We are currently facing potential insecurity of global resources to feed a projected world population of nearly 10 billion by the year 2050, as well as an expected 80% greater demand for animal-based food by the same year. As the population grows and culture changes, the demand for sustainable food and alternative, complete protein options, continues to increase.
Mycoprotein was developed during the time of the Green Revolution, a 30-year period in the mid-1900s, when there were genuine concerns about feeding the world, which led to growth of agricultural research and technology to help increase harvesting yields and production. This is as revolutionary now, as it was then.
The carbon footprint of mycoprotein can be considered to be at least 10 times lower than beef
What does the science say about mycoprotein?
Mycoprotein offers an important example of a healthy protein with a low environmental impact and is part of the solution needed to address this issue of today’s generation – how to transform the global food system to offer current and future generations a healthy and sustainable food future.
Mycoprotein is made using a tiny member of the fungi family, converted into protein and is produced with minimal demand for land or environmental burden. The nature of the efficient method of producing high quality protein via fermentation means a lower requirement for land and water through the supply chain, plus the production of significantly lower levels of Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Analysis conducted since 2011 led to Quorn Foods becoming the first global meat-alternative company to achieve third-party, independent certification of its portfolio of product carbon footprint results. These figures are then comparable with publicly available data for animal proteins; the results of which have also been verified by the Carbon Trust and are evidenced below.
Mycoprotein has distinct environmental benefits as a fungi-derived protein produced using a very efficient fermentation production process. This can be measured across a number of metrics – primarily carbon emissions, water use and land efficiency:
- The carbon footprint of mycoprotein is 30 times lower than beef
- The water footprint of mycoprotein is 25 times lower than beef
- The carbon footprint of mycoprotein can be considered to be at least 7 times lower than chicken
- The water footprint of mycoprotein is 5 times lower than chicken
- The land use requirement of mycoprotein is 20 times lower than beef and 4 times lower than chicken
Incorporating mycoprotein into a dietary plan
Climate change and sustainability are increasingly a concern for food producers and individuals alike.
Mycoprotein has distinct environmental benefits. Producing protein through fermentation is more efficient and far more sustainable than protein derived from rearing animals. Mycoprotein has a significantly smaller carbon footprint and requires less land and water resources than livestock production.
Research and evidenceExplore all research and evidence
- Quorn. Quorn Sustainable Development Report 2019. Available at https://www.quorn.us/files/content/Sustainable-Development-Report2019.pdf. Accessed December 2019.
- The Carbon Trust (2018) Quorn Footprint Comparison Report Available at: https://www.quorn.se/files/content/Carbon-Trust-Comparison%20Report-2018.pdf.