After attending back-to-back expos over the past 10 days--Plant Based World Expo in New York City and the International Whey Conference in Chicago—followed by serving as a judge for the Private Kitchen Pitch Contest presented by Midwest Dairy and The Hatchery Chicago, I think it’s important to take a step back and review what the majority of authorities in agriculture accept as fact. This will help all of us figure out how the industry can work together to prevent global famine in the next 30 years.
Fact 1: New and more sources of protein are necessary to prevent malnourishment. While calories, namely from carbohydrates, may thwart starvation, protein is crucial for the body to thrive. And, it is impossible to feed the growing population enough protein when the only source is animals. Plant proteins are part of the answer. Precision fermentation dairy and cultivated meat cells will also likely be part of the answer.
Fact 2: Agriculture is a big part of the solution to the climate crisis. Livestock is critical to soil health and healthy soil is required to grow nutrient-dense plants. Livestock is not going away.
Fact 3: The majority of consumers still eat animal products. While many may identify as being flexitarian and strive to consume fewer animal products, dairy, eggs and meat remain a part of the diet.
Fact 4: Plant-based milks have become another beverage option for consumers. They are here to stay.
Fact 5: Here’s the most important fact to understand. Plants, plant proteins and animal food alternatives are three very different things.