MN350 is partnering with DefaultVeg to advance plant-rich food access in Minnesota by removing structural barriers that prevent the adoption of plant-rich diets. The goal of this organization is to change social norms and food culture by making GHG-reducing, plant-based food the default, with the option to opt in for GHG-intensive meat and dairy. At MN350, we will be working to empower universities, businesses, large events, and restaurants to make inclusive, sustainable, plant-rich food options the default. Systems change starts with you! If you are interested in helping your school, department, workplace, favorite cafe or restaurant default greener, sign the pledge!
When we think about climate change, we think about solar panels and wind turbines; we don’t think about the food that we eat. But eating meat at every meal is like driving a gas-guzzling car every time you drive. Our food system generates over 30% of total global emissions, and is also a significant contributor to biodiversity loss, deforestation, fresh water use, and land use. Meat and dairy have much higher emissions and use more land than plant-based foods. Food systems transformation is required to meet the Paris Climate targets, and adopting plant-rich diets is the most powerful lever for reducing food systems emissions.
Although a person’s diet is an individual decision, there are many systemic factors that impact those decisions. For example, food cost and food availability are heavily influenced by industry lobbying. Between 2000 and 2019, U.S. meat and dairy companies spent more than $26 million on political campaigns. Compared to the oil industry, Tyson spent more on political campaigns and lobbying than Exxon Mobil per share of revenue. Reducing meat demand reduces the market forces that drive deforestation, agricultural expansion, and the loss of land tenure by women and Indigenous people all over the world. We need ambitious campaigns in every aspect of our food system that make adopting low-emission, plant-rich diets affordable and accessible for everyone.
During our first year as a MN350 working group, the PRD team has developed a database of PRD-related Minnesota organizations, provided feedback for local climate plans, shared many plant-rich recipes, and engaged with our community at the 2021 Twin Cities Veg Fest. See more of what we do below.
The Plant Rich Diet Team meets on alternating Tuesdays from 6:30-8 pm on Zoom. We plan strategic initiatives to build plant-rich food systems and encourage people to eat plant-rich diets. To learn more about any of our work groups or campaigns, email Pat Peschman, our team leader.