Why Alternative Protein?
How we produce our proteins affects everything.
Conventional meat, eggs, and dairy production is unsustainable and inefficient. It drives climate change, environmental degradation, and antibiotic-resistant disease.
United Nations scientists state that raising animals for food is “one of the major causes of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
Growing crops to feed them to farm animals is vastly inefficient, driving up the price of grains and legumes, and entrenching global poverty; to produce enough food for 9 billion people by 2050, we will need a more efficient system.
The current production of animal products subjects tens of billions of thinking, feeling animals to lives of extreme confinement, emotional trauma, painful mutilations, and inhumane slaughter.
According to the World Health Organization, the high volume of antibiotics in food-producing animals contributes to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and superbugs that cannot be killed by standard antibiotics. Much of the antibiotics used in animals are for growth promotion and prevention of disease in intensive farming systems, not to treat sick animals.
The unique challenges and opportunities in Asia Pacific
The Asia Pacific region, excluding India, represents 42% of the world population. However, the region is important beyond the obvious reasons of market size and projected meat consumption growth.
Singapore has set out a vision to locally produce 30% of the country’s nutritional needs by 2030 while it currently imports 90% of food consumed. Alternative protein is one of the main strategies to achieve “30 by 30”.
Outbreaks such as the African swine flu have caused severe shortage in supply and resulting in a surge in meat price, more than 100% in the case of pork in China.
Asia is home to many dietary cultures, and each region has developed its own ethnic cuisine. For example, in Chinese culture, soy milk is not a substitute of dairy milk. In fact it was the default before dairy was introduced from the West.
One of the challenges making plant-based diet mainstream in Asia is the deep-rooted association of vegetarianism with religion.
The average person now eats almost twice as much seafood as half a century ago. Over 80% of aquaculture production is from East Asia & Pacific as of 2016.
As of 2016, China had the capacity to process as much as 79 percent of global soy protein isolate, 50 percent of global textured soy protein, and 23 percent of global soy protein concentrate.