It's all about the protein
More and more consumers today have an unprecedented increase in awareness of health and betterment, and protein is one of the biggest food trends out there, with the explosion of protein-rich and protein-enriched products across an array of food and beverage categories.
The global demand for protein was around 4,500 kilotons in 2015 and is expected to reach over 8,000 kilotons by 2025, growing 6.2%. There has been the greater emphasis on communicating protein’s health claims beyond muscle health, with health influences such as:
- Boosting your immune system
- Increasing metabolism
- Promoting healthy brain function
- Helping maintain strong bones
- Slowing ageing and promoting longevity
- Protecting heart health
Plants for the win
We’re seeing more and more people following vegetarian or vegan diets, choosing to embrace a plant-based life. There are now more than 3.5 million British people who identify themselves as vegan. Some suggest that environmental concerns are largely responsible for edging people towards vegetarianism and veganism, as people endeavour to reduce their carbon footprint.
You may think that vegetarian and vegan diets lack sufficient protein. It’s true that many plant protein sources such as grains, nuts and beans are typically not complete on their own, meaning you may have to eat a variety of planet proteins to get your fill, however a well-planned veggie diet can supply you with all the protein and nutrients you need.
Plants are also naturally lower in calories and typically contain more healthy fats, fibre and antioxidants which aid in the fight against disease such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancers.
A case for crickets
A western trend that has yet to take off, eating crickets and other insects (entomophagy) in the east are common place and currently feed around 2 billion people every day, providing a healthy and sustainable alternative to animal protein.
For all you protein enthusiasts out there insects can account for up to 69% of protein depending on how they are prepared as well as contain all nine essential amino acids and include important minerals like iron and calcium. Typically per 100 grams, insects provide a much larger source of protein than poultry, beef or pork.
As well as waving the protein flag, insect protein is better for the environment too. Traditional livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than vehicles do. Insect farming is a far more efficient way to get your protein fix, without costing the planet.
Some brands are embracing this, such as Eat Grub, with the aim to revolutionise western food culture by introducing the little critters to the mainstream food market, offering a range of freeze dried, ready-to-cook insects and are continuing to move forward with their cricket powder energy bars and roasted grub snacks. Why not give one a try? You may be surprised to realise that it’s all rather tasty.
No matter where you get your protein from, it’s a trend that certainly isn’t going anywhere too soon.