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Ya know, after what was the third or fourth mention of the new Netflix documentary “The Game Changers” this week – I decided my curiosity was sufficiently piqued to give it a watch.
For those of us who are not aware of what it’s about, in short it is on…
… plant-based diets.
And what an eye-opener it was.
At face value, the evidence of the vegan diet is very compelling, both from a health and an environmental standpoint.
This is backed up by professional athletes at the top of their fields – a sprinter, olympic weightlifter, strongman, NFL linebacker among others – who all swear on the merits of a plant-based diet in traditionally protein heavy sports.
Then the greatest bodybuilder himself swears of the well-being and performance benefits of a plant-based diet.
Yep, even Arnie is on it.
Hm, so what if this trend starts to become more mainstream?
What if the scientific findings continue to build and support the pros of greener eating, and more and more people choose to become vegan?
How will this affect the meat and animal based industries (a huge part of the global economy) over time, as consumerism changes?
Well, a global shift isn’t going to transpire… yet.
But there are signs that it will.
Let me explain…
An example of the market’s attitude towards this new industry, US company “Beyond Meat” (a plant-based meat manufacturer), listed on the stock exchange in early 2019 at $25 a share, and subsequently rode up to a high of $235 per share (it’s now just above $82).
Further, celebrity endorsements of this growing industry has come from such names as Lewis Hamilton, Serena Williams, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Heck even Jackie Chan is taking part.
What’s so good about plants?
Now I enjoy a hearty steak as much as the next person, but watching this doco had me scratching the three day stubble (barely there) on my chin throughout.
It was littered with anecdotal and empirical evidence that highlights the performance and health benefits of plant-based versus the traditional meat based diet.
Some of the benefits range from reduced cholesterol and increased stamina, to improving erectile dysfunction (looks around the room) and lowering heart disease.
It also highlights links between high consumption of processed or red meat and cancer.
Now I’m not sure if all of the above is scientifically proven yet, but I do know that environmentally, plants are usually better for the environment than say cows.
These gaseous steak-balls contribute more to greenhouse gas emissions than cars – an average cow emits up to 250-500L of methane every day.
Whether you believe the benefits of the “vegan” lifestyle is up to you.
But I think there’s some value in staying on top of market trends which have a good chance of gaining momentum.
This is especially true in today’s world of social media and celebrity endorsements.
And just think about it, even if you and I shift from eating an animal-based protein meal from 2-3 meals a day, to 1-2 meals a day, multiply that across the globe… then a change like that WILL have major impacts for the food industry in the long run.
But until then, I think I’ll enjoy this steak lunch… with a salad of course.
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P.S If you wanted to check out some industry names, start with some of these:
Impossible Foods (US), Beyond Meat (US), Garden Protein International (US), Morningstar Farms (US), Quorn Foods (UK), Amy’s Kitchen (US), Maple Leaf Foods (Canada), The Vegetarian Butcher (The Netherlands), Tofurky (US), Gold & Green Foods (US), Sunfed (New Zealand), and VBites (UK).