Exciting news! Morten Ernst is the CEO of Hong Kong-based egg marketing company Ovotec Limited and has worked in the poultry industry for years. Morten has seen first hand how the food industry is shifting … towards plant-based. Ernst wrote a compelling op-ed for Food Dive where he shared how he believes the future of food will be plant-based, simply because we won’t be able to sustain the world’s growing population otherwise.
“Much of the world’s water use fuels agriculture, including a significant amount for egg production, and water will be an even more precious commodity as we feed billions more in the next 30 years. With rising incomes and urbanization, the appetite for animal-based proteins is climbing, too … We must begin to adopt agricultural practices that greatly reduce environmental impact and embrace newcomers who are exploring plant-based proteins,” Ernst shared.
Ernst points to millennials for driving the change to plant-based foods, as well as the growing trend of major food companies investing in plant-based food. For instance, Tyson Foods, the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, has invested in lab-grown meat company Memphis Meat, as well as plant-based meat company, Beyond Meat. Not only that, but Cargill, one of the world’s largest beef producers, has partnered with North America’s largest pea protein producer. Similarly, the dairy industry has seen a shift. Dean Foods, a major dairy company, recently invested in plant-based company, Good Karma Foods. Goldman Sachs also made an investment in Ripple Foods, makers of pea protein milk.
Ernst sees the change and realizes the industry must adapt: “This trend is also an indication of broader changes occurring in food consumption habits, and we in the food industry need to take notice and adapt.”
Major meat and dairy producers are making a shift into the world of plant-based foods, but there is still a gap in the egg industry. Seeing the need for an egg alternative, Ernst has partnered with food technology company JUST, formerly Hampton Creek, to help fix our broken food system. Ernst will help JUST work on large partnerships with major egg companies to promote their Just Scramble, an all-vegan alternative to scrambled eggs. Now, with Ernst’s aid, JUST will be able to expand their distribution through food service partners throughout the U.S. and Asia.
Just Scramble offers a healthy substitute for eggs, as it contains no antibiotics, no cholesterol, and has similar protein content as that of a hard-boiled chicken egg. JUST estimates that the product will create 24 percent fewer carbon emissions and use 65 percent less water than traditional eggs. In comparison, one single egg requires an average of 53 gallons of water to produce due to the intensive grain feed, drinking, and irrigation.
Thanks to innovative leaders such as Ernst, the egg industry will follow the meat and dairy industries in creating a more sustainable food system focused on plant-based foods.
If you’re curious how your food choices impact the planet, be sure to check out the #EatForThePlanet book!
Image Source: JUST