Plant-Based Food Takeover
The “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. Deforestation in the Amazon and Palm Tree deforestation in SouthEast Asia. Topsoil desertification. What do these environmental destructions have in common? Agriculture. Specifically, Animal Agriculture. The food system accounts for 37% of greenhouse gas emissions. To put that into perspective, that’s double the number of greenhouse gases generated by global transportation (cars, trucks, buses, you name it). “Food from animals requires up to 83% of our farmland to produce” and yet animal products only make up 18% of our diet (“Science”). So the question becomes; how do we change a system dependent on non-sustainable meat practices? We modify it.
Plant-based diets are becoming the new normal. Vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians, flexitarians, and everything in between are becoming the new dietary standard. These lifestyle changes bring industry changes in the form of plant-based options. 20 years ago, plant-based milk was few and far between but now entire shelves at grocery stores are dedicated to plant-based diets. Starbucks introduced its new line of meals with plant-based meat for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Big changes are already happening in Europe. Asia generally goes unnoticed compared to western continents when it comes to these environmentally conscious changes, but that is about to change with these three new, innovative, and plant-based companies.
The New Dairy Industry
Founded in Sweden in the late 1980s, Oatly Milk was envisioned as a means to enjoy milk without the need for lactose or anything produced by livestock. Since their humble beginnings in a laboratory, Oatly plant-based milk has grown into an internationally known alternative to traditional dairy. Oatly has breached the surface of 25 countries and has sold over 165 million liters of the product (“First Things First”). That’s a lot of oats.
So how does Oatly maintain sustainability?
First things first, Oatly works solely with Oats. They don’t fool around with Soy, Almonds, or any of the other plant-based milk that has been blossoming across the dairy market. This allows them to focus on one food source, and therefore thrive in that food source.
While they love all things Oats, they understand the food system needs to change.
“We are still not just part of the solution. We are also part of the food system that we want to change” (“First Things First”).
Oatly has committed to eight of the UNs seventeen Sustainability goals (“17 Goals to Transform Our World”): zero hunger, good health and well being, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, and climate action. But much like 2020, not everything has gone according to plan.
Since its beginning, Oatly has been committed to 100% renewable energy in the production process. Until 2018, they were reaching this goal. The commission of two new sites, one in Vlissingen, Netherlands, and the other in Millville, New Jersey (in the US) led to a decrease to 63% renewable energy in the production process. Oatly has made clear they are dedicated to returning to 100% again (“Resource Efficiency”).
Additionally, due to an increase in demand, their new production sites led to more climate impact per liter produced. In fact, the new sites negatively doubled their CO2 footprint from 2018 to 2019 (“Resource Efficiency”). Not only that, their waste and transportation footprint is rising due to increased milk residue and increased packaging weight and volume.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. On the brighter side, Oatly has been decreasing its water usage every year as they become more efficient and modified their packaging to be made from sugar cane pulp. They’re also doing more than just working on their numbers; they’re working towards changing the system. Oatly is the first company to label its products with details of the carbon footprint they are leaving. Most companies do nothing of this sort. In 2019, they campaigned to have a CO2 footprint on all food labels, similarly to nutritional facts, and have since gone to Bundestag (German Parliament) to continue this fight (“Hey Food Industry''). Check out their campaign, “Hey Food Industry'' for more info.
但是不要太沮丧，我们也有好消息：Oatly提高了它的水资源利用率，水资源消耗逐年减少，并且使用甘蔗纸浆制作其包装。他们可不仅仅是在数字成绩上下功夫——他们正努力去改变食品体系。Oatly是第一家在产品上标注碳足迹的公司，而大多数公司在这方面没有任何举动。2019年，Otaly展开行动，争取让所有食品都在标签上标注碳足迹（类似营养成分表）。这场行动已经打到了德国议会，查看网页 “Hey Food Industry''（嗨，食品工业！）以获得更多消息。
Oatly is also reevaluating their origins, by changing the source of their oats. Oatly pioneered a program with Sustainable Food Lab (their oat supplier) and the nonprofit Practical Farmers of Iowa to grow oats on the US corn belt. The program started with four farmers and has grown to twelve, all of them diversifying their crop rotations to include oat, soy, and corn in their harvest, which increases biodiversity and soil health (“Farmers Seeking Farmers'').
