This year, farmers in the United States and Canada have planted 20 percent more peas and approximately three percent less corn, soy, and wheat—crops typically produced as feed for the animal agriculture industry. The increase in pea farming is largely in part due to the popularity of plant-based meat products, such as those made by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, that contain the legume as a key ingredient, according to Bloomberg. “I’m excited about things like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger that are putting pea protein in their burgers. It’s awesome,” Paul Kanning, a Montana farmer who grows peas, said. “The demand is going to do nothing but increase, I believe, and you will see production increase in various areas of the US.” Tony Fast, another Montana farmer and self-proclaimed “traditional meat guy and pro-rancher,” increased his pea crop by 20 percent this year to 1,800 acres with plans to expand to 2,000 acres next year. “At the beginning we didn’t see [peas] as a money maker—they just made the farm more sustainable,” Fast said. “I am excited for new markets for the peas.”
Farmers Plant 20 Percent More Peas to Meet Demand for Vegan Meat
The key ingredient in many plant-based meats, including Beyond Burger, is now a hot commodity for farmers who typically grow farmed animal feed.
July 8, 2019