From 1 to 3 November, the inaugural Plant Based Asia Summit will be hosted virtually with the mission to raise awareness and educate people in the Asia and Pacific region to the many health and environmental benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. 30 speakers will cover trending topics in health and nutrition, food tech, sustainability and fitness. Special sessions including workshops on plant-based cooking and fitness sessions will also be available.
Food Matters Malaysia recently interviewed the following speakers to find out more.
On The First Summit Edition
Angela Jelita, co-founder of Plant-Based Asia Summit
The Why And Event Highlights
Myself and Luke Tan (co-founders) created this event to help people in Asia Pacific live healthier and more sustainable lives. Luke Tan has had much success with his previous event, Plant Fit Summit, which is a US-based, health and fitness focused virtual event that has been running for five years now. We wanted to bring something similar to the Asia Pacific audience, but focusing also on sustainability and food tech, as well as health and nutrition – so Plant-Based Asia Summit was born!
We are expecting well over 1,000 attendees to the first Plant-Based Asia Summit, and numbers could reach as high as 3,000. Attendee data so far shows that over 42% of attendees are over the age of 46. Data also shows that over 32% of attendees follow a whole foods plant-based diet, which is the largest segment, and 17% identify with a flexitarian diet.
Vikas Garg, Founder abillion
Shocking Statistics In Animal Agriculture
A lot of animals are killed by humans every year for food. On land, 100 billion animals, every year. And 2.5 trillion animals from the sea. 100 billion animals are consumed by humans every year. That is more than all humans that have ever lived on earth since the beginning of time. And all of that is happening, every single year. 70% of wildlife on the planet has been destroyed in just the last 50 years.
Impact of animal agriculture on breast cancer in humans
Globally, the incidence of breast cancer is highest in countries with higher consumption rates of beef & dairy, including most countries in North America, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa. Not surprisingly, breast cancer cases are lowest in parts of Asia, Africa and South America where beef & dairy consumption is far lower. Studies in the US have found that in up to 40% of breast cancer cases, blood analysis also shows antibodies to bovine leukemia, which is a cancer that is found in cows.
On Food Tech
Dr. Dalal AlGhawas PhD, Big Idea Ventures
On The Evolution of Novel Foods
Novel foods can be expected to be unique, diverse and very acclimatised to the consumer’s palette. With the emerging revolution of the agri-tech food industry, rising scientific research and advanced technology like Artificial Intelligence/3D food technology, anything is possible. The consumer today is only more health conscious, they desire different variants of food types to be integrated into different parts of their lives at different times; this is now a lifestyle. For example, we have plant-based foods, protein shakes, cooking aids targeting a variety of lifestyle sectors including everyday nutrition, fitness and wellness.
Novel foods is a wider holistic lifestyle choice altogether. Novel foods can be found as plant based foods in minced and simple structured formats and functional ingredients mainly as supplements. Whole cut products still require further research and development, with great proof of concepts being demonstrated around the world. With rigorous regulatory processes, countries focused on food security such as Singapore, UAE and Qatar are adopting novel food certifications rapidly to adopt innovative foods such as cellular agriculture and precision fermentation.
In December 2020 the Singapore Food Agency was the World’s first food safety authority to approve the commercial sale of cell based meat. With limited quantities produced, we expect higher volumes to be produced within the next few years. Other countries in the region with more complex regulatory authorities will face challenges to approve these novel food items and may be slightly delayed to see these items in the market.
Role of Regulatory Bodies On Commercialisation
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is working closely with research and innovation centres such as A*STAR recently established the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) and the Food Innovation Resource Centre (FIRC). Both SIFBI and FIRC boast state of the art research facilities to further enhance the scalability and techno-economic potential of novel foods. They work by developing formulation, processing and packaging recommendations as well as guidelines for pilot plant operations and quality assurance in both the fermentation and cellular agriculture space.
International companies such as EatJust and Perfect Day have partnered with these institutions as a launching pad to enter the Singapore market.
On Plant-Based Cooking
Ania Wojtkowska,Plant-Based Educator, LivingVeggiebyAniaking
A Live Virtual Cooking Workshop
During LivingveggiebyAnia’s virtual cooking class we, together with the other participants, will prepare veggie satay skewers and cauliflower fried rice. Both our dishes are a healthy, modern twist on the local classics. Step by step you will learn how to make vegetables the star of your plate. Our Singapore Specials cooking class is perfect for novice and experienced home cooks, who are looking for cooking inspiration. Let me show you that you do not need to choose between healthy and delicious food. You can have both on the same plate.
Give Virtual Learning A Try
From my perspective as a teacher whose main objective is to ensure that my students are able to recreate recipes after the class, virtual cooking classes are more challenging. I need to ensure that on each step of the recipe, participants have followed it correctly. There is no going back later if they have missed out an ingredient.
From the students I believe there are a lot of benefits. They are cooking in the familiar environment of their own kitchen, using their own utensils and tools. I believe this makes an entire process easier if they want to repeat the dishes after the class. Students gain a deeper familiarity with what it actually feels like to cook well at home.
As all my cooking classes are live – not pre-recorded videos, all students can still ask their questions and interact, so there is still a sense of bonding for the participants.
Visit www.livingveggiebyania to enjoy the experience of virtual cooking classes.
Towards A Healthier and Sustainable Lifestyle
Notable personalities including Dr. Susianto Tseng who produced the first tempeh in powder form, Josh Tetrick from plant-based egg brand Eat Just and radio celebrity Angelique Teo with oat milk based MAD Foods would also be among the keynote speakers.
Tickets are available at https://plantbasedasia.heysummit.com/.
With every ticket purchase, one mangrove tree will be planted and one child in Indonesia will be put through the Saya Pahlawan Lingkungan – The Mariners Ocean Conservation Education program by Indonesia Indah Foundation.
Food Matters Malaysia is a media partner of Plant-Based Asia Summit.