Oatly同时也在重新评估它的源头——燕麦，改善燕麦的来源。Oatly和Sustainable Food Lab （公司的燕麦供应商）以及非营利组织 Practical Farmers of Iowa 共同发起了一项运动：在美国的 corn belt （玉米带，美国中西部的传统农业区）种植燕麦。该运动已从最初的4位农民，发展到了12位。这些人把燕麦和大豆引入到作物轮种中，提高了作物多样性也改善了土壤健康。(“Farmers Seeking Farmers'')
Oatly is doing its best for both the community and the earth, ensuring every day is greener than the day before. As Oatly's demands continue to rise, and production moves forward, less and less dairy milk is produced.
The New Egg Industry
Eggs. A basic necessity in most diets and a best friend to breakfast sandwiches, eggs are a major protein source for most of the world. But in recent years, eggs are being turned upside down by Eat Just, Inc. and the plant-based world. Eat Just, Inc is a plant-based company that focuses on reinventing eggs into plant-based products. Since 2013 they have moved past the US and slowly begun to take on the global market.
What’s the carbon footprint of JUST Egg?
Eat Just, Inc products include JUST Egg (a scrambled egg alternative) and JUST Mayo. Since 2013, Eat JUST, Inc has sold the equivalent of more than 50 million eggs. That’s a lot of eggs. And a lot of energy saved on farming. This equates to 8.7 million kgs of CO2 saved. Since there is no need for animals in their production process, they also save over 3,500 acres of land and 2.2 billion gallons of water (Just Egg).
Eat Just, Inc 的产品包括JUST Egg (炒鸡蛋的替代品) 和 JUST Mayo。从2013年起 Eat Just, Inc 已经卖出了相当于5000万个鸡蛋。那可是相当多的鸡蛋那！同时也在农业生产中节省了相当可观的能源——等量于870万公斤的二氧化碳。因为在生产过程中不需要动物，Just Egg 还节省了3500英亩的土地与22亿加仑的水。
So what is Just Egg made from? Simple: beans. Specifically, the Mung Bean.
那么 Just Egg 是用什么制作的呢？简单地说：豆子；更确切一点：绿豆。
Mung beans scramble the same ways traditional eggs do but with “zero cholesterol, less water, and fewer carbon emissions” (“Impact Report”). 绿豆相比传统鸡蛋毫不逊色但是“零胆固醇，更少的水，更少的碳排放”（影响评估报告）
Even better, JUST Eggs have a similar taste and texture to traditional eggs. With over 300,000 species of plants in the world, one is bound to taste like an egg.
更精彩的是，Just Egg 拥有和传统鸡蛋类似的味道与质感。世界上有30万中植物，肯定有一种味道像鸡蛋一样~
JUST Eggs have been breaking through the glass ceiling of China’s egg industry, recently arriving in Shanghai in 2019 (Qian). Since then, JUST Egg has been finding ways to incorporate itself into Chinese cuisine. EatJust, Inc opened a Future Food Studio in Shanghai, which was a 100% plant-based culinary studio and ran from October 10th to 30th (Ho). The general public had the chance to sign up for free classes or tastings via their WeChat Mini Program. They also opened a popup JUST Egg Jianbing shop in downtown Shanghai. This was a classic Chinese street food stall, but vegan style. Visitors could purchase a vegan jianbing, a unique first for many. Hopefully, JUST Egg is only JUST beginning.
JUST Eggs 一直在努力突破中国鸡蛋产业内的玻璃天花板，近日里来到了上海（Qian）。从那时开始，JUST Egg一直在找办法融入中国菜。Eat Just, Inc 建立了一家未来食物工作室（ Future Food Studio ），使用的是100%纯素食的烹饪，并从十月十日运营到三十日（Ho）。公众有机会通过他们的微信小程序预约免费的学习课程或品尝体验。他们还在上海市区开设了一个 JUST Egg 快闪煎饼摊，让传统的中国街头小吃，换上素食的新风味。顾客们大都是第一次买到这样纯素的煎饼。让我们衷心希望JUST Egg才只是刚刚开始。
The New Pork Industry
The Chinese Pork Industry produces 1.29 billion metric tonnes of waste yearly (“About Us”). That’s a lot of waste, and that’s a lot of pork. OmniPork, a Canadian based company, is attempting to decrease that number and potentially even eliminate it (!).
