A wide variety of plant-based proteins has been dominating the food space in the last few years. The global pea protein market is projected to reach $34.8 million by the year 2020, potato protein is projected to grow to $88.2 million just by 2022 and mushrooms have long been used to replace meat. In other words, those pesky myths that you have to get protein from animal-based sources are nothing but that: myths. Because hey, where do you think a gorilla gets all of their strength? Plants!
So when we came across the news that Danish researchers have concluded that grass is a good source of protein … we couldn’t help but shake our heads. Well, of course, grass is a great source of protein! How else would bison, cows, horses, deer, and other grazing animals be able to build such large muscles?!
From beans and legumes to plant-based meats, there is literally no shortage of sources of plant-based protein.
Most comically, the Danish researchers note that since grass is cheap, easy to produce and has a similar amino acid to soy, eggs, and whey, so researchers at the Natural Food Institute have made a “grass protein” bar!
“The first step involved in extracting the protein is to feed the grass through a screw press, which acts as a huge juicer. It separates the raw material into a fibrous, dry fraction and a protein-containing liquid fraction,” said the researchers. Several bars have already been produced, offering 10 percent protein and flavors such as peanut butter, ginger, and other flavors to mask the taste of the grass. According to Food Navigator, no other details of the bars are available because the researchers are still working on a patent.
While it is a “well duh” idea that grass would be ideal as a protein source, the commitment to expanding protein to include plant-based options is undoubtedly a great move for the planet. The industrial animal agriculture system is one of the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet and we need to start shifting away from animal proteins and towards plant-based alternatives, if we want to create a truly sustainable food system that will be able to support our growing population.
We certainly hope that this is a sign that the industry, and consumers, are catching on to the fact that you don’t need to waste time, energy, and resources raising and killing an animal to get protein – all you have to do is look at that animals’ food source. After all, none of the animals commonly consumed are carnivores.
Seeing all of the new plant-based alternatives coming to the market to meet virtually every consumer’s needs and wants is commendable and a definitive sign that the future of food is plant-based.
To learn more about the environmental impact of our food choices as well as trends and developments in the plant-based food space, check out our podcast #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias.
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