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Heather Mills on why you don’t believe in climate change if you’re not vegan

She healed completely by becoming vegan over 25 years ago following an accident that cost her her leg. We met Heather Mills at Seeds&Chips, where she told us about her pioneering food company VBites.

Heather Mills is a multi-talented former model, media personality, speaker, activist, entrepreneur and the fastest disabled female skier in the world, setting the record at over 160 kilometres per hour. She participated in the food and innovation summit Seeds&Chips 2019, held in the Italian city of Milan from 6 to 9 May, with her business hat on, as the founder and owner of VBites, company that has been producing plant-based alternatives to meat, fish and dairy since she pioneered this model over a quarter of a century ago, following the accident in which she lost a limb.

Going vegan allowed her to heal completely, avoiding further amputations, so she decided to share her experience with the world by making this type of diet accessible to consumers. “Being raw vegan was impossible in cold England, so I started to make vegan burgers, vegan fish, vegan chorizo, everything. On a soya base, then a coconut base, then an algae base – over 26 years we became the largest 140-product meat, dairy and fish-free company in the world”.

Read more: Plant based alternatives attract investment from meat producers

 

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An extremely successful venture (Mills cites “960 per cent growth in the last three years”) that has developed many vegan products, from food to makeup and shoes, to cater to people’s needs as well as their desire to safeguard their health and that of the planet. These products are increasingly appetising for investors in today’s market and in the future “the movement, as long as the food is brilliant and you replace like for like, will just boom completely,” Mills forecasts. But this hasn’t always been the case. “I wrote about climate change 20 years ago, where we would be at and what needs to happen, when nobody was listening,” she continues, a clear reference to her role in shedding the spotlight on topics, such as our food system being one of the principles causes of global warming, which many of us take for granted nowadays.

In fact, the intrinsic connection between the choices we make surrounding nutrition, who grows our food, as well as how this is cultivated and distributed with the environmental degradation the world is facing on so many fronts is so strong – and obvious – according to Mills that “if you’re not vegan, you don’t believe in climate change”.

Read more: How agriculture and climate change are related: causes and effects

heather mills interview seeds&chips 2019 milan italy food vegan vbites
Heather Mills at Seeds&Chips 2019 being interviewed at the LifeGate stand © Luigi Zanni

Seeds&Chips 2019

Seeds&Chips is the most important international summit on the topic of innovation in food. It is held annually in the Italian city of Milan during Milano Food City, a week dedicated to the world of food, agriculture and nutrition borne out of the heritage left by the Expo 2015 World Fair, whose theme was “Feeding the plant, energy for life”. This year Seeds&Chips took place between 6 and 9 May, at Fiera Milano Rho. LifeGate was media partner to the event with the aim of giving voice to speakers, policymakers, NGOs, startups and companies in the debate around one of the most pressing challenges of our time: feeding a growing world population sustainably. Comment posts with the hashtag #SaC19. Thanks to BWT Italia.

Featured image © Luigi Zanni
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