The world is in dire need of more food, especially proteins. The decline in protein and food levels is due to climatic changes, increased food prices and industrialization taking over agricultural land. One of the ways to deal with current protein deficiency and hunger issues is to rely on sustainable proteins.
The proteins are ideal for the task since they contain additional nutrients, and different options, such as animal and plant proteins, are available. Due to these attributes, the world can turn to the following practices to make sustainable protein and the ideal food for feeding the world.
Diversifying the protein sources
Proteins will be essential in feeding the world, but animal or plant protein may not be enough to feed the global population hence the need for diversity and the need to mix both. Plant-derived and animal-derived proteins can help complete each other to boost the nutritional benefits to the human body. The proteins can be from different sources to build the protein food options necessary to feed the world.
Animal-derived proteins include sources such as insects which may be necessary due to the increased amino acid concentration, similar to the plant proteins. Insect proteins can also replace animal proteins such as meat, beef, chicken and fish, which are increasingly affecting global climatic factors.
Insect production is cheaper than animal protein production; it does not need much monitoring or requires more supplements and resources like fish, dairy, and beef farming.
Plant-based proteins can also be the best alternative to animal-based proteins. Some leading plant-based proteins include legumes such as soybeans, oats etc. Plant legumes have a higher protein concentration at the same level as animal proteins. Other practices also increased algae production to boost the protein alternatives available to people.
The potential of legumes to feed the global population
Legumes have a higher potential to feed the global population by increasing global protein production and sustaining other protein and crop production processes. Legumes have nitrogen-fixing traits which enable them to improve the nitrogen contents in the soil. This increases soil fertility, which is essential for other crops.
In most countries, governments are currently encouraging the inclusion of legumes amongst other crops to reduce overdependence on fertilizers which affects soil fertility in the long term and can also be expensive.
These factors can discourage food production, and if farmers cannot afford the expensive fertilizers, low harvest affects the food production capacity nationwide. Besides, they can also replace animal protein which is becoming costly to obtain and produce.
Affordable and sustainable protein practices
One issue affecting access to sustainable protein is the pricing for different protein foods. Due to the higher costs of obtaining proteins, there is a need to encourage reasonable protein production practices through laboratory research and experimentation.
There is an increased revolution in the research about plant proteins to boost their nutritional value and sustainable growth. The result is the ability of farmers to grow plant proteins on a large scale without spending much on needs such as water and fertilizers.
One of the crops currently grown on a large scale is soy; due to the increased research and lab tests, the modern soy does not require more water to produce and does not require much effort to facilitate growth and development.
This means it can grow in some areas currently facing hunger due to climatic conditions that may not support the growth of different types of crops. For regions with severe climatic and weather issues, access to soy protein is currently cheap as it is widely available. The availability is further boosted by its versatility; it can be processed into different finished products such as milk, tofu, etc.
Alternatively, these sustainable proteins can be suitable ingredients for food supplements to deal with protein deficiency in the body. This makes the supplement ideal for maintaining the balanced diet requirements for the body. The accessories are essential for areas where the production of one crop surpasses another, and people heavily rely on it as the staple food leading to malnutrition.
Sustainable protein production agriculture
Due to the increased production costs, having plant and animal protein simultaneously can be challenging, but this can be solved through intelligent and sustainable agriculture practices. Sustainable protein production can allow multiple proteins without much expense on activities such as manuring and water treatment to ensure the existence of some essential nutrients.
Sustainable protein production involves practices such as aquaponics, which involves using wastewater from fish to provide the nutrients the legumes need. Fish will provide all the necessary essential manure for legume production then the water is channelled to the crops.
The crops will be essential to the nitrogen cycle since they produce more nitrogen. The nitrogen will help in the nitrogen cycle, which removes wastes, bacteria and other toxic substances, thereby purifying the water.
The purified water is then channelled back to the fish farm and tanks. This process promotes sustainability and water recycling while boosting protein production, ensuring a sufficient supply of animal and plant proteins to feed the world.
Using sustainable proteins to feed the world requires a lot of strategic measures to maximize their potential to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. The steps involve diversifying a sustainable protein portfolio, ensuring good legumes to cover animal protein deficiency, boosting protein affordability and engaging in intelligent agriculture such as aquaponics.