The future of food is certainly plant-based, with the world’s population opting for more plant-based meals and identifying as vegetarian or vegan more than ever before. Millennials are largely credited to this growth, with the nearly half of them saying they have cut meat from their diets because of the negative environmental impact animal agriculture creates. Wise investors like Bill Gates and Richard Branson have caught on to this rapidly growing trend and have invested large sums toward the production of meat alternatives, including lab-grown “clean meat.” Even giant meat producers like Tyson and Cargill have taken note of this shift toward plant-based proteins and have invested in the movement as well. Here in the U.S., plant-based protein production is primarily privately funded, with the government subsidizing meat and dairy production. Thankfully, our neighbor to the north, Canada, is trying to balance out the protein playing field and has plans to invest $150 million in plant-based protein production!
Frank Hart, chair of the Protein Industries Canada group that put together this bid, said the global plant-protein market, estimated to be worth around $13 billion, is expected to grow by up to 98 percent by 2050. He stated, “It’s a market that’s expected to expand in a significant way.” A Nielsen survey reported that 43 percent of Canadians are actively including more plant-based foods in their diets.
Although the $150 million from the federal government has yet to be fixed, Hart says the investment is expected to help garner another $400 million from private investors. Funds are planned to go toward improving farming methods, to new food creations with flax, hemp, oats, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and beans, and discovering new ways to extract plant protein.
We are thrilled to see Canada making this decision to invest in plants and hope they serve as an inspiring example to the U.S. government and the rest of the world.
To learn more about how your food choices affect both your health and the global environment, check out One Green Planet’s #EatforthePlanet campaign. And remember to order the Eat for the Planet book for more stats and information about the impact of your diet on the planet!
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