You may or may not have heard of Green Monday (as active as you may be in vegan groups on Facebook), but it’s a name doing big things in the plant-based game worldwide. No kidding, it ranked #32 on Fortune’s Change The World List 2020 and PETA Asia’s 2019 Company of the Year.
So, what is Green Monday?
It’s an advocacy platform for plant-based living that began in Hong Kong by David Yeung. Since its birth in 2012, Green Monday has been on a mission towards building a multi-faced global ecosystem of future food, one that combats climate change, food insecurity, public health crisis, planetary devastation, and animal suffering by encouraging a day a week to go vegetarian or vegan — Monday, to be exact.
Very recently, Green Monday has ventured into making its own products. The company has launched OmniMeat in Malaysia, comprising of OmniMeat Mince, OmniMeat Luncheon and OmniMeat Strip. While you can purchase these vegan meat products in supermarkets like Ben’s Independent Grocer, Oliver’s Gourmet, Jaya Grocer, Village Grocer and selected AEON supermarkets, you’ll also find them used in meals at Nourish by Kenny Hills Bakers and Botanica+Co.
Prestige Malaysia speaks to David — named the “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the World Economic Forum and Schwab Foundation — to find out more about the movement not just in Malaysia, but across the globe.
Green Monday Group was founded with the vision to “Make Change Happen, Make Green Common”. It is the pioneer in Asia to launch a large scale plant-based movement by advocating flexitarian lifestyle. The Group comprises Green Monday Holdings, the operational arm producing and distributing plant-based food products in Asia and beyond, Green Monday Ventures, the impact investment arm dedicated to supporting and accelerating growth of mission-aligned entrepreneurs and start-ups globally and Green Monday Foundation, the non-profit arm advocating sustainable plant-based living through community initiatives.
Green Monday Holdings comprises OmniFoods and Green Common: OmniFoods is a food tech company with a Canadian-based R&D team creating its own range of alternative protein food products including OmniMeat, OmniMeat Luncheon, OmniMeat Strip and OmniEat; Green Common is a one-stop plant-based platform combining retail, distribution and dining service in over 10 markets, empowering communities in Asia and beyond with sustainable, innovative and wholesome food choices.
Back in 2006, I was shocked when I read the United Nations’ report on the negative impact from the meat industry. That was also the year when Al Gore released the “Inconvenient Truth” documentary. As a vegetarian for over 20 years, I thought people must know this information, as this is related to the collective survival of humanity on the planet. Yet back in those days the awareness of the correlation between sustainability and food, particular meat consumption, was non-existent. So in 2012, I just said to myself this could not wait any longer, and decided to kick off both Green Monday the mission-driven venture and the plant-based movement.
Physically, I feel great. Simply by eliminating processed meat from my diet, it means I take it less junk (and carcinogenic!) food. More importantly, by incorporating a balanced rainbow diet plus the new innovative plant protein products, I am getting all the nutrition I need while lowering any burden created for my body. Emotionally, many people have the experience that switching to plant-based leads to calmer personality, which I echo. I feel more at peace with myself and the universe. Mentally, I am a strong believer that mindful eating will spill over to holistic mindful living. Compassion and kindness become not just ideals but action.
We are seeing an acceleration of demand in Asia towards plant-based food as general public have a growing concern regarding the environmental impact and sustainability of the livestock industry, and they are now seeking a safer and healthier alternatives in the wake of the COVID outbreak.
Change is not an option, but a must. With the world population quickly approaching 9 to 10 billion, with climate change situation fully deteriorating, with pandemics and viruses wreaking havoc, we are seeing massive global awakening. Millennials and Gen Z are already turning plant-based in a big way.
One of the biggest challenges was to learn the various cooking applications and test how OmniMeat would perform when creating the products. . But we are blessed with a very experienced food scientist R&D team who have Asian background and understand how Asians apply meat in cooking differently.
Well, I see the world switching more towards sustainable living and diet, and I don’t see any reason why Malaysia won’t be a part of that.
Vegans/vegetarians are natural targets given they are already looking for plant-based options. But the real growth is from the meat-eaters who are aspiring to eat healthier, many of them millennials and Gen Zs. Plant-based innovations such as OmniMeat provides a range of new ingredients that did not exist before. It is like giving a painter a new colour that he or she can play with.
“Green Monday” is a movement, a new lifestyle, a new mindset. We want to encourage everyone to start by going plant-based one day a week. Just like in most metropolis, taste, convenience, trendiness and affordability are the factors that will include what people decide to eat and consume. Hence, we are also providing solutions –tasty and nutritious products that not only cater to plant-based diets but also appeal to the meat-eaters. After providing an approachable (and delicious) solution to plant-based eating, we found the general public began to cultivate their own understanding of the benefits of reducing meat consumption – not only for their own wellbeing but for the health of the planet.
(All images: Green Monday)