Plant-Based–A New Consumer Buzzword

Animal Ag Wants to Share the Plant-Based Plate

By David Sparks, with AgInfo.net
The now-often used terms that you hear at such places as Whole Foods, Burger King and even McDonald’s “plant-based” seems to exclude meat, poultry, milk and eggs – but that’s not the whole story.
Registered dietitians Cara Harbstreet, Street Smart Nutrition; Nicole Rodriguez, Enjoy Food, Enjoy Life and Alison Webster, International Food Information Council, at the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2020 Stakeholders Summit for a candid conversation about the latest consumer buzzwords.

Connecting with consumers can start with conversations that are more inclusive and less divisive. This panel will highlight best practices from producers in the field and strategies to partner with registered dietitians and other influencers in the food space. Summit attendees will leave this panel empowered to share their story of positively impacting consumer health and invite those who are hungry to learn more into the conversation.

The Alliance’s annual Summit brings together thought leaders in the industry to discuss hot-button issues and out-of-the-box ideas to connect everyone along the food chain, engage influencers and protect the future of animal agriculture. The 2020 event, themed “Primed & Prepared,” is set for May 7-8 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va.

Harbstreet, Rodriguez and Webster will each bring a unique perspective to this panel, titled “Conversations that Cultivate: Staking Your Claim on the Plant-Based Plate.” The panel will be moderated by National Chicken Council’s Tom Super.

With sessions covering sustainability, animal welfare, influencer engagement, preparing for animal rights activist campaigns and other hot topics, attendees will leave the 2020 Summit primed and prepared with the tools they need to take action and be part of any and all conversations that could impact the future of animal agriculture and their business. Early registration discounts are available through April 3. To register, visit summit.animalagalliance.org.

“The animal agriculture community already understands the importance of delivering facts that are true to the science and safety of food production – now it’s time to elevate our messages to effectively showcase our products as an integral part of a ‘plant-based’ diet,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “This panel of rock star dietitians will leave 2020 Summit attendees primed and prepared to have conversations that cultivate trust with consumers, customers and influencers.”

Be sure to check the Summit website for the most up-to-date Summit information and the full agenda. You can also follow the hashtags #AAA20 and #PrimedAndPrepared for periodic updates about the event. For general questions about the Summit please contact summit@animalagalliance.org or call (703) 562-5160.

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Celebrating California Agriculture . . . on World Vegan Day!

Celebrate World Vegan Day!

Peterangelo Vallis, executive director of the Fresno-based San Joaquin Valley Wine Growers Association, has an insightful viewpoint on California agriculture. That’s why California Ag Today considers him to be our Ambassador of Agriculture, and we’re glad he’s on our team.

In Celebration of World Vegan Day, Peterangelo Vallis addressed the need for California farmers to think about and engage with all the people who eat fruits and vegetables, including vegans*, environmentalists and fringe groups:

Yellow Bell Peppers, world vegan day

Well, vegans and environmentalists eat more fruits and vegetables than anybody. Guess what we make?

Look, I love a juicy steak, the same as most people. But frankly, most of my plate is vegetables. If somebody is buying something, they’re buying vegetables, and they want fresh vegetables. Vegans can get those in California, because they’re close enough to us. Let’s face it, these are highly perishable items and they’re going out there. Yet, we tend to vilify the same people that are paying our bills by buying our stuff.

Criticizing vegans is crazy. You don’t see Louis Vuitton making fun of middle-aged women. It’s just not what happens because they want you to buy more bags.

Big Vegetable Bin, world vegan day

Everybody eats fruits and vegetables. If they don’t, they should, and vegans are just an extra boon to California Agriculture. Look, people eat fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, meat, everything. Without people eating, we don’t have jobs. The more population growth, the more people who need to eat. These are our customers.

We do a terrific job of turning [vegans] off to us. Look, we should be their favorite people and favorite sub-set of the population. We help keep them alive and healthy, and with shiny hair and good skin, because they’re eating all of our ridiculously safe and clean foods that you really can’t get anywhere else in the hemisphere.


*According to the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition’s, “The Vegetarian Food Pyramid,” Vegetarian is a broad term meaning a diet that excludes meat, fish and poultry. Vegans are vegetarians who do not consume any dairy products, eggs or animal flesh.