The Convergence of Global "Protein" Industries: Implications for Sustainability and Resilience

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Join the Department of Social Sciences for this Great Problems, Great Minds seminar series event featuring guest speaker Philip Howard, a professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University.

Recent years have seen the convergence of industries that focus on higher protein foods, such as meat processing firms expanding into plant-based substitutes and/or lab-grown meat production, and fisheries firms expanding into aquaculture. A driving force behind these changes is that dominant firms seek to increase their power relative to close competitors, including by extending beyond boundaries that pose constraints to growth. The broad banner of “protein” offers a promising space to achieve this goal, despite its nutritionally reductionist focus on a single macronutrient. This presentation visually characterizes this convergence, as well as key implications for sustainability and resilience.

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