Executive summary

In addition to exacerbating global hunger and nutrition crises, food insecurity threatens U.S. national security by increasing the risks of conflict, unrest, and violent extremism. Animal protein production makes a significant though little-recognized contribution to food system insecurity, driving up prices for grains and other staple crops, worsening climate change, and making supply chains less resilient. By contrast, none of this is true of alternative proteins—meat, eggs, dairy, and seafood made from plants and cells without the use of live animals. A large-scale shift from animal products to alternative proteins therefore has tremendous potential food and national security benefits. 

Right now, the primary obstacles to greater uptake of alternative proteins are taste and price, but experts believe alternative proteins can be made comparable to animal-based products on both fronts with further efforts by researchers. In addition, alternative proteins face a markedly easier path to implementation than many other system transformations of similar scale and impact, making them a winning strategy to reduce food insecurity, enhance national security, and strengthen climate action. For all these reasons, the United States should make international cooperation on alternative proteins a top diplomatic priority. This policy brief offers policy recommendations that the United States can and should adopt in order to accelerate innovation in alternative protein technologies.

Foreign policy magazine cover graphic_we can feed the world

We can feed the world

Bruce Friedrich, GFI founder and President, and Nigel Purvis, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, put forth alternative proteins as a key food security solution and call for government action in this Foreign Policy op-ed.

Alternative proteins as a global solution

Slate logo

The National Security Case for Lab-Grown and Plant-Based Meat

GFI Senior Adviser Matt Spence explains how alternative proteins can improve the state of national and global security.

Closeup on field of corn

Agriculture is at a climate crossroads. Alternative proteins are a global solution.

Learn how GFI is advocating for the inclusion of alternative proteins as a climate solution in federal policy and bringing increased visibility to what governments around the world are doing…

Https://gfi. Org/wp content/uploads/2021/10/gfi21033 gfc 4 3 session cards climate landuse biodiversity

Climate, land use, and biodiversity

Join experts to discuss how alt proteins are a key solution for climate, biodiversity, and land use.

Overhead view of road in forest

A global protein transition is necessary to keep warming below 1.5°C

Learn why alternative protein innovation is crucial to meeting the Paris Agreement temperature target and how we can accelerate progress.

Globe icon over biodiverse landscape

Climate solutions

Alternative proteins will be essential if the world is to meet its global climate goals.