A check-in conversation with Pierre Weill, a world-leading researcher and practitioner when it comes to nutrient density and food and co-founder of Bleu-Blanc-Coeur, the largest certification body in the world focusing on the quality of food, about the latest scientific developments, research on animal protein and vegetable nutrient density, and more.
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
This episode is part of the Nutrient Density in Food series!
This series is supported by the A Team Foundation, who support food and land projects that are ecologically, economically and socially conscious. They contribute to the wider movement that envisions a future where real food is produced by enlightened agriculture and access to it is equal. The A Team are looking to make more investments and grants in the space of bionutrients. You can find out more on ateamfoundation.org.
There’s no better person to talk to on the latest science, consumer interest and how to build a movement around on nutrient density that Pierre Weill, co-founder of the non-profit organization Bleu-Blanc-Coeur, who created a certification program, paying farmers more for better quality food. Starting with the simple (but very complex) concept: farmers hold the key to our health and if we don’t change the practices in the field we need to find chemical medicines.
RESEARCHING NUTRIENTS IN VEGETABLES IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN ANIMAL PROTEIN
Pierre’s perspective is that by definition is more tricky to research around the nutrient density of vegetables. They first did the trials to see what they have to check and measure, what is nutrient density of vegetables, of a fruit, of a grain, etcetera.
“The plant is fed by the sun first, and after it took the energy from the sun, it puts the energy in the soil, and all the microbiology of the soil. Using this energy provides nutrients to the plant, in general the nutrient density of the plant is related to the clorofila synthesis. The way the plant catches energy from the sun, gives to the soil, and then from the quality of the soil. And a lot of things happen in the soil. It’s quite more complicated than feeding cows with, for instance, grass compared to the way a tomato is fed in this kind of soil compared to another kind of soil. It’s more tricky.” – Pierre Weill
WHAT ABOUT METHANE?
According to Pierre, ten years ago, those in the dairy industry argued that the greenhouse gas emissions from cows were not their concern, but now they acknowledge it as their problem and are more interested in finding solutions.
“When I discussed it 20, 10 years ago the people on the dairy side… I said, ‘it’s very important to decrease the methane and the greenhouse gas emissions from the cows’, nobody knew that cows have a responsibility for greenhouse gas, nobody knew what is methane, etcetera. Now they know, and now they understand that they have to do things to improve things.” – Pierre Weill
“I think we have the solution, not only us, but on the scientific side, they have a lot of solutions. And now we just have to implement it. And I think again if you only say to a consumer, you have to buy this milk because the cows that produce this meal decrease the methane emission by 20%. Okay, we will not buy it, only two or three. But if you say it is better for your health, you will probably buy it.” – Pierre Weill
WHOLEMEAL RESEARCH IS THE HOLY GRAIL
In Pierre’s opinion, we have very good specialists in the oxidation of the tomato, very good specialists who focus on inflammation in milk. Bringing all these different areas together is something that needs to be done. Making a relation with the health of the soil and the animals and the plants.
“That’s the reason I want to do that at the end of my career and to do a clinical trial with the whole meal. Because of the relationship between the animal and vegetal side, the relationship between the inflammatory process and antioxidant process is huge.” – Pierre Weill
OTHER POINTS DISCUSSED:
Koen and Pierre also talked about
- Animal protein vs. plant protein
- The connection between the yield and the soil
- Is there more discussion on quality vs quantity in the scientific world?
- Pierre Weill on selling 2b euro a year of animal protein as anti inflammatory food
- Pierre’s interview with John Kempf
- John Kempf, what would he do with a 1 billion dollar investment fund?
- John Kempf – Forget about soil, Focus on plant health instead
- Dan Kittredge – Making farmers focus on nutrient dense food
- Dan Kittredge on why our biggest lever against climate change is paying for food quality
- Nutrient Density in Food series
Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.
Join the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food newsletter on www.eepurl.com/cxU33P
The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.