The Navy has announced a plan to test saving money by offering meat alternatives under a pilot program recently advanced by House lawmakers. Part of the annual defense policy bill that the House recently approved was a three-year pilot program to “offer plant-based protein options at forwarding operating bases for consumption by members of the Navy.”
At least two facilities will participate in the pilot, but the Navy can still offer for those sailors to eat meat. The bill states that the Navy should choose facilities where animal protein may be more expensive to obtain. If passed, at the end of the three-year trial, the Navy would report to Congress the cost of the plant-based protein versus meat and how popular the options were amongst sailors.
Before becoming a law, the bill has to be reconciled with the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. Last year, the House NDAA had a similar proposal, but it was taken out before it was signed into law. Although there has been a lot of pushback from people calling it a “woke” and “leftist” provision, many are applauding the pilot program and hoping it is passed.
While it seems like the bill may be more about money than health or animal welfare, it is still a great thing to offer. The increasing inflation in the United States is making meat prices skyrocket, and more and more people are realizing the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
The plant-based food market is booming, and research suggests it could make up 7.7 percent of the global protein market by 2030. With a value of $29.4 billion in 2020, experts suggest that the plant-based foods market could have a value of over $162 billion by the end of the decade.
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