I teamed up with local plant-based food company Earth’s Own to talk about our mutual favourite subject: eating more plants! I see responsible business as an integral part of reforming our broken food system, along with conscientious consumption (by those who can) and responsive government. As I wrote on Earth’s Own’s blog:
It all works together: companies create products that solve, rather than create, problems. Consumers change social norms by collectively spending our dollars in alignment with our values. And governments solidify our shared values by creating regulations and policies to support a thriving society.
We can’t change our food system without the cooperation of food businesses, big and small. Earth’s Own gets bonus points in my books for centring their marketing around educating people on the benefits of eating more plants, period, not simply their own products. (I also love that they support food justice non-profit initiatives, such as Growing Chefs in Vancouver, which teaches kids how to grow and cook vegetables, and Green Thumbs in Toronto, which provides community gardens for low-income families.)
On the topic of eating more plants, we made a little video about why we see that as a good thing, if you’d like to check it out (it’s also on Earth’s Own’s social media):
Finally, I fell a tiny bit in love with the Earth’s Own team in the course of this collaboration, so I asked a few of them if I could interview them for my blog. Here’s a peek inside the minds and hearts of a few of these fierce ladies who walk their talk.
Brittany Hull is Earth’s Own’s director of marketing, responsible for driving the brand’s mission through advertising, sampling, community partnerships, packaging, innovation, digital content and execution.
Robyn Skinner is Earth’s Own’s brand manager, AKA the plant-based connector. Her main role is to get more people eating more plants. She helps to lead brand strategy, product innovation and the day-to-day channel execution.
Jamieson McCormack is a freelance creative lead and social media consultant with Earth’s Own. She helps manage the brand’s voice and visual identity, and posts unique and creative content on social media
On changing their diets:
Brittany: I had no plans to become plant-based and it kind of caught me by surprise. When I came to Earth’s Own, I had trouble understanding why plant-based milk was really better than dairy. So I dug deep. I began to understand that our current way of eating was completely unsustainable and I was just adding to the problem. I realized that I needed to make conscious changes to my diet, to be enlightened and demonstrate change through where I spent my (and my family’s) dollars.
Robyn: I remember watching National Geographic’s Documentary “Before The Flood” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and it was the first time I really thought about what I could do to help create environmental change based on what I ate. For me, it was realizing that I could make a difference by eating more plants and reducing dairy. It started slow by cutting out red meat, then milk and butter and eventually moving to being mostly plant-based.
Jamieson: Eight years ago, I was in my early 20s, addicted to the gym, and a new student at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN). I was bright eyed and beautifully naive when it came to our agricultural system. However, it was impossible to remain in the dark at CSNN—although they don’t push a plant-based agenda, they aren’t shy around discussing the reality of animal agriculture, and they’re champions for how healthful plants are for our body. After years of being a protein-worshipping gym-goer, suddenly transitioning animal products out of my diet seemed like an obvious no-brainer.
On embracing imperfection:
Brittany: I’m still learning. I am not a perfect vegan but I’m not trying to be. I try a new ingredient or new recipe and it gets me further along the spectrum. Vegan rice bowls with tahini dressing are part of my weekly menu repertoire. I tried cashew cream sauce for the first time last week and I’ll do it again. The intimidation factor is waning and I’m getting more confident.
Robyn: For me it really is about reducing my footprint and thinking about where my food actually comes from. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying to be deliberate and not blind to the climate impacts that are happening around the world.
Jamieson: The way we treat animals really f*cking sucks. We owe them our awareness. Not our perfection—however, we do owe them, at the very least, our attention. Am I a perfect vegan? No. But I'm not an advocate for perfection. I think it's going to take all of us doing it 50 percent of the time rather than some of us doing it 100 percent of the time.
On working to make plant-based eating more accessible to all of us:
Brittany: There are no words to describe how grateful I am to get to work on this brand and this mission. I would work for free (don’t tell my bosses!) It warms my heart when I see people in the store read the on pack copy (where we talk about the reasons to eat plant-based) and put the pack in their cart. I know we are changing minds.
Robyn: I LOVE my work! We are all about creating plant-based change and making a positive impact within our communities. My personal motivation comes from knowing that I’m making a difference, and in this role I truly feel that every single day.
Jamieson: I am so grateful I am able to work with companies who align with my own personal values. It’s so important to me to work to support a plant-based future, so we can protect our planet and all the creatures who call it home.
Huge thank you to Earth’s Own for financially and otherwise supporting me and my work. I only partner with companies whose missions and products I genuinely stand behind.