Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Protein

Image: Solar Foods Pic 1, Solar Foods produces an entirely new kind of nutrient-rich protein using only air and electricity, https://solarfoods.fi/about/
12 November 2018

In a column for the Guardian, George Monbiot writes about the potential to create food without plants, animals or soil, using instead bacteria that feed on hydrogen (generated by solar-powered electrolysis of water) and carbon dioxide from the air. Monbiot argues that this form of food production could eventually drastically reduce the amount of land needed for the global food supply chain, and suggests that the new foodstuff could be used as an ingredient in processed foods.

10 April 2018

A report from Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR), an investor initiative focused on the environmental, social and ethical issues of factory farming, outlines the drivers of demand for sustainable protein, how investors and companies are responding and how FAIRR has engaged with 16 global food companies.

Image: Aaron Leavy, Grass, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
13 February 2018

Grass could be the next source of human-edible protein.

21 January 2018

The report ‘Redefining protein: adjusting diets to protect public health and conserve resources’ looks at different protein sources and their environmental, health and social impact. The authors note that ‘transitioning to diets with more plant-based ingredients is an essential action to promote health, food security, and long-term environmental sustainability. However, the impact on health and sustainability outcomes can vary depending on the types of foods with which meats are replaced.’  This report summarises and analyses the available academic literature on the impacts of whole food protein options alternative to meat, with an emphasis on legumes, nuts and seeds, eggs, seafood, and dairy.

13 January 2018

This report by Dutch bank ING considers the potential for a protein shift away from animal to plant protein. It finds that a quarter of EU consumers expects to eat less meat in five years’ time, mainly because of the concerns about the associated negative health effects. In addition, it poses that a further shift in consumer preferences is likely as the level of innovation in alternative protein is high and governments are increasingly concerned about the carbon footprint of diets.

Photo: Marco Verch, Tofu-Würfel mit Soße, Reis und Brechbohnen, Flickr, CC by 2.0
12 December 2017

This piece by the international NGO Futures Centre highlights the emergence of some innovative solutions that could help the transition to a sustainable protein consumption and production system.

12 December 2017

Scientists from national academies across Europe are calling for urgent action on food and nutrition in a new independent report published by the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC). This analysis can be relevant for policy-makers working on food, nutrition, health, the environment, climate change, and agriculture.

14 November 2017

The new report by World Wildlife Fund, Appetite for Destruction, highlights the vast amount of land that is needed to grow the crops used for animal feed, including in some of the planet’s most vulnerable areas such as the Amazon, Congo Basin and the Himalayas.

Photo: Colin Crowley, NEkenyaFB21|Young boy with lack of hair pigment due to protein deficiency during nutrition survey in Wajir District, Flickr, CC by 2.0
30 October 2017

This study by US- and New Zealand-based researchers estimates the effect of elevated CO2 (eCO2) on the edible protein content of crop plants, and subsequently on protein intake and protein deficiency risk globally, by country. The basis for this study is that 76% of the world’s population derives most of their daily protein from plants, and that a meta-analysis by Myers, et al. (2014) revealed that plant nutrient content (of various types including protein, iron and zinc) changes under elevated CO2.

Figure 2: Photo Credit, PepOmint, Maple Leaf, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
29 August 2017

Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada’s largest food manufacturers, has declared that it wants to become “the most sustainable protein company on earth”. With aims to improve nutrition, environmental sustainability, animal care and corporate responsibility, CEO Michael M. McCain released a statement saying that “Our food system has drifted from its roots, to nourish wellbeing, to farm sustainably, to view food as a universal good for all. We must serve the world better.”

24 July 2017

A small amount of single-cell protein has been produced using electricity and carbon dioxide alone. The researchers working on this believe the protein produced in this way could be further developed for use as food and animal feed. The protein can be produced anywhere that renewable energy, such as solar energy, is available.

Photo: mrskyce, Nitrogen!, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
7 June 2017

This paper proposes a solution to the problems associated with the high inefficiencies and indirect detrimental environmental impacts caused by reactive nitrogen use in agriculture.The researchers suggest that land-based agriculture could be bypassed and that Haber Bosch derived nitrogen could be used directly for reactor based microbial protein production. The advantages of microbial protein production are summarised, as are the opportunities and technical challenges for large-scale production. The authors emphasise that, aside from the scientific innovation required, the main challenge to address is obtaining acceptability from regulators and consumers.

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