Meat production is environment-unfriendly. To produce one kilogram of animal protein, three to ten kilograms of plant protein are required, depending on the particular animal species and circumstances. Furthermore, one kilo of beef requires 15 m3 of water while one kilo of grain needs only 0.4 to 3 m3 . Between 1950 and 2000, the world's population doubled from 2.7 to 6.7 billion people while meat production increased fivefold from 45 to 233 billion kilos per year.
The researchers are arguing for a "protein transition". We must eat less meat and partly replace our protein requirements with so-called Novel Protein Foods (NPFs). These NPFs are based on plant proteins that are derived from, for example, peas or soya. While we don't all have to adopt a vegetarian diet, a change in production is necessary, and above all, a change in mentality. It is true that in Western countries meat substitutes are increasingly popular, but the consumption of meat remains persistently high. Even in industrializing countries such as China and Brazil, where meat consumption used to be low, meat consumption is rising rapidly. To achieve real change - a transition - this trend must be reversed
Contact: Joan Robinson