Finally! Plant-Based Foods Take Their Place In DC Lobbying Game

2015-06-10-1433961895-4627068-wecan.jpgFor years special interest groups—usually non-profits—advocating for health and wellness products have been on the outside looking in when it comes to beating down the doors of Congress and trying to be serious contenders in the influence game.

Plant-based foods (i.e. pea and soy-based, nut-based and other non-meat sources) have been the Davids versus the powerful Goliaths (i.e. PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Monsanto, Grocery Manufacturers, American Beverage Association, Nestle, McDonalds et al.).

Until now.

PBFALogo.pngThe new Plant-Based Food Association will advocate for better policies that recognize the healthful values of plant-based foods, and promote their consumption. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em say the founders and their members, which include only members that make protein products from plants, an industry category that grew significantly between 2014 and 2015 alone.  

America’s largest food companies have taken notice already. Stephanie Strom, reporting in The New York Times, quotes Jeff Dunn, president of the fresh division of Campbell’s Soup:

At the highest level, we’re seeing a pretty substantial shift in consumer interest in plant-based diets. That’s manifesting itself in lots of interest in plant-based protein among companies like us and how it can be used in production.”

The organization will be represented by Elizabeth Kucinich, who told the Times:

In general, she said, her goal was to “level the playing field” so that plant-based foods got the same consideration as meats in debates about school lunches, dietary recommendations and even environmental issues. “It’s really to make sure we have a seat at the table.” 

As Miyoko Schinner, founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen puts it:

The face of food is changing, how we make food and the origins of it. It’s time for the regulatory system to catch up.”

PBFA joins existing health institutions recommending that  individuals reduce consumption of animal products and shift diets to plants. These include:

In defense of the environment, PBFA joins the many organizations and researchers now sounding the alarm over negative environmental effects resulting from industrialized animal-based food production, including:

PHOTO: Miyoko Schinner, founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen   Original photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky Photo artistry: Kapok Graphics Originally published in Huffington Post Green

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