When it comes to the question of “what’s for dinner?” protein is typically at the center of the meal. Production and consumption statistics show that, for a majority of people, protein generally means meat, but it also increasingly includes other non-animal proteins like beans and quinoa. … So why does it matter if we’re over-consuming protein? For starters, protein-rich foods tend to carry a larger foodprint than others. … While animal foods are more concentrated protein sources, those animals have to eat a lot of plants to grow. As a result, producing protein-rich foods can take a lot of resources, including one that’s often overlooked: water.