Where do you get your protein from? A few years from now, even the biggest meat-eater might answer “peas.” It’s no secret that Western culture is obsessed with protein. Studies have shown that the average person in “developed” countries consumes an average 103 grams of protein a day, more than double the daily recommended intake, and most of it comes from animal protein. But now more than ever, people are consuming less meat in favor of plant-based options and the rapid growth of the global pea protein market is indicative of that.

Due to concerns of health, sustainability, or allergen issues related to soy and nuts, pea protein has become a huge contender to replace animal protein in the food world. It is favored by food companies such as plant-based startup Beyond Meat, which uses pea protein as one of the ingredients to make their beefy crumbles, burgers, and other meat-free, high-protein options. Earlier this year Roquette, a French, family-owned company, announced it will build the world’s largest pea processing plant in Manitoba, Canada. Last year, the global pea protein market was projected to reach 34.8 million dollars by the year 2020. And according to a recent report released by Zion Market Research, it is expected to reach above $39.50 million by 2022 with a compound annual growth rate of eight percent. The study includes a forecast for the growing demand of pea protein not only in the United States, but also in Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

So, what’s the big deal with pea protein? For starters, it is are an excellent source of plant-based protein, with 15 grams per serving of pea protein isolate. It also contains a wide array of amino acids that surpass even whey protein, the go-to powder for many athletes. And on top of that, it’s low-fat and free from dairy, soy, wheat, gluten, and cholesterol. Not to mention, the environmental impact of pea protein is significantly less than that of animal agriculture, which heavily contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and habitat loss  – all of which drive species extinction.

According to Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder of One Green Planet, “innovations in the plant-protein space have the power to transform food as we know it and write the story of the future of food.” The sheer reality is, we won’t be able to sustain our current demands for protein if we rely on animal agriculture to get it. The good news is this growing shift toward plant-based proteins shows this is already starting to change. While the current market provides more plant-based options than ever before, who could have ever predicted that the future of food would arrive so quickly — and that the change would be lead by pea protein?

If you’re looking to cut back on meat and dairy, we highly recommend that you check out the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone. With over 8,000 vegan recipes (and over 10 new recipes added daily), you’re going to find something you love!

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