2017 end of year reflections
1985. I was nine years old when Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote “We are the World”.
The song blasted from the stereo in the hippie-inspired home of my childhood as the adults engaged in heated political discussions and threw their shoes at the television when the pundit on DR said something infuriating, since they couldn’t change the channel – we only had one television channel in Denmark at the time.
Back then, dad took us along to demonstrations in front of the Danish Parliament when something had to change. We had something to fight for.
Back then, I lived on a fruit orchard in the countryside and mom was always on the hunt for organic and biodynamic products.
Back then, most people in the world died of hunger because they couldn’t get food on the table. The world was unequal. The world still is today, but now most people don’t die of hunger – they die of unnecessary lifestyle diseases caused by too much of the wrong food. Meanwhile, our Western food habits constitute the number one climate challenge according to Worldwatch – or the second biggest if you ask the UN.
In 1985, the Global South paid the price alone. Today we pay a portion of the price in the form of shorter lives, while the Global South suffers one climate disaster after another.
We originally founded Simple Feast to inspire people to make more food at home. A meal shared with family or friends may be our most primordial tradition as humans, and it’s the most important act for your health throughout life. But we have less and less time to cook.
That’s why, just before Christmas last year, we decided to cook for you on the days you don’t have time to do it yourself. We were afraid. I was afraid. Afraid to go out on a limb. That’s why only one of the four selections was vegetarian, while our other dishes contained no more than 20% meat. We thought: “If we can just make a small change, it would be better for our health and our world.” As I said, we were afraid.
But we knew what food we should be making. We had read far too much to not know. Books like “How Not to Die” by Michael Gregor and films like “Cowspiracy” had long since etched a deep impression in our minds, as had conversations with leading doctors and nutrition experts, not to mention hundreds of well-documented studies published in the leading international medical journals.
We knew that a plant-focused diet would turn the tide of most lifestyle diseases plaguing the world, while also reducing the climate footprint of our food by about 60% according to conservative estimates. We knew that this one daily action – by itself – holds the potential to become our generation’s greatest contribution to ourselves and the generations to come.
We are still afraid, but we can no longer lie to ourselves and we are no longer in doubt. As of November 1, we will be saying goodbye to meat and welcome to a flourishing world of plants and flavors. We have Rasmus Kliim and Anders Vald at the controls in the kitchen. Together they have opened Michelin-starred restaurants in Denmark and abroad, and have headed product development for an array of leading Danish food innovators. They stand on the shoulders of giants in the Danish and international gourmet world, and they can’t wait to unleash a world of plants and flavor for all of you. Everyday food in a brand new way.
We have teamed this dynamic duo with nutrition experts and technology fanatics – in other words, the rest of the team behind Simple Feast. We are food enthusiasts from seven countries, striving together in pursuit of a singular mission to put plants front and center on our collective menu. We are driven by making life better for you and your children – and the planet we all share.
Flavor will be at the heart of everything – and, of course, every dish will be 100% organic, free of additives, free of antibiotics, free of conservatives and packaged in sustainable, compostable materials. As we embark on this journey into the wonderful world of plants and flavor, we’ll undoubtedly make some missteps along the way. But when we do, we hope you’ll help us become even better. We hope that you’ll be a part of shaping this journey by giving us feedback – positive, negative and, above all, honest.
There comes a time in every generation when we have to take action. That time is now. Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie’s message has never been more relevant. We only have one life and one world. This is our battle, our time, our contribution. Let’s do our best, together.
On behalf of the Simple Feast team, from our hearts to you.
Jakob, Co-founder and CEO, Simple Feast