Experts weigh in on tradeoffs of plant and animal proteins
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Will plant-based diets save the planet? Is animal protein important for health? Questions continue to swirl around the pros and cons of animal and plant protein-based diets, particularly as accessibility of plant-based alternatives grows and the climate conversation amplifies. The Center for Food Integrity has assembled a diverse panel of experts to offer insights into the tradeoffs during a free webinar, “Experts Weigh In: Evaluating Tradeoffs of Plant and Animal Proteins.”
Scheduled for Monday, April 6, 1 to 2 p.m. CDT, the webinar features three experts in food and agriculture. Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE, a nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist known as The Guilt-Free RD, will discuss the pros and cons of plant-based vs. animal-protein diets. Polly Ruhland, CEO of the United Soybean Board, will provide perspective from a commodity that’s involved in both the animal protein and plant protein spaces. Ruhland will also detail USB’s new “Protein First” approach that encourages industry collaboration across all protein types. Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., is a professor and air quality specialist in cooperative extension in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis, whose focus includes understanding and mitigating air emissions from livestock operations, as well as the implications of these emissions for the health and safety of farm workers and neighboring communities.
CFI CEO Charlie Arnot will outline a three-pronged process as part of CFI’s Optimizing Sustainability program that offers free tools to help the food industry navigate sustainability decisions, as one well-meaning decision can have unintended and significant consequences that actually undermine a sustainable food system.
“A variety of interest groups and other organizations are harnessing the increased interest in the evolving definition of sustainability to capture opportunity or promote a specific agenda,” said Arnot. “As a result, a new and growing challenge is the focus on a single ingredient, process or practice without accounting for the potential impact on the entire food chain.”
Initially, sustainability was primarily focused on protecting environmental resources, but today’s consumers are concerned with a variety of issues, including health and wellness, animal welfare, worker treatment, food waste and more, said Arnot.