The Protein Transformation: Pathways to an Animal-Free Diet

An animal-free diet by 2050, for the good of animals and the climate? With plant-based products, fermentation and cultured meat, there are serious options. Where are the biggest changes in the food system taking place? The GDI overview "The Protein Transformation: Pathways to an Animal-Free Diet" shows them.
10 November, 2022 by
The Protein Transformation: Pathways to an Animal-Free Diet
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Increasing global consumption of animal proteins, related environmental pollution, and climate change are forcing us to act. All over the world, scientists, companies, and start-ups are working on solutions. They are trying to come up with alternatives to animal protein as a way of reducing global meat consumption. As a result, completely new categories of food, industries, value networks and investment opportunities are emerging.

In addition to animal and native plant proteins, three alternative protein sources exist:

  • Plant-based: Products that are alternatives to animal products, i.e. meat, fish and seafood made from plants, plus plant-based eggs and dairy products. 
  • Fermentation: Protein production using microbes. Fermented proteins are produced via one of three methods: traditional fermentation, biomass fermentation or precision fermentation.
  • Cultivated: Cultured meat products (including fish, seafood, organs and fats) grown directly from cells using cellular agriculture instead of rearing and slaughtering animals

The alternative protein industry is booming. In 2021, USD 5 billion were invested in alternative-protein companies. While investment interest in plant-based protein declined slightly, the sums invested in cultivated protein and fermentation more than doubled and almost quintupled, respectively. And an investment is no longer the preserve of the private sector: in 2022, the Netherlands is set to make the largest public investment to date in cellular agriculture. The Dutch government has announced a record sum of EUR 60 million for the promotion of cultured meat and precision fermentation.

Where does this ultimately lead? To a completely animal-free diet by 2050?

MLearn more about this in the GDI overview "The Protein Transformation: Pathways to an Animal-Free Diet"​. Download now!

# Food
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