The panel, “How Can Consumers Eat Well Without Wrecking the Planet” featured Bloomberg Distinguished Johns Hopkins Professor Dr. Jessica Fanzo, Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation Senior Advisor Dr. Jeyakumar Henry, and Green Monday Group Founder David Yeung. Food Tank President Danielle Nierenberg moderated the discussion.
The panelists discussed strategies to nudge consumers toward plant-based diets. “Besides advocating and educating people on the why, equally as important is to provide solutions on how to switch,” Yeung explains. His company aims to slowly transition people to plant-based diets by producing alternative proteins with short ingredients lists. They also provide plant-based dining experiences.
The experts also highlighted the need for culturally appropriate protein alternatives, touching on the shortcomings of the 2019 EAT Lancet Report. The report played a major role in encouraging global conversations on plant-based diets, such as the one Yeung advocates. But, “if you look at the cost of making an EAT Lancet type diet for people in the developing world, it’s been well established that it’s far too expensive,” Henry says.
Fanzo, who contributed to the EAT-Lance report, acknowledges that it failed to include culturally diverse inputs as well as issues of food access. Henry echoes her concerns, noting the importance of contributions from experts in Africa, Asia, and South America, which can foster more holistic discussions about nutrition.
Yeung and the other panelists also argue that it is important to look across sectors to address these inequalities. They call governments, individuals, and the private sector to take action. “Every party needs to be a part of the solution because we are all part of the problem,” Yeung says.