The debate was moderated by Tamar Haspel, Washington Post columnist and oyster farmer, who said: “There’s a case to be made that improving human health and environmental health doesn’t come through more fruit and vegetables but through better processed foods.”
However, according to John O’Brien, professor and former chief executive officer of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, it is not incompatible to have health people, animals, planet and a healthy business. A number of companies are preparing for this future by improving their products and their environmental footprint already, he said.
“I wouldn’t be so defeatist to say we can’t improve fruit and vegetable consumption. It has been done in other companies, the proof of principle is there. Equally, clean label is not bad. It is promising a lot more than it has delivered potentially but it has also driven a lot of valuable innovations.”