What is protein transition?

"Protein transition" means the transition to more vegetable proteins. At present, most of the protein we eat is of animal origin: eggs, meat, milk and cheese.

In order to move from our "carnivore” diet towards a more sustainable protein consumption there are several possibilities: hybrid meat products, food concepts with less meat or no meat at all, vegetable meat replacements, sustainable fish farming, organic meat and insects.


Why protein transition?

The protein consumption of adults is, with an average of 1.1 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, 37% higher than the recommended 0.8 grams / kg / day. Globally, the demand for animal protein will grow by 70 to 80%. for the next 50 years This is related to increasing prosperity and the world population growing to more than 9 billion by 2050. With the current inefficient food systems, which are harmful to animals and the environment it is impossible to meet the growing demand of the world population for high quality proteins.

The production of protein rich foods requires a lot of energy. Meat products cause a lot more environmental damage than products containing vegetable proteins. For example, for the production of 1 kilo of meat, 5 kg of vegetable material is required. Meat production also results in much more emission of greenhouse gasses and in acidification of soil and air. This also applies to meat replacers made from dairy. Indeed, even for animal welfare, it is better to produce and eat meat and dairy.


What does it look like in practice and / or what are examples of companies?

Seaweed, duckweed, algae, cultured meat, fish farming and insects to the renewed interest in beans and legumes. The number of entrepreneurs wanting to put new proteins on the market is small but growing. Their market share is limited, for the time being, and some entrepreneurs are faced with strict regulations.


Who are the main initiators?

Producers in interaction with consumers (vegan hype) and the environmental movement.

For further reading:


Factsheet Nutrition Center (2015): New sources of protein as meat substitute


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