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Survey: Many View Animal Protein as Part of Healthy Diet

April 22, 2019
A new Cargill survey explored consumers' perceptions of animal protein's sustainability and role in a healthy diet. Image courtesy of Pixabay
A new Cargill survey explored consumers' perceptions of animal protein's sustainability and role in a healthy diet. Image courtesy of Pixabay

A new survey of consumers in the U.S., Brazil, the Netherlands, and Vietnam conducted by American agribusiness Cargill found that 93% of respondents believe meat, fish, and eggs could be an important part of a healthy diet. Released this Monday, the results of the Feed4Thought survey also show that some two-thirds of those queried said they plan to eat more animal protein in the next 12 months. 

“We’re pleased consumers see animal protein as an important part of a healthy diet,” the president of Cargill’s premix and nutrition business, Chuck Warta, said in a company press release announcing the findings. “Dietary guidance consistently emphasizes the benefits of adequate protein intake from a variety of sources. Our aim is to help our livestock, poultry, and aquaculture customers meet the growing global demand for protein in the most healthy, productive and sustainable way possible.”

While observers have been critical about the animal protein industry’s environmental impacts, the Cargill survey found that the majority of those questioned – 80% – consider animal protein to be part of an environmentally-responsible diet. At the same time, four-fifths of respondents said they are interested in plant-based protein and other alternative protein sources. 

“One of the least told, but most significant, stories in agriculture today is the incredible progress we are making in helping farmers do more with less,” Warta said. “All of us in agriculture want to raise our productivity and efficiency – not just so we can operate our businesses more profitably, but so we can steward resources for the next generation who will take over someday.”

Cargill’s release noted that the company’s Animal Nutrition business has engaged in several initiatives to increase the sustainability of its products and operations, including a ship-sharing partnership with Skretting, R&D and sourcing efforts around novel ingredients that offer sustainable alternatives to existing solutions, and the NUGENA line of poultry feed that can lower heat stress and feather-pecking in cage-free operations. 

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