If you’re a protein enthusiast, you might want to think twice before booking your international flight. Growing up, I was always taught that a hearty meal starred steak and potatoes. Protein was seen as the centerpiece of any meal, and it was painted as both delicious and necessary in order to be satisfied. It turns out that this is not a universal experience. Instead, the amount of protein that you eat on a daily basis varies a lot from nation to nation.
Food lies at the heart of every culture. It acts as a powerful unifying source, bringing people together over shared diets and traditions. Cultural dining habits also exist as a way to bring people back to their roots and connect them with the history of their nation and ancestors. For these reasons, the amount of protein eaten in a certain country is dependent on that nation’s culture.
Aside from culture, the geographical and agricultural makeup of a nation is certainly a crucial determinant of how much protein is available within that region. In some parts of the world, it’s less easy to raise livestock and more realistic to base your diet around the crops that thrive there. Meat, which consists of a lot of the protein in people’s diets, also tends to be rather expensive. This means that in countries in which more people are impoverished, there may be fewer people with the ability to consume protein-rich diets.
The next time you go on vacation or strike up a conversation with someone from a different corner of the globe, try asking them about their protein intake. You might just end up finding out a lot about who they are and where they come from.