Our Wicked Healthy Interview Series features individuals who are making a big impact in the plant-based world and beyond. Today we’re featuring Roann Ghosh, Founder and Creative Director of Greener TV!
Whether you eat meat, have recently reduced your meat consumption or are completely meat-free and on the plant pushing path (wicked high-five!), there is no denying that animal agriculture practices have a proven and significant impact on the environment, our health and animal welfare. These types of impacts are becoming more and more visible through mainstream media and, while these facts are irrefutable, meat consumption still remains high. While some people want to reduce or quit meat altogether, they simply lack the motivation or resources to help support that effort.
That’s where plant-based social media channels, blogs and videos can play a big role. The opportunity to change minds and attitudes about meat consumption and plant-based alternatives is vast, and there are lots of ways to position it. We do it through delivering no-nonsense, wicked healthy recipes that anyone can make, because we believe that the answer is always right in front of you—sometimes you just need to shift your perception, and we’re here to make that easy for you! Following a plant-based diet is delicious and easy …. plus, it’s good to know that this choice also supports positive benefits to your health, the environment and the animals.
We know that this message can be presented in a lot of other different and effective ways, and there is a ton of creativity out there to help make change happen. One of those initiatives is Greener TV, founded and directed by London-based Roann Ghosh. This new but intriguing force communicates a message of adopting a healthier, plant-based lifestyle by using pop culture aimed at the millennial and generation Z audiences. Published weekly and in a video format, Greener TV wants to show their audience in an empowering, entertaining and inspirational way that plant-based is fun and accessible, and has the ability to enact positive change in the world.
Because we really like what Greener TV is all about, we recently sat down with Roann to talk a bit about his background, how Greener TV was created and what is favorite wicked healthy dish is!
Congrats on your newly launched weekly video series, Greener TV. How did you come up with this concept and what are some of the main goals your have for this initiative?
Well thank you! It’s been a real team effort to get to where we are now, but very rewarding to see the content finding it’s audience. We’re now at a stage where we’ve attracted tens of thousands of views organically, which means that we are getting shared, gaining exposure for the cause and most importantly people are signing up to cut meat from their diet one of more days a week.
The idea came about after I became acutely aware of the negative impact of intensively farmed meat on all kinds of things that I care about: my health, our planet and of course the animals that we share it with. The animal suffering especially makes me both tearful and angry at the same time. Greener TV is just my way of using my particular skillset to (hopefully) have a long-term impact on the issue. I believe that the way we treat these sentient beings is a real stain on our society and culture and something we will look back on in 50 years time with incredulity and regret.
Our goal is simple: a boom in meatless days that will start to have a real impact on the amount of meat that is consumed overall on a macro level. The only way to shut down factory farms is by removing their oxygen- consumer demand—and with our message of inspiration rooted in pop culture, we think we have one of the most accessible, mass appeal ways of getting there.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background/experience and how that’s helped shape and support the direction of Greener TV? What draws you towards using a video format, and what are some of the advantages that medium offers that print or photography can’t?
My background is in TV journalism and creative communications, so I guess it was most natural for me to communicate in video form. When it comes to it, i’m primarily looking to break through lazy stereotypes around plant-based eating and the image of vegetarians and vegans in order to attract new audiences to the wholefoods lifestyle.
To do this, we need to be inquisitive and curious—and tell stories in a counter=intuitive, entertaining way. So, having world champion MMA fighters, Parkour runners and Ironwomen showing (rather than telling) us what they eat is powerful. For example, ironwoman Kate Strong actually became vegan as a way to treat health conditions like asthma, and improve her performance. She started to cut out the things in her diet that were holding her back and only actually realised that she’d turned vegan after a friend pointed it out! So for her, cutting meat and dairy were pure performance issues and I think that’s a really interesting way to positively frame the meat consumption debate.
Greener TV says it hopes “to inspire others towards a Greener lifestyle through films that mostly feature a carrot.” Tell us more about this carrot and, most importantly, is he organic and local?
He’d like to think so! Although he is quite mysterious and forever changing form so we can’t be sure …
The carrot is an idea I had while jogging on a treadmill in Hong Kong. I was out there to present at an Earth Day conference last year and I suffer terribly from jetlag. Luckily my hotel had a 24-hour gym and so there I was jogging while listening to the Breakbot track, Baby I’m Yours that you can hear in our launch Carrot and the Kalers film. I love the track but honestly the words meant the most—it’s a song about lost love and it inspired me to think: what if the vegetables were singing the words to us meat-obsessed humans. It sounds mad (and it’s fair to say that sleep deprivation played its part) but I just think it works in the context of throwing three things in the mix that shouldn’t necessarily be together: French electro, vegetable skin suits and the flexitarian message.
Of course having a protagonist whose face you can’t see is creatively very useful as he can be a real shapeshifter and polymath: in one of our films he’s a fighter, in another a dancer, then a racing driver but always The Carrot.
There are lots of vegan/plant-based initiatives out there. What makes Greener TV stand out from the rest?
I would have to say our tone: if you watch our stuff, you’ll see that it is more than a little subversive for the genre. We are looking to entertain, engage and be shared: in this way we are more like an inpirational brand than a worthy or preachy green initiative. We ask relatively little of our audience (cutting meat for one day or more) and don’t judge. Any incremental change is a good step and one that we would celebrate.
I believe that the most empowering thing I’ve heard in years is the fact that little old me can have a big impact on the planet just by tweaking my diet. That I can save more than four grams of carbon daily just by selecting delicious veggie options. I don’t have to wait for the government, my company or even my city to take action to help safeguard the planet and my children’s future. I can do it, right here, right now: it’s very empowering and our content mirrors that. Even our web address (saveco2today.org.uk) spells out the impact you can have.
Can you tell us a bit about some of the current projects you are working on, and what we can expect to see in the coming months from Greener TV?
We have new content streams and a PR Launch in the pipeline and are currently working on securing new funding to facilitate this. We really wanted to prove the model works before reaching out to partners that could hopefully provide a sustainable future for the channel.
One of the ideas I’m really excited about is our potential collaboration, Wicked Healthy Wednesdays on Greener TV! You have amazing dishes, a super talented chef in Derek Sarno and a shared ideology around the fact that plant-based food should be chosen above all, because of taste rather than just as the guilt-free option. I can see the collaboration as a fantastic way of drawing people to the plant based whole foods revolution and I can’t wait to get started!
Do you have a favorite wicked healthy dish?
It has to be your Ninja-Fied King Ranch Casserole! It’s healthy and hearty, proving that vegans don’t need to survive on salads and hummus alone. It’s also got the word Ninja in the title. ‘Nuff said.