Just as it did with our work schedules, exercise routines and social engagements, the pandemic has impacted our dietary habits. More than 80 percent of consumers said their food habits have changed since the outbreak: One in five are making healthier choices to support their own health, with many turning to plant-based proteins and 57 percent of respondents from another survey eating fewer animal products.
Yet as the demand for both sustainably produced and healthy foods grows, many companies offering such options still find themselves offsetting the positive carbon benefits of cutting animals out of the loop by packaging their products in plastic or using synthetic additives. One innovative company, for example, provides a great plant-based alternative to eggs made primarily from mung beans — unfortunately, it’s currently sold in plastic bottles.
Despite the best efforts from more conscientious companies, without sustainable practices from farm to fork, many foods might be “healthy” for the consumer but carry a big carbon footprint. Likewise, countless plant-based, sustainably packaged products out there might be good for the planet, but not for our insides.
One without the other isn’t enough, and with the pandemic bringing our personal health and that of our planet into the spotlight, the present moment offers a unique chance for humans to start prioritizing both — especially when it comes to food choices. In 2021, after CO2 atmospheric levels last year hit a record high and populations look to turn a new page, forward-thinking companies must lead the movement through a commitment to both healthy and sustainable food production.