About Plant Futures
The demand for plant-based foods has surged in recent years in response to changing tastes and the growing awareness of the detrimental effects that industrialized animal agriculture has on planetary and human health. Industrial animal agriculture is a leading contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and one of the “most catastrophic practices on our planet”, according to the United Nations. Additionally, animal products are associated with record-high rates of diet-related chronic disease in the U.S. and outbreaks of infectious disease.
People can drastically improve their own health, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and mitigate the public health consequences of industrial animal agriculture by altering their diet and eating patterns. These changes will have profound positive improvements for the environment, and reduce the probabilities of future pandemics. During recent years, consumers and businesses have shifted to more sustainable food options in response to health concerns, and wasteful and destructive practices in the food industry.
Plant Futures is an innovative and student-led two-part initiative featuring the Plant Futures Symposium, an energizing and exciting single weekend series of expert talks and networking opportunities open to the public, and the Plant Futures Innovation Challenge Lab, in which students have the opportunity to engage in a direct hands-on learning experience on a project with the mentorship of leading plant based industry partners. Plant Futures is a unique collaboration of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, Public Health, Engineering, and the Berkeley Food Institute.