An interesting article by Nathan Rice on ADWEEK shows the main trends in the food sector, underlining how central the fight against climate change is.
More and more consumers are wondering how they can change their diet to contribute to the fight against climate change and, consequently, more and more brands are called to revolutionize their products, rethinking their contents and packaging (in this regard, cover here the Boniviri's article on the climatic diet ).
More and more consumers are wondering how they can change their diet to contribute to the fight against climate change
In this sense, interest in alternatives to meat is growing more and more. Alternative and healthy proteins such as those from mushrooms, algae and other vegetables are increasingly in demand, in an attempt to reduce meat consumption and consequently the impact that production has on the planet, both in terms of land use and emissions. of greenhouse gases. Spirulina algae , for example, is rich in proteins and essential amino acids and its cultivation has a significantly lower carbon footprint than other foods.
Similar speech for peas, at the base of many recipes of "plant-based meat". As pointed out by N. Rice, "it takes nearly 100 times more land to produce one gram of protein from beef or lamb than from peas." Proteins from peas are in fact at the center of attention of several brands dedicated to alternative proteins, such as Beyond Meat, which seeks in its products a balanced mix of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fats from other plant sources.
However, not all "alternative proteins" are equally sustainable , a lot depends on the raw material used and on the manufacturing and production processes. It is difficult for a consumer to fully understand what lies behind a particular vegetable burger compared to another, especially in terms of the origin of raw materials and processing processes. This video from the Research Institute of Sweden shows the scientific efforts behind creating meat alternatives that are healthy, climate-friendly and tasty.
The trend is promising and central to the development of many food brands and is at the attention of the legislators of many countries. For a focus on this topic, check out " Top 7 Alternative Protein Trends to Watch in 2022 " by the Good Food Institute. In the panorama of alternatives to meat, in 2021, a source of proteins appreciated and known in many diets became known to the attention of companies and media: mushrooms .
As the World Economic Forum tells us, many companies and startups have invested in the promising mushroom market. Through the fermentation of some specific mushrooms, in fact, it is possible to produce the mycoprotein , which can make a variety of meat substitute products giving advantages in terms of cost and consistency compared to proteins of vegetable origin.
The video on the left tells the origin and production of mycoproteins.
What does the future hold for our food ? We will certainly hear more and more about alternatives to meat. Driven by the ethical and sustainability drivers, they are establishing themselves on supermarket counters and are in the spotlight of the media, legislators and companies. On paper they are more sustainable than meat, but the challenge is complex: we need to manage the environmental externalities generated by the new production boom of some alternative protein sources and make the latter increasingly healthier and tastier .