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Food protein: three big challenges of today

3 episodes
  • 1
    Eating animals is not obligatory for good health
  • 2
    Livestock: where do GHG emissions come from?
  • 3
    Is protein independence a necessary solution?
Épisode 1/3
On March 8th, 2022
5 mins reading time
Francois Mariotti
François Mariotti
Professor of Nutrition at AgroParisTech

Key takeaways

  • In the research community, everyone agrees that animal products are not essential for good health.
  • Adults and children in France currently consume more protein than they need to meet their needs.
  • It is important to understand that the biological utility of proteins is not limited to muscles. All cells in any organism are largely composed of protein.
  • All recommended diets include a much higher intake of plant than animal products. It is clear that eating a plant-based diet is good for your health.
Épisode 2/3
On March 8th, 2022
4 mins reading time
Katja Klumpp
Katja Klumpp
Engineer in Agroecology at INRAE

Key takeaways

  • Agriculture is the second largest GHG emitting sector in France. It accounts for almost 23% of the national total.
  • Livestock farming is responsible for 68% of methane emissions, while soil cultivation accounts for 80% of nitrogen emissions.
  • However, emissions are calculated with varying degrees of accuracy depending on the method adopted.
  • For example, the IPCC proposes three levels of accuracy using multiplier “coefficients” for each category of emitting sources, type of GHG and data related to the activities concerned.
  • It is essential to adjust our production methods to reduce the impact of livestock and agricultural production on GHGs while guaranteeing benefits for producers.
Épisode 3/3
On March 8th, 2022
4 mins reading time
David Gouache
David Gouache
Research Director at Terres Inovia
Matthieu Brun
Matthieu Brun
Scientific Director of the FARM Foundation and Associate Researcher at SciencesPo Bordeaux

Key takeaways

  • The 1973 drought, which reduced US soybean production by 30%, led to a US embargo on this resource. Following this, Europe’s protein dependency became apparent.
  • Today in France, 1.5 million tonnes of soya are imported each year, 58% of which comes from Brazil, mainly to supply animal feed.
  • An unprecedented recovery plan has been decided upon, both in terms of finance and the commitment of the State. This plan seems more ambitious than the previous ones because it seems to have the will to focus on and develop the sectoral aspect.
  • The success of the 1973 recovery plan, in response to the embargo, lies in the fact that we relied on long-term investment subsidies to develop the oilseed sector.
  • Based on this observation, the current challenge is to lock in the protein crop sector within the French and, more broadly, the European agriculture and economy.