Where’s the meat? A look at alternative proteins
Tim Luginsland, Wells Fargo Sector Manager, Grain and Oilseeds
Chris Eggerman, Sector Analyst, Grains, Crop Inputs, Forest Products
Traditional meats such as beef, pork, and chicken are the dominant protein sources in the U.S. and also in most other developed countries, and account for an estimated 30% of the calories consumed globally. However, alternative protein sources — plant-based sources, lab-produced “meat”, seafood substitutes, and insects — are becoming increasingly popular.
A recent visit to the Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) Annual Meeting hammered home an observation. The rate of change in agriculture and food continues to accelerate with new technology pouring in from the electronics and genetics world. One of the points that I often make about economics is that “it isn’t about us.” Technology firms would never invest the vast sums of research and development funding simply to support agriculture and food. The payback would be too small to risk the capital. But if you create new sensors for the next generation of smartphones, then you might as well use them for everything else.
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