According to a United Nations agency and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), protein intake is set to slow in wealthy countries like Canada as consumers turn to plant-based diets and alternatives like “meat” made from insects.
In the 2030 World Agriculture Outlook, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the OECD predict an “unprecedented shift in food consumption patterns” globally.
“In high-income countries, average protein consumption per capita is not expected to increase much over the next decade, due to near-saturation in consumption and heightened concerns about health and the environment,” describes the report.
“These concerns, coupled with ethical considerations around animal welfare and nutrition, could also drive demand for plant-based protein and alternative protein sources (e.g. insects, cultured meat).”
On June 27, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced that it was providing $8.5 million to Aspire to build an insect production facility in London, Ontario. processing cricket-based proteins for animal and human consumption.
“Aspire will be at home here as the company redefines what is possible in the insect protein sector, creating new solutions for sustainable food production,” said Liberal MP Arielle Kayabaga.
As True North exclusively reported in March, at a meeting of the House of Commons industry committee, the Liberals lamented that Canada was not a leader in the production of alternative proteins like “laboratory meat” or insect-based foods.
“Lab meat or ‘clean meat’ is a potential contributor to human demand for protein in the future. This is obviously a high risk and very rewarding venture. It’s the one the United States, Singapore and Israel are all pursuing. Unfortunately, Canada is not at the moment. Entrepreneurs are leaving space in Canada, unfortunately,” said Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith.
According to the OECD and the UN, the trend of consumers replacing animal meat with alternatives looks promising in developed countries.
“Consumer purchasing decisions are increasingly driven by factors other than price, culture and taste, such as health and environmental concerns, and ethical considerations regarding animal welfare and consumption. and their products,” the report explains.
“This trend is reflected in the rise of vegetarian, vegan or ‘flexitarian’ lifestyles in high-income countries, especially among younger consumers. Meat and dairy markets would be most affected by a shift to plant-based proteins or alternative protein sources (eg, insects, cultured meat).