Tempeh Triumph : Maximizing Protein without Breaking the Bank

Mar 25, 2024 | Green Cuisine Blog | 0 comments

In recent years, the search for sustainable and affordable protein sources has become a focal point for many health-conscious consumers. Among the alternatives gaining traction is tempeh, a traditional Indonesian fermented soy product. Not only is tempeh a nutritional powerhouse, but it also offers environmental and economic advantages over conventional meat sources like beef and chicken. Let’s delve into why tempeh is emerging as a top choice for those seeking a cost-effective and eco-friendly protein option.

Reduced Resource Consumption

Water Usage:

  • Beef: Producing 1kg of beef requires approximately 15,415 litres of water, mainly due to the water needed for growing animal feed and for the animals themselves.
  • Chicken: Chicken production consumes around 4,325 litres of water per kg, including water used for feed crops and processing.
  • Eggs: It takes 3,265 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of eggs.
  • Tempeh: In contrast, producing a kg of tempeh requires only about 2,145 litres of water. While soybeans do require water for cultivation, it’s significantly less compared to the water footprint of meat production.

Electricity Usage:

  • Beef: The energy-intensive processes involved in raising cattle, including feed production, transportation, and processing, contribute to high electricity usage.
  • Chicken: While chicken production is relatively less energy-intensive compared to beef, it still requires electricity for heating, cooling, and processing facilities.
  • Eggs: Conventional egg production requires feed, shelter and care for the birds and intensive storage for the eggs.
  • Tempeh: The fermentation process of tempeh is relatively low-tech and energy-efficient, requiring minimal electricity compared to meat processing.


  • Beef, Chicken and Eggs: Both beef and chicken production involve labor-intensive tasks such as animal care, feed handling, and processing in slaughterhouses and packaging facilities.
  • Tempeh: Tempeh production involves fewer labor-intensive processes, primarily focused on soybean cultivation, fermentation, and packaging.

Land Use:

  • Beef: Raising cattle requires vast grazing areas and land for growing feed crops, contributing to deforestation and habitat destruction.
  • Chicken and Eggs: While chicken meat and egg production requires less land than beef, it still necessitates significant agricultural land for growing feed grains.
  • Tempeh: Soybeans used in tempeh production require less land compared to grazing areas needed for cattle and large-scale crop cultivation for chicken feed.

Individuals can significantly reduce their ecological footprint and contribute to a more sustainable food system by consuming tempeh instead of beef, chicken, or eggs.

Economic Advantages of Choosing Tempeh

Cost Comparison

When it comes to the grocery bill, tempeh is generally more budget-friendly than beef steak and chicken breast. To illustrate this point, let’s look at a comparative chart of the average cost of these protein sources in Canada:

Protein SourcePrice per kgProtein per 100gProtein per KgPrice per 1g of proteinPrice (CAD) 50g protein
(Daily Requirement)
Organic Steak$67.8123230$0.29$14.74
Organic Chicken Breast$27.9917.27172.7$0.16$8.10
Organic Eggs$17.6511.80130$0.14$6.79
Organic GC Tempeh$16.6618.19181.9$0.09$4.58
Price Per Protein. Note: The above prices are approximate averages and may vary based on location and retailer.

The table provides a comparison of four different protein sources: Organic Steak, Organic Chicken Breast, Organic Eggs, and Organic GC Tempeh.

Organic Steak is priced at $67.81 per kg and contains 23g of protein per 100g. This translates to 230g of protein per kg. When evaluating the cost-effectiveness, steak has a price of $0.29 per 1g of protein and costs $14.74 to meet a daily requirement of 50g of protein.

Organic Chicken Breast is priced at $27.99 per kg and offers 17.27g of protein per 100g. This results in 172.7g of protein per kg. Chicken breast has a price of $0.16 per 1g of protein and costs $8.10 to meet a daily requirement of 50g of protein.

Organic Eggs are priced at $17.65 per kg and contain 11.80g of protein per 100g. This equates to 130g of protein per kg. Eggs have a price of $0.14 per 1g of protein and cost $6.79 to meet a daily requirement of 50g of protein.

On the other hand, Organic GC Tempeh is priced at $16.66 per kg and provides 18.19g of protein per 100g. This yields 181.9g of protein per kg. Tempeh has the lowest price per 1g of protein at $0.09 and costs only $4.58 to meet a daily requirement of 50g of protein.

In summary, Tempeh emerges as the most economical protein option. It has the lowest price per kg, a competitive protein content close to steak but at a much lower price, and the cheapest price per 1g of protein. To meet a daily protein requirement of 50g, Tempeh costs significantly less than steak, chicken breast, and eggs. Therefore, for those seeking a budget-friendly yet nutritious protein source, Tempeh proves to be the most cost-effective choice.

Apart from its economic and environmental advantages, tempeh is a nutritional powerhouse. It is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it an excellent addition to a balanced diet. Incorporating tempeh into your meals can help you meet your daily protein requirements while reaping the health benefits associated with plant-based foods. As you can see, tempeh is not only environmentally friendly but also easier on the wallet. With rising concerns about food security and affordability, choosing tempeh over conventional meat can be a smart and sustainable decision.


Tempeh is more than just a trendy food item; it’s a sustainable and affordable protein source that offers a plethora of health benefits. By opting for tempeh over beef and chicken, you can positively impact the environment while saving money and enjoying a nutritious meal. So the next time you’re grocery shopping, consider adding tempeh to your cart and explore the delicious possibilities it offers!