Thoughts

Come for the protein, stay for the crickets

The almighty protein is showing up everywhere, so when will the butchers and fishmongers get a new neighbour?

Vegetarianism and veganism are in. Whether it’s for health or ethical reasons, there are more and more people greatly reducing or completely cutting meat from their diets.

According to research cited by The Guardian, “avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.” The Chinese government is part of the movement and has recently outlined a plan to reduce its citizens’ meat consumption by 50%. The measures, “designed to improve public health, could also provide a significant cut to greenhouse gas emissions.”

If you’ve watched cooking shows in recent years, or if you hang out in gyms, you might have noticed the prevalent use of the word ‘protein.’ You don’t include meat in your recipes, you “add a protein.” Which still ends up being some form of meat but is regularly a plant-based version or a manufactured meat replacement. The Beyond Meat burgers are placed alongside “traditional meat” in grocery store counters and are outselling beef! For years, crickets and various other insects have been spoken off and promoted but they are now actually turning up on shelves and menus. Vegan athletes are making headlines, and cross-fit plant-based stars are have gained legions of fans.

So here’s a thought: When will we start seeing the first “protein stores”? Will we soon see new signs going up a few doors down from our local butcher or fishmonger, lining up pre-marinated tofu, meat replacement burgers, cricket flour, tempeh brochettes, and lentil patties? These stores could display price, protein count, and environmental impact on their labels. Just imagine the signs, playing on our climate change and health worries, trying to one-up the butcher and his tasty BBQ-ready product!

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