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It’s no secret that we’re kind of obsessed with protein. Studies have shown that the average person in a developed country consumes 103 grams of protein a day — more than double the recommended daily intake, most of which come from animal protein. Unfortunately, our appetite for animal-based protein has a devastating impact on the planet. Luckily, as more people come to recognize how meat and dairy can negatively impact not only the health of the planet but their own as well, the demand for clean, plant-based protein is on the rise. The plant-based protein market is estimated to reach a value of $5.2 billion by 2020 and plant-based meat alternatives could make up one-third of the entire market by 2050. In keeping with this trend, one company just took a huge step in leading the change.
Last week Roquette, a French, family-owned company, announced it will build the world’s largest pea processing plant in Manitoba, Canada. Roquette has been around since the 1930s and currently specializes in producing sustainable products in the pharmaceutical, health, food, nutrition, feed, pet food spaces. This new plant will be dedicated to making pea protein, a high-protein, low-fat, and allergen-friendly alternative to animal protein. According to Roquette chair Edward Roquette, “it is the largest global investment dedicated to pea protein to date. And it constitutes a key pillar of our strategy in plant protein in general and in pea protein in particular.”
It’s not just Roquette that’s responding to the demand for plant-based protein — more companies than ever have embraced pea protein. Last year, Ripple Foods launched a line of plant-based milks made from pea protein while the maker’s of Muscle Milk released Evolve, a plant-based protein shake made from pea protein. 2016 also saw the launch of the Beyond Burger, a pea protein-based burger that contains 20 grams of protein per patty. Now, Roquette’s processing plant will be a fantastic step forward into the future of protein, making pea protein more easily available than ever. Construction of the world’s largest pea processing plant is set to begin later this year.
There’s no turning back from here. As the world’s population continues to grow and more developing nations start to demand more meat and dairy, we need to realize that animal protein cannot sustain a world of meat eaters. As Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder of One Green Planet, has said, “advancements in plant-protein are the kind of technological innovations the world desperately needs. In fact, it may be one of the only real shots we have to make our future on this planet possible.” If we hope to feed the growing demand for protein, we need to move ahead into the future of food with more plant-based options like pea protein.
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