A new report by the National Research Council of Canada shows increasing demand for plant-based foods and huge growth in the economic value of the plant-based protein industry worldwide.
As indicated by the report, 40% of Canadians are incorporating more plant-based foods into their diets, and this growing demand for plant-based protein is largely driven by:
(1) increased awareness of the benefits of plant-based foods,
(2) rising world demand for protein,
(3) growing interest in healthy foods, and
(4) concern for the environment and animal welfare.
The report also points to the huge economic value, particularly in terms of improvements to human health, of plant-based diets.
With the growing market for plant-based protein, particularly pulses (such as peas and lentils), Canada’s Prairie provinces are set to become a world-leader in the growing and processing of these foods. Plant-based protein is also expected to contribute more than $4.5 billion to Canada’s GDP growth.
There are, however, still roadblocks in Canada for the plant-based industry, notably outdated regulations and policies that discriminate against plant-based foods and encourage production and consumption of animal products. For example, food labeling regulations that prohibit using the terms “cheese” or “milk” unless a product is dairy-based or enormous Federal subsidies to the meat and dairy industries.
What’s clearer than ever is that there are even more reasons for the Canadian government to adopt policies and legislation that promote the plant-protein industry in Canada – it is good for the environment, our health, animal welfare, and the economy!