Plant-based food as part of the solution and driving a Sustainable Diet

ENSA reaction to EAT-Lancet Commission report 

18 January 2019

The European Plant-based Foods Association (ENSA) welcomes the EAT-Lancet report and its cut-through recommendations for feeding people healthily while protecting the planet. Current dietary trends, combined with projected population growth, will increase risks to people and the planet. A transformation to healthy diets from sustainable food systems is vital.

Since our establishment in 2003, we have been raising awareness about the role of plant-based products in moving towards more sustainable food production and consumption patterns. We are thrilled to see this recognition in the EAT-Lancet report that plant-based diets, such as vegetarian, flexitarian, or pescatarian diets, promote low risk of major chronic disease and overall wellbeing. The reference diet includes for example an intake of 0 to 50g soybeans per day which would give approximately up to 20g of protein per day. As an example, 1 glass of 200 ml soy drink per day or 1 serving of soya-based alternative to yogurt provide about 10g protein.

An increasing shift toward more plant-based diets will also enable food production to stay within environmental limits. The EAT-Lancet report  estimates that while ambitious changes in food production practices and major reduction of food loss and waste could induce limited reduction of  greenhouse-gas emissions in 2050, only a global switch to primarily plant-based diets could reduce GHGE enough to comply with the Paris agreement on Climate change.¹ Adopting more ambitious levels of production improvements in combination with dietary shifts and reductions in food loss and waste would also result in a contraction of cropland use.

In line with the recommendations of the EAT-Lancet report, we believe the transition to more plant-based diets should be supported by policies and practices encouraging production of nutritious and sustainable plant-based foods, and nudging consumers toward dietary shifts.

¹The Lancet. Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. January, 2019

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About ENSA

ENSA was established in January 2003 as the voice of natural soyfoods producers in Europe. As the plant-based food category has grown in size but also in diversity, ENSA too has followed the market evolution to become the plant-based foods association. Our members produce plant-based alternatives to dairy and meat, including drinks (based on soy, rice, oats, almond, coconut etc), alternatives to other dairy products (alternatives to yogurt, desserts, creams, ice creams, margarine, cheese) and meat alternatives (tofu, tempeh, seitan, burgers, ready meals etc).

ENSA is an association of internationally operating companies, ranging from large corporations to small, family-owned businesses with an annual turnover close to €1 billion. Since its establishment, ENSA has been raising awareness about the role of soy and a plant-based diet in moving towards more sustainable food production and consumption patterns.

For more information about ENSA, please visit www.ensa-eu.org or contact the Secretariat.

ENSA Secretariat
Rue du Luxembourg 22-24
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 761 66 72
Email: secretariat@ensa-eu.org
Website: www.ensa-eu