have plans for the shredded or sliced varieties in the near future.
Real Vegan Cheese, a nonprofit, open-science research project — quite rare in a field of venture capital-backed startups — is going for the “holy grail” of cheese by adding the genes for casein to yeast and other microflora, and then adding plant-based fats and sugars. New Culture, based in San Francisco, is also working to replicate casein, using microbial fermentation, similar to Perfect Day’s approach, to make shredded cheese. The company plans to launch its first product in late 2023.
When asked about the lack of stretchy plant-based cheese, Panescu said that “academic researchers are working to address these challenges by using biological interventions, optimizing more flexible, well-assembled plant-based proteins, and applying mechanical texturization processes.”
One of those researchers is Alejandro Marangoni at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. According to Marangoni’s research, zein — a protein found in corn — is an overlooked tool in the search to make plant-based alternatives to animal products. Most companies making shredded and sliced plant-based cheese use starches and gums for the melt and stretch effects, but zein could be a better route. When hydrated and heated above a certain temperature, it forms a “flexible, bendable mass which may be pulled, stretched, and sculpted,” sharing “melting characteristics with cheddar cheese.”
Motif FoodWorks, a food tech startup based in Boston that has received investment from the major dairy company Fonterra, recently signed an exclusive licensing deal to use a unique food processing technology Marangoni developed using zein.
Motif’s CEO, Jonathan McIntyre, told me their newly acquired tech will enable them to make a stretchy, gooey vegan cheese that’s better than what’s currently on the market. “This technology doesn’t solve all problems in plant-based cheese,” he said, and that “there are other aspects, like mouthfeel and creaminess” that they’re using other tools to address.
McIntyre isn’t yet sure whether Motif will develop its own products, work with a dairy company to make a plant-based product, or partner with an existing plant-based cheese company to upgrade its own, but he does envision it being used on nachos and, of course, pizza. You can see it in action below or here.
Given all the hype around plant-based food, it may come as no surprise that there are dozens more startups racing to make convincing cheese alternatives — but Impossible Foods isn’t one of them. While it is developing Impossible Milk, a spokesperson told me the company won’t be selling Impossible Cheese anytime soon.
Then there’s Oatly, which recently told Bloomberg it’s making “good progress” on developing oat-based cheese products, though its CEO didn’t specify what kinds. Given the $1.4 billion the company raised from last month’s IPO, it seems like it should have the resources to raise the bar on plant-based cheese, and a devoted customer base who will likely be curious enough to give it a try.
Traditional meat processor JBS, with which the plant-based food company competes, has fallen victim to a cyberattack.
Evan Niu, CFA(TMFNewCow)Jun 2, 2021 at 1:39PMAuthor Biohttps://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.06c6ee58c3810956b7509218508c7b56.en.html#dnt=false&id=twitter-widget-0&lang=en&screen_name=TMFNewCow&show_count=true&show_screen_name=true&size=l&time=1622665833680
Shares of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) were up by 7.9% as of 1:21 p.m. EST Wednesday after traditional meat processing company JBS (OTC:JBSAY) had its operations disrupted by a ransomware attack. Based on Brazil, JBS is the largest meat processor in the world.
The cyberattack, which JBS disclosed earlier this week, impacted the company’s servers and IT infrastructure in North America and Australia. The company immediately suspended the use of all affected systems and has been working diligently to restore them. In an update provided on Tuesday, JBS said that its operations in Mexico and the U.K. were not affected. Nine of JBS’s plants in the U.S. were shut down on Tuesday, but the company said that it expected the “vast majority” of its food plants to be fully operational Wednesday.
IMAGE SOURCE: BEYOND MEAT.
The hackers are believed to be based in Russia, according to JBS and the U.S. government. This ransomware attack comes just a month after a similar incursion temporarily crippled Colonial Pipeline, which significantly disrupted the supply of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to the East Coast. The attacks highlight vulnerabilities in the underlying infrastructure that many U.S. businesses rely on.
Pipeline stocks jumped last month on Colonial Pipeline’s woes, and some rival food producers’ stocks are similarly rising in light of JBS’s troubles. While a protracted disruption of the company’s operations could lead to higher meat prices, potentially making plant-based alternatives more attractive, any meat shortages caused by the attack are expected to be short term in nature.
Since the shutdowns of JBS’s meat processing plants should only last a day or two, it’s unlikely that the attack will translate into a meaningful boost for Beyond Meat’s business.
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On May 1st, dozens of conservationists and animal rights activists staged a rally in Times Square to help members of the public connect the dots between eating animals and pandemics. Their message was simple: “Eating Animals Causes Pandemics.” The New York City rally was one of approximately 60 that took place in 20 countries around the world in support of International Pandemic Outreach Day.https://www.youtube.com/embed/M_AfsUPXW1k?feature=oembed
The Eating Animals Causes Pandemics campaign is a collaboration among animal rights, environmental, conservation and religious organizations. It emerged as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, which is believed to have jumped to humans in a live animal market in China. Like many of the pandemics that preceded it, including the catastrophic Spanish Flu of 1918, COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease — one that is transmitted to humans from a non-human animal.
On International Pandemic Outreach Day, advocates in New York City spoke to hundreds of pedestrians whose attention they captured with their hazmat suits and posters. Most were not aware that outbreaks of avian flu, swine flu and a human version of mad cow disease are caused by our consumption of chickens, pigs and cows.
