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“Greening our Global Food System”

© 2018 Hazel Henderson

Update from Editor Hazel Henderson on new research since we released our Green Transition Scoreboard® 2018, April 23, 2018.  All this research collected from around the world in the past 3 months confirms our own findings!

Back in 1986, during my first visit to China, I was taken to an upscale restaurant in Shanghai and enjoyed what I thought was a delectable chicken dinner.  I was advised later that all the food served in this restaurant was vegetarian, and that in most Asian countries then, vegetarian diets were prominent.

Fast forward to today, I read in Bloomberg Businessweek, Sept. 17, 2018, “Where’s The Beef?” about a food company, Vegetarian Butcher, Inc.  based in Holland, 8 years ago, making 40 different meat-like vegetarian products, a vegetarian restaurant   and a factory called the “Plant Slaughterhouse” now upping its production to 44,000 pound of plant-based meats this year!  Founder Jaap Korteweg, a farmer, realized that Holland’s millions of pigs, vulnerable to swine fever outbreaks, were not the best way to produce meat. He became a vegetarian (like me since the 1980s) and teamed up with Dutch leader, Niko Koffman, leader in their senate of the Animal rights Party and they created Vegetarian Butcher, now with 70 employees and distributed in 70 countries with $29 million gross profits in 2017.

In our Green Transition Scoreboard® 2018, “Capturing CO2 While Improving Human Nutrition & Health”, we covered this global movement to reform food systems, using such plant-based proteins, overlooked wild and indigenous plants (e.g. jackfruit), as well as shifting our current over-investments in our few fragile monocultured crops in the global agrochemical industrial markets. These are all based on the planet’s 3% of freshwater, overlooking the thousands of food plants that love salt (halophytes, e.g. quinoa), that grow in 22 countries on degraded and desert lands, without pesticides or fertilizers, irrigated only with saltwater.  This shift to saltwater agriculture is a no-brainer … because these salt-tolerant plants also contain superior nutrients, many with complete proteins, and capture CO2 from the atmosphere …. vital to stabilizing the global climate and keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

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