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2017 Year End Reflections: Goodbye to Meat

1985. I was 9 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 TV when the pundit on DR said something infuriating, since they couldn’t change the channel — we only had one channel in Denmark at the time. 

Back then, Dad brought us along to demonstrations in front of the Danish Parliament when things needed to change. 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, people in the world died because they couldn’t get food on the table. The world was unequal. And it still is today, but now people don’t often die of hunger — they die of lifestyle diseases caused by too much of the wrong foods. And, according to Worldwatch Institute, the consequences of Western food habits constitute the number one climate challenge — the second biggest if you ask the United Nations. In 1985, the developing world suffered alone. Today, in the Western world, we partly pay the price in the form of shorter lives, while the world 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 your entire life. But we have less and less time to cook. That’s why, just before Christmas of last year, we decided to cook for you on the days you don’t have time to do it yourself. We were cautious, even afraid, to go out on a limb. Only one of the four selections we offered was vegetarian, while the other dishes contained no more than 20 percent 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.

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 Greger and films like Cowspiracy had etched a deep impression in our minds. So 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 our world while also reducing the climate footprint of our food by about 60 percent, according to conservative estimates. We knew that the daily action of moving to a plant-focused diet held the potential to become our generation’s greatest contribution to ourselves and the generations to come. 

We were still afraid, but we could no longer lie to ourselves. There was no doubt! As of November 1, we said goodbye to meat and welcome to a flourishing world of plants and flavors. We have Rasmus Kliim and Anders Vald in the kitchen. Together they have opened Michelin-starred restaurants in Denmark and around the world and have headed product development for an array of leading Danish food innovators. And now they can’t wait to unleash a world of flavorful plant-based dishes for all of you. It’s 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 in pursuit of a singular mission: put plants front and center on our collective menu. Simple Feast is driven by the goal of making life better for you and your children, and the planet we all share. 

Flavor will be at the heart of everything. Every dish will be 100 percent organic, free of additives, free of antibiotics, free of preservatives, and packaged in sustainable, compostable materials. As we embark on this journey into the wonderful world of plants and flavor, we’ll undoubtedly have some missteps. When we do, we hope you’ll help us become even better with honest feedback, both positive and negative. 

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 yours.

Jakob

Co-founder and CEO, Simple Feast

Dec 31, 2017