The Lupine (foxglove) could be a replacement for soy imports (most of which is used to feed animals for meat production)
A variant of the Lupine flower variety, which is very rich in protein and oil, is an excellent alternative to the soy plant, says the Hanze. The plant could be a new product for European agriculture, reducing the need for imported soy beans from Asia and the Americas. The ‘Andean lupine’ is thought to be a sustainable alternative to the soy bean. As reported by the GIC.
The research was conducted by Rob van Haren, lecturer in Circular Bioeconomy at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen. He researched with 14 partners from all over Europe how the Andean Lupine can be used for human and animal food.
Good for soil, people and animals
The Andean lupine is good for the soil, good for animals, and good for people, says Van Haren. The cultivation and processing of the Lupine is comparable to that of soybean, is rich in protein (45%) and oil (20%): it contains a higher percentage of protein than soy. It can be grown in a European climate, both in Northern and Southern Europe.
A concrete example of this is Ban Haren’s ‘Lupine Pig’ project. In this project, Annechien ten Have-Mellema, farmer and owner of Hamletz, collaborated. Annechien grew lupine on her own land, where she then made her own fodder for her pigs.
Naturally, the most sustainable way to eat the Lupine would be as direct human food: with a vegetarian or ‘flexitarian’ diet the single most sustainable step someone can take in reducing their personal carbon output.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Netherlands annually imports 4.3 billion kilograms of soy from countries such as Brazil, of which more than 80% is used for animal feed. Not only is this inefficient by importing, it also has a huge impact on the countries where the soy is grown, including the felling and burning of rainforest. This has become a particularly pernicious issue under the current Bolsonaro administration, which has slashed protections for the Brazilian rainforest, and supported soy bean producers and cattle ranchers at the cost of both native people and biodiversity.
The World Wildlife Fund recently released a report on the disastrous effects of soy and palm oil production on jungles and other wildlife in tropical areas.
More information can be found on the website of the Knowledge Center Biobased Economy and www.libbio.net.