#11 Meatless Momentum

Slowly but surely, meat and dairy are on the decline in some parts of Europe. Some of us have by now figured out we need to drastically reduce our consumption of foods that contribute considerably to the deterioration of the environment. And then there’s the animal suffering, not to mention the health issues. Whereas the world of plant-based products once used to be relegated to treehuggers and stuffy cornershops, now snazzy start-ups, big fast food chains, and the meat and dairy industry are jumping on board. Is the introduction of big money something we should be suspicious about, or is every step forward a good step?

Anna Åhnberg

Sustainability Specialist at Oatly Malmö, 🇸🇪 Sweden

When Swedish scientists were looking for an alternative to cow’s milk for people suffering from lactose intolerance in the early 90’s, they eventually stumbled upon oats. Oatly, the company they founded is still very much alive and kicking today, and a poster child for hip plant-based foods. We gave Anna a call, their sustainability specialist, to talk about their story, challenges and opportunities.

Tobias Leenaert

Vegan strategist 🇧🇪 Belgium

A man with quite a career in the plant-based world, Tobias first founded EVA, the Belgian vegetarian organisation many years ago. Nicknamed the Vegan Stragegist, he is now a meta-activist, coaching and training others on how to create a vegan world. That’s also the title to his book, but his pragmatic approach also has some opponents…

Kaline van Halder

Co-founder Meet Jack Amsterdam, 🇳🇱 Netherlands

Born in the Philippines, Kaline had a jackfruit tree in her backyard. Little did she know that she would one day run a company on the other side of the world, called Meet Jack, that makes meat alternatives based on the tropical fruit. Hear how that works, and how they’re building bridges between the plant-based world and the meat industry.

Additional notes & links

  • Big Milk is in decline, here’s America’s largest milk producer filing for bankruptcy back in November 2019.
  • Two great examples of meat companies investing in plant-based products: First there’s Vion, who are turning a beef processing facility into a dedicated vegan meat factory. And then there’s Bolscher, who have to admit they can’t see a future in meat alone, and who are now working with Meet Jack.
  • Here’s what a ripe jackfruit looks like:
  • A super interesting topic that we didn’t really have time to discuss, is cultured meat. Here’s two links to get you started, one from The Guardian, and one from Forbes.


🎵 All music by Lennart Schoors, except:
Lee Rosevere – Here’s Where Things Get Interesting
Lee Rosevere – Not Alone
Lee Rosevere – We’ll Figure it Out Together
Hey Lunar – Shroud
Lee Rosevere – Curiousity
Makeup and Vanity Set – Running
Lee Rosevere – Keeping Stuff Together
Laxcity – Your Own Company
Junior State – Paw Prints