Factory farms are a breeding ground for infectious diseases, which could easily spread among the animals and, if zoonotic, to humans
The COVID-19 pandemic shined a global spotlight on the infectious disease risks associated with live animal markets, but zoonotic diseases can – and do – emerge in factory farms, slaughterhouses and any other setting where animals are intensively confined and/or slaughtered for human consumption. Dr. Michael Gregor, the author of Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching (2016) has said, “If you actually want to create pandemics, then build factory farms.”
Conservationists and animal rights activists staged a rally in Times Square to raise awareness about the connection between eating animals and pandemics
The UK business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, is considering a “full vegan diet” to help tackle climate change, saying people will need to make lifestyle changes if the government is to meet its new emissions target of a 78% reduction on 1990 levels by 2035.
But how much difference would it make if everyone turned to a plant-based diet? Experts say changing the way we eat is necessary for the future of the planet but that government policy is needed alongside this. If politicians are serious about wanting dietary changes, they also need to incentivise it, scientists and writers add.
“Probably the most important thing to point out is that emissions are often viewed as the only metric of sustainability: they are not. Impacts of farming systems on carbon sequestration, soil acidification, water quality, and broader ecosystem services also need to be well considered,” said Matthew Harrison, systems modelling team leader at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.
“There is also a need to account for farming systems that may replace livestock,” he said.
The writer and environmental campaigner George Monbiot says the numbers on the impact of going vegan are different because of what scientists measure. “There are two completely different ways look at the carbon impact of diet: one is carbon released by producing this or that food – that is ‘carbon current account’. But another one is ‘carbon capital account’, which is the carbon opportunity cost of producing this food rather than another one,” he said.
“If you are producing meat, for example, what might land be used for if you took meat away? If you are growing forests there instead or peat bog there.”
Monbiot says what we eat is a “huge issue”, alongside our transport habits. “Most of what you can do at an individual level is weak by comparison to what governments need to do … but changing diet does not. That has a major impact,” he said.
“It is easier done if the government acts to change the food system but in the absence of that, we should still try and change our diets.”
In 2018, scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage of farming to the planet found avoiding meat and dairy products was the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. The research show0ed that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world.
“There are lots of different sectors that have an impact on emissions and the food system is surely one of the most important ones as it is globally responsible for about a third of all greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr Marco Springmann, senior researcher on environmental sustainability and public health at the University of Oxford.
He added that the overwhelming majority of emissions were due to foods such as beef and dairy, which “means that without changing emissions associated with those products it is hard to make progress”. He said there were no good technical solutions for the fact that “cows emit methane emissions”.
“You can change feed composition but that does not change the animal and the need to feed the animal a lot of feed product,” he said. He believes the government needs to offer price incentives for sustainable products, making beef and dairy more expensive.
Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality extension specialist at the University of California and Davis, said putting the onus on the individual was a distraction from policy changes that are needed. He said literature suggests “going vegan for two years has the same saving impact as one flight Europe to the US would generate.”
“If we really want to make a difference in carbon emissions we need to change policy. We need to have a cost for carbon that is appropriate. We need to incentivise those who can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to do so,” he said.
He believes the most important individual choice someone can make is to “go and vote … That is number one.”
Martin Heller, a research specialist at the University of Michigan, said: “There are no silver bullets for climate change. Nothing in isolation will be ‘enough’.”
He added that studies showed that even with gracious assumptions in improvements in agricultural production, feeding an anticipated population at anticipated growing demand for animal-based foods by 2050 would occupy “all of the allowable emissions if we are to stay below a 2C temperature rise”.
“We have to change the way we eat,” he said. “That certainly isn’t saying that diet change – or even becoming vegan – will ‘save the planet’. It’s more of a necessary but not sufficient kind of thing.” He added that “these diet shifts need to come with government, corporate and every other kind of action”.
“It’s also probably naive to assume that people will just change these behaviours because it’s good for the planet. It will require directed policy, changes in the restaurant and foodservice industries,” he said.
PETA erected a billboard near the main office of Hickman’s Family Farms “in memory” of the more than 165,000 birds who were killed in March in a fire at a facility owned by the company.
The billboard, at MC 85 between South 223rd and South 221st avenues, urges anyone upset by the animals’ suffering to take personal responsibility by no longer buying eggs and by going vegan.
“We’re encouraging people who were feeling sympathetic to those birds to take a look at their own actions that are also making those birds suffer on a daily basis,” said Amber Canavan, PETA senior campaigner spokesperson.
Canavan said PETA watches out for incidents in the news involving animals on farms.
“That goes for fires and transport trucks,” Canavan explained. “Transport trucks have fairly high incidents of crashes on the way to slaughterhouses, from facility to facility.
“There are least 100 a year. Many are not even reported or make it into the news. Those animals are crammed onto transport trucks, shoulder to shoulder, in there for days without food, water or rest.”
She said the public rarely thinks about animals locked behind closed doors, “out of sight, out of mind.”
“We want to make sure that they don’t just say, ‘Oh, that’s sad and go on about their day.’ We have the power to help them in many cases by not buying meat, dairy and eggs in the first place.”
PETA’s statement said hens used for egg production are confined to cramped barns, where each bird has no more than a square foot of space. Few farms install smoke detectors or fire-suppression systems.
PETA notes that going vegan spares animals immense suffering and helps prevent future epidemics and pandemics. SARS, swine flu, bird flu and COVID-19 all stemmed from confining and killing animals for food.