06 Oct Funding plant-based alternatives to promote more sustainable diets
Introducing Alexandra Clark, sustainable food campaigner for Humane Society International/Europe
Starting her professional career in health and nutrition, Alexandra Clark was introduced to allfoodexperts® by a friend who was already a member. She is a sustainable food campaigner for Humane Society International/Europe, one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations. She participates in EU projects to identify the pathways away from animal product consumption towards healthy and more sustainable plant-based diets.
Currently, Alexandra works with European policy makers, scientists, and other experts, to promote alternatives to animal products, addressing the need for policies that help to accelerate the transition towards more plant-based diets. This includes political and public awareness raising actions on the negative health and environmental impacts, as well as the animal welfare concerns, linked to current levels of EU meat, dairy and eggs consumption.
A more sustainable EU food consumption
She believes it is essential that Europe adopts a strategy for more sustainable EU food consumption patterns and invests in the development, support and promotion of plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs, and recognises the progress already being made by start-ups in the USA. Europe must also move forward in this area. “We raise over 8.6 billion land animals in the EU each year for food. It is essential that we reduce this number by decreasing demand for animal products and shift consumption towards more plant-based alternatives”, she says.
“The EU is one of the highest consuming regions of animal products in the world; we need alternative products, that are entirely plant-based yet taste, look and feel the same, to be readily available in our supermarkets.”
The development of realistic plant-based meats has progressed rapidly in recent years, and plant-based alternatives to milk have grown in popularity and are now of a very high standard. Plant-based cheeses, however, are not yet widely consumed. As cheese consumption is increasing, unlike milk and beef, it is essential to address this gap with the development of plant-based alternatives that really do look and taste like the real thing.
A global community and platform like allfoodexperts® serves to establish connections between scientists working on animal product substitutes and the public administration. She expects to help to go live with research projects and investigations that contribute to improving the food system and encouraging sustainable food consumption, and thereby reducing the negatives impacts of the current food system.