Food Industry Leaders Discuss Importance of Eating Plant-Based Foods

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Karlsen says small, incremental changes can have an impact Karlsen says small, incremental changes can have an impact

Dozens of people gathered at the University of Virginia on Thursday afternoon to focus on how eating plant-based foods can help fight against climate change.

Roughly 50 food industry leaders were on hand to talk about ways to make changes when it comes to consuming plant-based foods.

Some of the organizations that were represented on Thursday, November 29, ranged from universities, hospitals, schools, and restaurants from across the region.

Organizers say the food that we eat is increasingly being recognized as a cause of climate change.

Forward Food says plant-based foods have less of an economic footprint, and can help save a few animals from what they call a “lifetime of suffering.”

“They can make change one step at a time, and, really, like I said before, incremental change - you can do one thing, add in one meal a week, and you'll have a pretty big impact on the planet if you start eating more plant-based,” Regan Karlsen, the food and nutrition coordinator at Forward Food, said.

Aside from climate change, organizers with Forward Food say a plant-based diet has also shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Forward Food will host a culinary training with the University of Virginia in January to help incorporate more plant-based foods.