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Episode 596: DefaultVeg ft. Katie Cantrell

By Jasmin and Mariann — June 12, 2021

Our Hen House is thrilled to welcome Katie Cantrell, Director of Corporate Outreach at the Better Food Foundation, to the podcast this week. Katie gives us the low-down on the Better Food Foundation, how they’re focusing on food justice, and their efforts to transition society to a more just and sustainable food system, specifically by encouraging more plant-forward food policies. She discusses the DefaultVeg project and how they are currently targeting corporate organizations and universities to encourage them to make plant-based diets the norm. Katie also catches us up on what’s happening at the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, an organization she founded and for which she currently serves as board chair and, on a personal front. shares the story of a devastating diagnosis and her fight to regain her health.

The Better Food Foundation was launched in 2017 to support dietary change initiatives to build a healthy, equitable, environmentally sustainable, and kinder food system and to work toward an acute reduction in the consumption of animal products worldwide. Before Katie served as the foundation’s Director of Corporate Outreach, she was the Founder and Executive Director of Factory Farming Awareness Coalition.

“You’re planting seeds that have impacts years later.” – Katie Cantrell

Interview Highlights:

  • Why Katie thinks there has been increased awareness around the benefits of a vegan diet
  • The power of defaults and how laziness and the desire to fit in play a major role in people’s choices
  • What it means for vegan food to be the default and what mass catering might look like in the future
  • How Katie helps corporations transition to a plant-based diet as the default with ideas for menu options, including suggestions for ways to broaden their cultural horizons
  • Why big corporations are motivated to be seen as more sustainable than their competitors and how that supports the Better Food Foundation’s initiatives
  • The earth-shaking reasons that Katie left her daily job at the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition but why she ultimately feels that the situation had a silver lining

Connect with Katie Cantrell:

Connect with Our Hen House:


This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at


You can listen to our podcast directly on our website, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcatcher! Also, if you like what you hear, please rate it and leave us a comment on Apple Podcasts! Of course, we would be thrilled if you would also consider making a donation, or becoming a member of our flock (especially if you’re a regular listener). Any amount is hugely appreciated, and Our Hen House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so it’s tax-deductible! Thank you for helping us create quality content, and for helping us bring you a new podcast episode each week!

Don’t forget to tune into Our Hen House’s other two podcasts: The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and The Animal Law Podcast.

The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.

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