07 Protein Capture and Distribution

Proteins are responsible for defense, communication, enzyme function, transport, storage, and structure within the body. Proteins are a logistical delivery vehicle that provide the scaffolding for numerous processes – from DNA replication to moving necessary molecules around the body. They are built from 21 amino acids, nine of which cannot be synthesized within the body and must be acquired through capture from meat, dairy products, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and insects. Across the planet, 65 percent of per capita protein intake comes from plants. In North America, that figure is just 32 percent. At present, more than 80 percent of agricultural land is used to feed and house livestock – animals which produces just 18 percent of calories and 37 percent of protein. The need to capture protein has driven terraforming since we began to clear forests with fire to hunt. It is the spiked protein shell that gives coronaviruses their name – from Latin, corona meaning “crown” – but also their acute transmissibility. At every scale, wherever life is given form, the source of essential proteins must be accounted for.