Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vegan, Vegetarian or Meat Proteins: Which is the Cheapest & Highest in Protein?

When people say they can't go vegetarian/vegan because of protein, they're just not looking hard enough. Contrary to popular belief, plant-based protein sources are varied and readily accessible.

Meat, poultry and fish prices are on the rise as the costs to rear, raise, feed and slaughter animals increases. 

In my three-part protein series I discussed the various vegetarian and vegan foods and products highest in protein. Today we're comparing these with the protein levels of meat to find out which sources are the cheapest and highest in protein.

Which will win: vegan, vegetarian or meat protein?

NOTE: The prices and protein calculations are from unflavoured, unbranded protein powders, and the meat is the average price of the leanest, skinless and boneless pieces.

One ounce =  roughly 30g (1 scoop of protein powder)

Peanut Flour 
16g protein and 36 cents per ounce

Pea Protein
22.5g protein and 90 cents per ounce

Hemp Protein
14.1g protein and 88 cents per ounce

Brown Rice Protein
24g protein and 90 cents per serve

Whey Protein
25g protein and 81 cents per ounce

Unlike vegan and vegetarian sources of protein, meat contains no carbs and no fibre - essentially no energy and nothing to help it breakdown in your body

6g protein and 60 cents per ounce

5.7g protein and 90 cents per ounce

5.7g protein and 55 cents per ounce

7.7g protein and 40 cents per ounce

7.7g protein and 52 cents per ounce

Chicken Breast 
6.7g protein and 42 cents per ounce

Diced Lamb 
6.4g protein and 61 cents per ounce

Cheapest per ounce 

Peanut Flour
36 cents per ounce

Highest in protein per ounce 


Whey Protein
25g per ounce


Brown Rice Protein
24g per ounce

Overall winner 

Peanut Flour
16g protein and 36 cents per ounce

Who would have thought that peanut flour would have 2 to 3 times the protein of one kilogram of meat/poultry/fish? It's almost a third of the cost of vegan protein powders, yet still has a decent amount of protein per ounce. The beauty of peanut flour is its versatility in both sweet and savoury dishes; check my blog for other recipes and inspiration and get cooking with peanut flour. 

If people bug you, as a vegetarian or vegan, about where you get your protein from, maybe this will help them think differently. 

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