Plant Based World Council Introductions: Nil Zacharias
Nil Zacharias, the dynamic entrepreneur, author, and podcaster, is a driving force in transforming New York City’s food landscape through his innovative venture, Plantega. His journey in the food systems change movement is a compelling tale of awakening, learning, and impactful action.
Zacharias’s path took a decisive turn in 2010. He recounts, “In 2010, I had an awakening of the effect of food on the environment, went down a rabbit hole, and here we are 14 years later.” This realization propelled him on a mission to create meaningful change in the food industry. His journey has been one of continuous learning and adapting. “I’ve learned that you truly have to accept the systems that exist and find ways to create change within those systems,” he reflects.
As the Founder and CEO of Plantega, Zacharias has pioneered a unique model focused on foodservice. Plantega is now in over 50 locations across New York City, offering a turnkey menu for Bodega owners to provide classic bodega-style foods made entirely of plant-based ingredients. This concept has resonated with the local clientele by staying authentic to New York City’s culture. Through partnerships, Plantega supplies ingredients and marketing materials, making the addition seamless for bodega owners. The success of Plantega is a testament to Zacharias’s vision of making plant-based food more accessible and appealing.
Plantega’s influence has extended beyond the streets of New York, gaining recognition on a global platform. The startup and Zacharias were recently featured in the Netflix documentary series “You Are What You Eat”, showcasing their innovative approach to foodservice.
Zacharias is also known for his contributions to the educational media space. He hosts the Eat For The Planet Podcast and co-authored the Eat For The Planet books, spreading awareness and knowledge about the impact of food choices on the environment.
“The journey of learning continues,” says Zacharias, emphasizing his commitment to evolving and expanding his impact in the food system. His work with Plantega is not just about offering plant-based options; it’s about creating a foodservice experience that introduces New Yorkers to delicious, sustainable foods in a recognizable format. Nil Zacharias’s story is a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating how one can embrace existing systems and innovate within them to foster significant change. His efforts in the plant-based food space are a powerful reminder of how entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with a deep understanding of cultural dynamics, can create a lasting impact on both local communities and the environment.