OmniPork is a plant-based meat substitute made from shiitake mushrooms, peas, GMO-free soy, and rice. OmniPork 是一个纯素的肉类替代品，由香菇、豌豆、非转基因大豆和大米制作。
Similar to JUST Eggs, there’s no cholesterol in Omni-pork but it still has the taste and texture that comes with pork. OmniPork is a subgroup of a larger food Tech Company, Green Monday. Also based in Canada, Green Monday has been exploring different ways to implement plant-based diets into communities, such as educating schools, hosting sustainability workshops for businesses, establishing OmniPork, and tackling sustainability in the farming industry (“2020 Resolution'').
与JUST Eggs 类似，OmniPork不含胆固醇，同时拥有与猪肉相似的味道与口感。OmniPork 是一个更大的食物科技公司 Green Monday 的一分子。Green Monday 同样成长于加拿大，一直以来不断探索各种方法以向社区推广素食。例如开展校园教育、为商业机构可持续研讨会、建立OmniPork 和 发展可持续农业。(“2020 Resolution'')
OmniPork requires less energy, contains more iron and calcium compared to regular meat, is vegan, hormone and antibiotic-free, AND cruelty-free (“About Us''). They are everything a plant-based food company strives to be.
What makes them different from the rest?
OmniPork is introducing themselves not just in Europe and North America, but campaigning largely in China and Asia as a whole. Wagas, a western restaurant chain in China, now serves OmniPork bolognese as a vegetarian option. OmniPork Luncheon is a plant-based alternative to Spam, a popular food choice among Asian consumers. OmniPork Buns and Pearl Dumplings were created to replace traditional pork buns and dumplings eaten commonly in China. Pork is the highest consumed meat in Asia, making up 65% of meat consumed in China (“About Us”). It was inevitable for OmniPork to venture into Asian Cuisine (“OmniPork Products”).
OmniPork不仅仅把他们自己推广给欧洲与北美，在中国和亚洲也做宣传推广。中国一家连锁西餐厅 Wagas 提供OmniPork肉酱作为素食的选项。OmniPork Luncheon是午餐肉（在亚洲消费者中广受欢迎）的素食替代品。OmniPork Buns and Pearl Dumplings 被制造用于取代传统猪肉包子和水饺。猪肉在亚洲肉类市场中食用量最大；它在中国肉类市场中占比65% (“About Us”)。OmniPork没有理由不尝试打入亚洲食谱。
What does this mean for the future?
With over half the world's population and a sizable carbon footprint, the Asian Market has the potential to make grander, long-lasting changes in the agricultural industry by moving towards plant-based meats.
Consumers vote for the future they want three times a day: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. When consumers choose plant-based foods, they are voting for a greener future.
“About Us.” OmniPork, 2020, https://omnipork.co/about-us/. Accessed 13 12 2020.
“First Things First.” Sustainability Report, 2020, https://sustainability.oatly.com/system-change-required/. Accessed 10 12 2020.
Ho, Sally. ““China To Account For Large Part Of Future Growth”: Eat Just Opens Country’s First Plant-Based Culinary Studio.” Green Queen, 24 July 2020, greenqueen.com.hk/china-to-account-for-large-part-of-future-growth-eat-just-opens-countrys-first-plant-based-culinary-studio/. Accessed 11 12 2020.
“Omni Pork Products.” Omni Pork, 2020, https://omnipork.co/products/. Accessed 11 12 2020.
Qian, Jin. “JUST's Vegan Egg Has Come to Shanghai, and Here's What You Might Want to Know.” SmartShanghai, 16 May 2019, https://www.smartshanghai.com/wire/shopping/justs-vegan-egg-has-come-to-shanghai-and-heres-what-you-might-want-to-know. Accessed 11 12 2020.
“Resource Effeciancy.” Sustainability Report, 2020, https://sustainability.oatly.com/resource-efficiency/. Accessed 10 12 2020.
“Science.” Sustainability Report, 1 June 2018, https://www.ju.st/sites/default/files/inline-files/EatJust-ImpactReport-2020.pdf. Accessed 10 12 2020.
“17 Goals to Transform Our World.” Welcome to the United Nantions, 2020, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/. Accessed 13 12 2020.
“2020 Resolution.” Green Monday, 2020, https://greenmonday.org/en/. Accessed 13 12 2020.
“Upgraded Society.” Sustainability Report, 2020, https://sustainability.oatly.com/hey-food-industry-images/. Accessed 10 12 2020.
“Impact Report.” EatJust, 2020, https://www.ju.st/sites/default/files/inline-files/EatJust-ImpactReport-2020.pdf. Accessed 10 12