New non-governmental organization Balanced will launch this Monday with the mission of bringing more plant-based options to consumers. Balanced Executive Director Audrey Sanchez—the former vice president of education at animal-rights organization Mercy for Animals (MFA)—plans to pressure major food companies to shift their focus away from animal products and toward the development of plant-based foods. The health-focused non-profit will operate on the principle that many consumers simply make choices based on what is offered to them, selecting from store shelves and restaurant menus that often do not provide plant-based options. “Behavioral scientists have long known the fastest way to change a person’s behavior is to change their environment,” Sanchez tells VegNews. Balanced is supported by an impressive team of advisors that includes vegan medical doctor Michael Greger, MFA’s Executive Vice President Nick Cooney, food startup Lighter co-founder Alexis Fox, Humane Society of the United States Senior Food Policy Director Kristie Middleton, and animal protection organization The Humane League’s Executive Director Dave Coman-Hidy. “At this point, the facts are clear,” Sanchez says. “Overconsumption of animal products is leading to a public health crisis, and frankly, too many people are experiencing unnecessary diseases and premature death as a result.” Michael Greger, MD, says that Balanced comes at a pivotal time. “Balanced is positioned to help make healthier foods available to millions of people,” Greger tells VegNews, “It’s one of the most exciting things happening right now and [I] can’t wait to see them rock the world!”
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