“What’s Wrong with The Meat on Our Plates?“
When we think of the causes of the human environmental impacts, we tend to tie them to fossil fuel-powered vehicles, power plants and overexploitation of the natural resources. While they are the major oppressors to the environment, we cannot overlook the destructive impacts of the livestock industry. According to the FAO(*), the livestock industry accounts for 14.5% of Greenhouse Gas emissions in the world, which equates to more than that of all our cars, trucks, trains and planes combined. With the industry’s intense resource exploitation in nature, it is responsible for 20 – 33% of all freshwater consumption in the world, and the energy efficiency of animal products such as meat and dairy are rated one of the lowest among food and beverage products.
Not only does the industry significantly affect the environment, there goes a long list of its impact on human society and animal welfare as well. It is reported that factory farming is the birthplace of a number of animal-to-human diseases; antibiotic-resistance bacteria are commonly found in livestock products. In addition, history tells us that the wealthier people become, the more they demand animal products. With a rapidly-growing global population and the expanding middle-class demanding more proteins than ever, “how do we feed the world?” is a question that needs urgent solutions.
Furthermore, animal agriculture factories, which frequently employ workers undocumented in some regions of the world, are ill-famed for the unfair working conditions including a lack of safety measures and the exposure to hazardous tools and chemicals. These often result in long-term physical and mental health problems for the workers.
Issues in animal welfare are not new to this industry either; inadequate housings, extremely dense populations, practices like trimming and cutting of beaks, horns and other body parts, genetic modification and hormone injections all contribute to the alarming level of exploitation to farm animals. Those problems do not come from one party but from the complex workings of entities in the supply chain.
Green Monday Group began its journey as a non-profit organization back in 2012 to fight against climate change and global food insecurity by promoting plant-based eating and environmental protection. It started in Hong Kong, and it now expands its activities in a total of 30 countries and regions in the world including the US, the UK, Singapore and mainland China fueled by the record-breaking USD 70 million funding round. Their food tech arm, “OmniFoods”, develops healthier alternatives to conventionally animal-based products which supports the transition to a more plant-based lifestyle, embracing the idea of accommodating different diets and cuisines that are kinder to all beings and the planet.
What is most unique about the brand is that its product development emphasises on the Asian food culture and cooking applications in the industry dominated by the companies with products of Western influences. With its high-profile food service and retail partners including McDonald’s, Starbucks, 7-Eleven and WholeFoods, it has an estimated 40,000 points of sales across 20 countries and regions. One of the most recent milestones of the brand is the OmniSeafood Series Launch with Starbucks’s Hong Kong; it is the first time that the coffee shop chain introduced alternative seafood to its menu.
The much anticipated official launch of OmniFoods in Japan took place in January 2021, with its flagship meat analogue’s introduction to the growing domestic market of alternative meat. In response to the record-high health concerns among Japanese consumers fueled by the pandemic, OmniMince’s healthier profile than conventional meats is well-accepted by the end consumer with higher health awareness and foodservice providers looking for a health-conscious and vegan-friendly substitute. As of November 2021, it has over 100 points of sales in Japan, and global hotel chains and specialty stores are among many that pioneers further introduction of plant-based options to the masses. Soon expecting new additions to the current line-up, OmniFoods’ future development in Japan is not to be missed.
The food tech arm, “OmniFoods”
The dine and shop food service and distribution arm, “Green Common”
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Tackling climate change through livestock. [Rome] :FAO, 2013 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Sustainability and Organic Livestock [Rome] :FAO, 2014 World Animal Protection, accessed 11 November 2021,
– Green Monday Global site – https://greenmonday.org/en/
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