Vegan meat brand Quorn says climate change, obesity, and the threat of future pandemics, must be tackled together. And right now.
“We believe we don’t have the luxury to tackle obesity, pandemics, and climate change separately any longer at a policy or from a food industry perspective,” Tess Kelly, Quorn’s sustainable development manager said during the recent Westminster Health Forum.
Quorn is the world’s largest meatless meat brand. The range is mostly vegan. But part of its commitment has been to transition the rest of its products away from non-vegan ingredients (like egg whites). It says the largely animal-dependent food industry should be accountable for “protecting and regenerating food systems and the environment.”
Speaking of the Lancet Commission’s 2019 report, “The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change,” Kelly told the forum attendees that the link is evident. “The report builds on a huge body of evidence,” she said. Kelly pointed to the inequalities in the food system and how it’s led to a rise in obesity and malnutrition as well as climate change.
Now, the UK-based company says its especially interested in the link between the food industry and pandemics.
“We know that 75 percent of infectious diseases originate from animals,” Kelly said. “And the fact that our food system —especially industrial agriculture —is continuing to degrade and encroach on our wild environments, and increase our contact with wild animals (and increase the inequalities that we see in society) [makes it] clear we must not only address consumption behaviors, but we must also address the way that we produce food together, using all evidence available to us.”