The global population is expected to increase to over 8.5 billion by 2030 and the global middle class will rise with it, expanding to over 5 billion people by 2030 (Brookings). The growing population alone necessitates a rise in agricultural production but as people move into the middle class, their diets change to consume more calories and meat. The production of meat is not sustainable as, worldwide, it already consumes 30% of our arable land, produces 18% of our greenhouse gases, and is responsible for 15% of the world’s water depletion (UN FAO).
The good news is that plants are an excellent source of protein and it is far more efficient for humans to consume protein and calories directly from plants than it is to consume them from animal sources. A chicken must consume over 4 pounds of protein for every 1 pound of poultry protein. Pigs and cattle are worse as a pig must consume over 11 pounds of protein and a cow must consume over 30 pounds of protein to produce 1 pound of protein. (Shepon 2016)
Brewers’ grains are typically sent to one of two places when they leave the brewery: a feedlot or the landfill. Zea10 is improving the entire life cycle of barley and rice used in the brewery by saving the brewers’ grains from an inefficient future at the feedlot or in the landfill. Because brewers’ grains are a byproduct of the brewery and therefore don’t require a single new acre of land to be tilled, our feedstock naturally has a lower environmental footprint, meaning our products do as well.
We aren’t simply sustainable because of the source of our protein. We are sustainable because we are constantly working to reduce the energy consumption of our process and products. We are sustainable because our process is designed to recover and re-use almost 100% of the water we bring into the facility. We use Aqua-processing™, a water based process, so that we don’t have to use solvents and other chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Zea10 is committed to sustainability because we only have one Earth and we need to protect it for ourselves and future generations to come.