Protein is the important substance that builds and repairs our bodies - but do we need to get it from animals as meat and dairy products?

The Whanganui Science Forum's next speaker has views on this. His talk, titled A Farewell to Farms? is on June 26 at 7.30pm in the Davis Lecture Theatre at Whanganui Regional Musuem.

Allan Hardacre has been a senior researcher at Massey University's Institute of Food Science and Technology. He specialises in starches and flours in food, and in making meat substitutes from plant protein.

One experimental product was "beanzles", similar to Cheezels but made from New Zealand-grown beans and much healthier because they contain protein and fibre. Another product has been a kind of sausage made from soy flour and wheat protein.

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The sausage is flavoured and ideal for the diets of elderly people, who often don't get the full nutrition they need.

Hardacre's talk will be on protein. Where does it come from? What are the problems with getting it from animals? What are the alternatives?

He will ask whether the world is running out of protein, and how much of it young people and the elderly need in their diets.

He'll also give his view of the future, which could include an end to animal farming.

The talk will cost $4 for science forum members and $5 for others, and be followed by supper.