PROFETAS Protein Foods, Environment, Technology and Society

The environment
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Economy & policy
Current issues

Economy and policy

Four projects focus on the transition from national and international economy and policy perspectives.

Protein Politics
Certain viewpoints are underlying the food practice. Processes of normalization make these viewpoints become invisible. Diets and food production are made normal as a result from processes of ordering. This study's aim is to reveal the political aspects to orderings and what this means for what food is mainly about. The current food practice forms a frame from which new problems are solved and along which new developments are guided. Revealing the "protein politics" underlying the current ordering of the food practice makes it possible to make new choices for the food practice. This could result in governments being clearer with regard to assumptions underlying their actions.
A diet shift can take on two forms: the emphasis on the production of more plant alternatives to meat, or the emphasis on the consumption of less meat. These two forms have different effects on, for example, the division of power, prevailing values and product choices in the food system. Because the emphasis of the current food production and consumption practice is on "more", the prevalent practice of food production would be biased in favour of the "production of more plant proteins" option. Although not actively promoting the "more production and consumption option", governmental action would be biased in favour of the "production of more plant proteins option" as well, because of their approach to solving food related problems without negatively affecting the economic value of food. The "eating less meat" option should be considered equally as an option besides producing more plant proteins. This way, other possible interests in food are not immediately cut off from a partial diet shift. In this role, policy makers would be aiming at a more divergent food system, so that "new plant protein production" would not necessarily become more normal than "eating less meat".
For more information please contact Marike Vijver

The international regulatory framework for Novel Protein Foods: challenges and opportunities
The final report on how the rules of international institutions may affect the marketing of Novel Protein Foods is now available.
For more information please contact Onno Kuik