Both / And: Issue #36
Plant-based cities, COP 28, and marathons
🎇 Welcome to a beautiful, and complex, 2024!
Whether your commitments include reducing food waste or participating in Veganuary, 2023 made abundantly clear that we’ve got to be strategic about improving our climate impact. Last year felt, well, heavy, and trying to be celebratory for the holidays a little harder than usual. Our world and its challenges are not simple. Focusing on improvement means embracing multitudes.
The news from COP 28 (the U.N. climate change conference) is a prime example. Our own Kim Odhner attended and was heartened that:
For the first time, the meetings dedicated an entire day to food and agriculture;
There was significant representation of the global south and indigenous peoples;
Plant-based foods were not only available but featured (including our portco Anina Culinary Art); and
Overall, there was a “palpable sense of urgency.”
The U.N. released a landmark report about how reducing meat and dairy can significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions. Still, the meat industry was ubiquitous, trying to present meat as sustainable, and the meeting resolutions did not explicitly address a push for plant-based foods. Regardless of the meat lobby’s agenda, over 130 countries signed the Emirates Declaration on climate and health, encouraging the integration of food system transformation into climate plans. While there was not enough action or commitment by governments to slow climate change, many used the convergence as an opportunity to network and strategize.
In New York City, a both/and mindset means acknowledging that, while many things are not going smoothly for Mayor Adams, his food initiatives have been significant. We’re particularly interested in the implementation of plant-based meals as the default in hospitals. We were curious to see the data, and it turns out that patients overwhelmingly choose these healthier options which are both better for the planet and cost-efficient.
The market has been tough, but there are areas of optimism, such as Australia’s growing role in alternative proteins. We’ve always known this project was a marathon, not a sprint.
🌱 While our collective outlook may be complicated, Unovis’ mandate to improve our society and life on our planet by bettering food remains a clear and critical priority.
With you for the long run, Unovis