Alternative proteins are proteins produced from plants or animal cells, or by way of fermentation. They can taste the same as or better than conventional animal products while costing the same or less. Alternative proteins can provide a substantial amount of protein needed for daily nutrition, but require fewer natural inputs, such as water and land to produce, compared with the most common conventional proteins such as meat and fish.
At a time when the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, the benefits of alternative proteins are obvious. They include significantly reduced carbon emissions, fewer concerns about the ethics and environmental consequences of intensive animal farming, as well as allowing us to move away from monoculture farms to more biodiversity.
Alternative proteins can also bring substantial health benefits including increased intake of fibre, lower risk of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancers, and benefits for weight management. Additionally, plant-based proteins do not contain some of the less-healthy compounds found in meat, including saturated fat and cholesterol.