While considering a preparedness plan for food procurement during the time following a long-term collapse in food distribution, not only might you plan a survival garden around maximizing calories (among other things), you should also know about the body need for protein…and from where you will get it.
What is protein?
Protein is a macro nutrient necessary for the proper growth and function of the human body.
Among other things, proteins are also the building blocks for muscles.
We all need protein – in varying amounts – to live a healthy life.
Proteins are part of every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies and these body proteins are constantly being broken down and replaced internally. The protein in the food we eat is digested into ‘amino acids’ that are later used to replace these proteins (those that are broken down) in our bodies.
How much protein do I need?
There is considerable debate over the amount of protein a person needs to consume per day, however according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in general, it’s recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein.
Below are the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for different age groups.
Grams of protein needed each day:
Women age 19+ (46 grams or 1.6 ounces)
Men age 19+ (56 grams or 2 ounces)
Children ages 1 – 3 (13 grams or 0.5 ounces)
Children ages 4 – 8 (19 grams or 0.7 ounces)
Children ages 9 – 13 (34 grams or 1.2 ounces)
Girls ages 14 – 18 (46 grams or 1.6 pounces)
Boys ages 14 – 18 (52 grams or 1.8 ounces)
The following chart listing the amount of protein in various foods (grams and percentage) do not account for any other health aspects — be they good or bad.
List of protein in foods
Percent protein by weight, and number of grams
per 100 grams (3.5 ounces, or about 1/4-pound) of food.
Chicken, Breast (31)
Turkey, Breast (30)
Seeds, Pumpkin, dried (30)
Beef, Eye of Round (29)
Turkeky, Leg (28)
Beef, Ribeye filet (28)
Beef, Tenderloin steak (28)
Beef, Chuck, shoulder (26)
Pork, Loin, blade chops (25)
Chicken, Leg (24)
Fish, Bass (24)
Beef, Ground, 70% lean (23)
Fish, Trout (23)
Seeds, Sunflower, dried (21)
Fish, Catfish (18)
Ham, Regular, sliced (17)
Tomato, sun-dried (14)
Egg, whole (14)
Wheat Flour, whole grain (13)
Sobyeans, green, raw (13)
Beans, Black (9)
Beans, Pinto (9)
Beans, Kidney (9)
Peas, green (5%)
Corn, sweet, yellow (4)
Spinach, raw (3)
Broccoli, raw (3)
Milk, whole (3)
Rice, white, long grain (3)
Potato, russet, baked (3)
Watercress, raw (2)
Cauliflower, raw (2)
Beans-Green, snap, raw (2)
Observation: If one did not have a source of ‘meat’, it looks like one would need to consume quite a lot of particular protein-rich vegetables, eggs, wheat, (see list above) etc.. to get the required daily intake of protein each day. It would be a good exercise to calculate one’s protein consumption needs – with an assumption that they don’t have available meat. What would you need to eat each day to meet your protein requirement, given your present food storage or what you would be able to grow in your garden, etc…