Posts Tagged ‘plant proteins’

a carton of eggs

Eggs, we love them, and they are… cheap?

Over the last several months we have watched as prices have steadily increased in the grocery stores. I’ve looked at my husband almost every week after going to the grocery store and rambled off the latest price increase. We’ve done our best to eliminate items here and there or swap out certain products for cheaper options, all while trying to keep our diets healthy. A “go to” protein option for many people is eggs. Unfortunately, due to an avian flu outbreak, eggs have now taken a hefty price increase.

Protein is an essential part of everyone’s diet. In fact, it is a macronutrient, meaning it is a primary source of energy from food and helps to make up our muscles, bone, skin, hair, and basically every part of our body. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults get just over 7 grams of protein for every 20lbs of body weight. For example, a 140 pound person would require about 50 grams of protein each day. Even when food prices increase, our protein shouldn’t decrease. So, what do we do when one of our cheapest protein sources now comes at a increased price? Here are some protein options that may not “break the bank” and still offer health benefits:

Beans: Just half a cup of any bean variety has up to 6-9 grams of protein. A 4-serving can of black beans is usually less than a dollar!

Lentils: Half a cup of any color lentil contains about 12grams of protein. Lentils can be used in salads, tacos, soups, and more, and a 1lb bag is usually less than two dollars.

Edamame: One cup of edamame (not in a shell) has 18 grams of protein. Buy frozen for about two dollars.

Green Peas: Peas are a great source of protein. One cup of cooked peas has 8 grams of protein. Peas can be purchased dried, canned or frozen for about $1-2 per pound.

Greek Yogurt: A serving of Greek yogurt can contain up to 17grams of protein. Look for plain, non-fat varieties. Buy in bulk ( for example, a 32-ounce container) to save money.

Cottage Cheese: A cup of cottage cheese may contain over 20 grams of protein.

There are many alternative options to protein outside of animal products. Many vegetables and grains contain protein. For example, a one cup serving of spinach or broccoli contains about 4 grams of protein. Now is a great time to get creative and try new recipes. If you are looking for low-cost, tasty recipes that feature fruits and vegetables, visit celebrateyourplate.org. Here is one to try:

Black Bean Soup

Cost per serving $1.68


3 cups black beans, cooked OR two 14 oz cans of no salt added black beans, rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped (about 1/2 medium onion)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

1 14.5 ounce can no salt added diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 cup water

1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice (optional)

Optional toppings:

Non-fat yogurt, low-fat sour cream, cilantro   


  1. Before you begin wash your hands, surfaces, utensils and vegetables.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until onion begins to soften (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add chili powder. Add cumin, if using. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add beans, tomatoes and water to saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon or lime juice, if using.
  5. Garnish with yogurt or sour cream and cilantro before serving, if using.


Protein. The Nutrition Source. (2021, November 12). Retrieved January 9, 2023, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/

Pogored. (2021, January 29). 13 of the best vegetarian and vegan protein sources. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved January 9, 2023, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/13-of-the-best-vegetarian-and-vegan-protein-sources/

Written by Holly Bandy, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Stark County

Reviewed by Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County

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What will be on our plates in the future? What are the food experts predicting we will be eating by 2050? Will our meals look much the same as they currently do, or are we moving in a very different direction? Although no one knows with certainty what the future will hold, an article done on the 2nd Annual Food Day has a discussion about such topics.
The first topic to reach the table is the topic of healthier processed foods. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center of Public Interest predicts that high sodium, high sugar processed foods will be a thing of the past. The variety of new salt and sugar substitutes will allow the processed foods to taste good while not having the issue of elevated sodium or sugar content. They will be safe and added to a variety of foods such as soups, baked goods and condiments.
Less meat and chicken will be eaten in the future. This panel, which met in Washington DC believes that plant-proteins will replace three-quarters of the animal products consumed today. Due to limited land, energy and water the animal proteins will be decreased in the diets of the future. This will be done through plant-proteins in fake meat, seafood and milk.
We will have health planners much like the financial planners we currently have. Just like we grow our nest egg through the assistant of a financial planner, the health planner will help us to grow our preventative health account. According to panel member David Katz, Director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University, the importance of modifying what we eat before we get obese or have our first heart attack is crucial. Health coaches will assist with daily menu planning strengthening our health accounts much like our bank accounts.
Single computerized devices will be useful in the future. Just like the smartphones that have simplified our lives in the technology area, a single appliance will be able to juice, cool, cook and freeze our food all through our voice command. The possibility of computerized grocery carts that will fetch what one says they need as well as online grocery delivery may also become a reality.
Home gardens will be the norm. The gardens of the future will be aeroponic, where the plants are grown in an air or mist environment without the use of much soil. This makes the idea of growing at least one-fifth of the vegetables and legumes we need possible. Community gardens will also continue to be popular in the future.
fresh vegetables will be popular. A numerical value will be assigned to all foods from least to most nutritious in the future. A discount will be applied to those foods that are more nutritious. Currently almost 1700 supermarkets have already implemented this grading scale called NuVal. An example of this currently taking place is at Walmart. The store teamed up with Humana and is offering a 5% discount to all those who purchase Walmart’s “Great for You” labeled foods. These labels are on such foods as fruits and vegetables, fiver-rich whole grains, low fat dairy and nuts, seeds and lean meats.

It will be fun and interesting to see what the future holds in the food future. OSU Extension is in a perfect position to address many of these predictions with their programs now and as they plan for the future. Contact your county Extension Office to see what is available in your area!

Source: Smartbrief Nutrition, Food Predictions for 2050. The Boston Globe, 10/25/12.
Author: Liz Smith, SNAP-Ed Regional Program Specialist, NE Region, Ohio State University Extension.
Reviewed by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County.

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