It’s really no secret that the food industry is shifting. We’re seeing a rise in conscious consumers who are well-informed about how what they eat impacts their health – and increasingly, the health of the environment as well – and they are demanding better products. The plant-based food sector has benefited enormously from this shift, filling the need for around one-third of Americans who are actively looking to leave meat and dairy off their plates.

In the past few years alone, the plant-based food industry has managed to top $5 billion in sales (just in the U.S.), and countless innovative companies and products have joined this burgeoning market. Naturally, since this sector is a direct counter to the mammoth meat and dairy industries, companies that make plant-based products have been subjected to a fair amount of challenges.

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We need only look to the Dairy Pride Act that aims to ban dairy-free products from using the respective labels of “milk,” “cheese,” or “yogurt,” to see the depths that the dairy lobby is willing to go to cut-off competition. On top of that, plant-based food producers are not gifted with the same (extremely high) subsidies that keep the cost of meat and dairy down, and they have to fight one another to even get placed on grocery store shelves.

Luckily, Michele Simon, a public health lawyer who has been researching and writing about the food industry and food politics for years, noticed the challenges in the plant-based food sector and stepped in with a solution: The Plant Based Foods Association, a trade group with the goal of leveling the playing field. As the Executive Director of the Association, Michele has helped unite over 80 companies and strengthen the plant-based space.

In the latest episode of the #EatForThePlanet podcast with Nil Zacharias, Nil and Michele get into the multitudinous problems facing companies in the space and addresses what the Plant Based Foods Association is doing to combat these issues and further the success of companies producing healthy, sustainable, plant-based foods.

Increasingly, we’re seeing that the future of food is plant-based, so listen to this episode to learn how Michele intends to help make that possible.

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You can listen to the full episode on the following platforms: iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher.

If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast for new episodes with food industry leaders, health, and sustainability experts, as well as entrepreneurs and creative minds who are redefining the future of food.