As someone who gets asked this question on a daily basis…I couldn’t resist! haha!
I think that this particular myth stems from a lack of understanding about nutrition. Meat has been pretty much dubbed “the” source of protein, and when we’re told that - over and over again, starting with parents or school health classes, it’s not difficult to understand why the majority of people think that one needs to eat meat in order to get ‘enough’ protein. Here’s a shocker: nothing could be farther from the truth. Unlike the fun, harmless myths we buy into as kids and eventually leave behind us, (like the ‘Sand Man’ and the ‘Tooth Fairy’) sadly this one of meat-eating remains.
Practically every actual food (as opposed to processed, chemically enhanced, flavored, “test tube” byproducts) out there has protein in it. For example, a potato is 11% protein (based on calories), my instant oatmeal has 4 grams protein per packet, my pasta has 7, spinach and broccoli have 5-6 grams, and these are only a few examples from vegan foods that are considered “low protein.” Beans (15-30 grams), tofu (25-50 grams), brown rice and other whole grains (5 - 20 grams), lentils (18 grams), veggie burgers (12 - 20 grams), whole wheat bread/bagels/etc (8 - 12 grams), peas (9 grams), peanut butter (10 grams), and nuts (5 - 12 grams) are all even higher!
So there ya have it, folks, all those grams of protein add up quite effortlessly throughout the day to provide more than enough protein without much, if any, thought put into it.