Could plant-based foods be tipping point for food and climate security?

02 August 2021
video

A report entitled, Accelerating the 10 Critical Transitions: Positive Tipping Points for Food and Land Use Systems Transformation has just been launched and it’s contention is that widespread acceptance of alternative proteins such as plant-based meat substitutes could resolve a lot of the world’s present problems.

The report, produced by the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), SYSTEMIQ and the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, says a plant-based consumption tipping point could tip the scales in accelerating decarbonisation and improving food security while creating more inclusive and resilient rural economies.

Momentum behind flexitarian diet

As it stands, the rapid increase in consumption of plant-based alternatives to meat is not being matched by reduction in meat consumption, but the authors believe the tipping point scenario is plausible. The evidence lies in demographics.

25% of Europeans now consider themselves flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan and if their numbers continue to rise, intense livestock production could go into decline. As a result, the researchers conclude, farmers would then focus on less intensive practices that help protect and restore nature.

The optimism behind the science is justified. In terms of the evolution of the food industry, arguably we are only in the foothills of what is achievable for plant-based food options.

As innovators continue to improve taste and nutritional content, products become more affordable and social acceptance grows, it seems likely that ever more health-conscious consumers will tilt into the majority.

Could plant-based foods be tipping point for food and climate security?

02 August 2021

A report entitled, Accelerating the 10 Critical Transitions: Positive Tipping Points for Food and Land Use Systems Transformation has just been launched and it’s contention is that widespread acceptance of alternative proteins such as plant-based meat substitutes could resolve a lot of the world’s present problems.

The report, produced by the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), SYSTEMIQ and the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, says a plant-based consumption tipping point could tip the scales in accelerating decarbonisation and improving food security while creating more inclusive and resilient rural economies.

Momentum behind flexitarian diet

As it stands, the rapid increase in consumption of plant-based alternatives to meat is not being matched by reduction in meat consumption, but the authors believe the tipping point scenario is plausible. The evidence lies in demographics.

25% of Europeans now consider themselves flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan and if their numbers continue to rise, intense livestock production could go into decline. As a result, the researchers conclude, farmers would then focus on less intensive practices that help protect and restore nature.

The optimism behind the science is justified. In terms of the evolution of the food industry, arguably we are only in the foothills of what is achievable for plant-based food options.

As innovators continue to improve taste and nutritional content, products become more affordable and social acceptance grows, it seems likely that ever more health-conscious consumers will tilt into the majority.

Malachy Mitchell's featured publications

See all posts

Food safety & security

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and food security

How can the impact of foreign investment be optimised to maximise benefits in terms of food security, while at the same time minimising risks to all stakeholders? 

Insight

Agribusiness

Coffee producers place faith in regenerative agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is seen as a genuine solution as coffee producers battle to protect their crops. But what makes regenerative agriculture so compelling a prospect?

Blog

Food safety & security

Health of children at the heart of UN food safety summit

The UN Food Safety Summit will assess why the food system continues to cause poor diet, malnutrition, undernutrition, obesity and child mortality prevails.

Blog
See all posts

Join our latest webinar on climate change and food safety.

Get in touch with us or find an office closest to you.
Register now