Hi! I’m Stephanie Quilao and welcome to The Flexi 21, a plant-forward food blog about culinary climate action where eating low carbon is °Cool.
I’m an artist, technologist, and hugger. I love to hug people, animals, and trees. I am a former Silicon Valley marketing road warrior turned healthy living and food blogger (now retired), author, independent mobile app publisher, and iPhone food photographer. Mostly, I’m a concerned human about climate change.
I created The Flexi 21 because I felt compelled to do something after learning just how much destruction is being caused by one industry – industrial animal agriculture. It’s time for disruption.
In 2017, I completed my first year meat-free, and am now eat 95% plant-based. So, the Flexi 21 was born, and I am back to blogging this time as an advocate for Mother Nature.
The immediate need is to help stop greenhouse gas emissions caused by industrial animal agriculture to help stop climate change. The bigger vision is to help create a new system of protein and dairy production that does not involve animals. To use a business phrase, it’s time to sunset the factory farm system.
the future of food and climate action
Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Similarly, Alan Kay famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
In order to eliminate our dependence on factory farms for protein which is destroying the environment, accelerating climate change, and contributing to the number one killer of humans, coronary heart disease, we need to create an exit strategy for the factory farm system, and build a new protein production system that eliminates the need for animals and benefits the higher good of all: people, animal, and planet.
Clean Proteins is a whole new sector emerging in the food industry because of climate change and the need to feed a global population heading toward 9 billion which the current factory farm system cannot sustain. The industry is acting like there is unlimited growth potential with finite resources.
I want to be a part of building that new system, and it’s happening now. It’s an exciting time for food technology and product innovation creating meat, dairy, and eggs by eliminating the need for animals. The technologist in me is enthusiastic about all this cool new food tech. Besides posting beautiful recipes and meal ideas of plant-based dishes, I’ll also post about new protein and dairy innovations and news.
The Global Meat Substitute Market is expected to garner a revenue of $5.2 billion by 2020. Billionaires Bill Gates, Li Ka-Shing, and Richard Branson are investing millions in Clean Meat startups. Big Meat companies like Tyson and Cargill who see that the future of protein won’t always include animals are also investing in Clean Meat. As of the summer of 2017, $250 million in venture funding has gone to the “alternative protein space.” In 2017, China signed a $300 million trade agreement with Israel to import lab-grown meats.
The issue: Our animal-rich diets with meat, dairy and eggs raised in factory farms are contributing more greenhouse gas emissions to climate change than our driving and flying. According to the U.N. FAO, industrial animal agriculture contributes to climate change more than all of the transportation sector which includes cars, trains, boats, and airplanes.
Dietary behavior change to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions is most often left out of the climate action conversation. We have to start acknowledging the cow in the room because the numbers are staggering.
- 99% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in Animal Feeding Operations (AFO) aka factory farms
- There are approximately 450,000 AFOs in the United States
- In 2015, 9.2 billion animals were slaughtered in the U.S. for meat (This number does not include seafood)
- Tyson Foods, the largest meatpacker in the U.S, slaughters an average of 125,000 head of cattle per week which is about the human population of Berkeley, CA
- In 2012, factory farm raised livestock produced 369 million tons of manure, which is 13 times as much as the sewage produced by the entire U.S. population.
- In 2016, per capita per year, Americans ate the most meat in the world averaging 214 lbs of meat
Yes, it’s that much. Mind boggling. Something has to be done, now.
From this report by Chatham House, one of the most influential think tanks in the world. “Livestock – Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector: Global Public Opinion on Meat and Dairy Consumption,”Recent analyses have shown that it is unlikely global temperature rises can be kept below two degrees Celsius without a shift in global meat and dairy consumption.”
From the Project Drawdown list, a plant-rich diet is the 4th most substantive solution to global warming.
The purpose of The Flexi 21 is to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by industrial animal agriculture through grassroots culinary climate action by inspiring people to adopt a plant-forward diet.
It’s time to make food a core climate action item.
We consumers have the power to transform the food system into a more conscious one through our economic choices.
we have the power to cool it with climate change
We are nature, but instead we behave like nature is separate from us. Mother Earth and the animals are literally begging us to stop and fix the problem.
Despite president #45 pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, you and I have the power to cool it with the greenhouse gas emissions to help cool down the planet to reach the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the global temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius more, the inspiration for using the symbol for Celsius in our tagline, “Eating low carbon is °Cool.”
this challenge is °Cool
The Flexi 21 challenge is a 21-day low carbon, plant-forward diet challenge based on the Flexitarian diet that prioritizes Clean Proteins, whole foods, and local foods in season. We spotlight what you’re gaining versus losing. Eliminating animals from your diet has become easier more than ever, and I will help show you all the delicious stuff. How cool is that!
Here is full details about The Flexi 21 challenge including our Starter Guides and mobile app.
At The Flexi 21, we help you on your journey with:
- Tips and inspiration to transition to a lower carbon diet
- Meal ideas which include cooking at home and eating out
- Shopping inspiration at farmers markets which we refer to as the Farmacy
- Reviews and news about plant-based and Clean Meat products, brands, and innovation
- Resources for climate action related to food
we got this!
Thank you for your time. Together we can make a difference and mitigate climate change to create a thriving planet that benefits the higher good of all.