Animal agriculture may soon have to pay market rates for animal feed as the “human inedible” argument for using some food side stream products for animal feed continues to lose ground. For example we now have;
· French stratup Green Spot Technologies upcycling apple and tomato waste and brewers spent grain.
· Japanese researchers at Yamagata University are producing protein from defatted rice bran.
· Another French startup, Yeasty, is upcycling brewers yeast by removing the bitterness and making a high protein ingredient.
I’ve been pointing out for some years that there’s no such thing as “human inedible” products. There’s only products “not yet edible by humans”. New technologies continue to turn these “human inedible” products into human edible food ingredients.
This obviously won’t happen overnight but the companies producing these “human inedible” byproducts have powerful incentives to maximise their value chain. We already have the world’s biggest brewer, AB InBev, investing USD100million in EverGrain who opened its first 7,000 ton protein isolate facility in July this year. The facility was adjacent to an AB InBev brewery; the days of brewers spent grain as a cheap animal feed are numbered.
Some animal agriculture may be faced with ever increasing costs as the free, or nearly free, sources of feed dry up. This will push meat costs up even further, making alternatives even more competitive. This will drive alternative volumes up, driving their costs down. In decades to come this could create a perfect storm for some animal agriculture segments.