ZDF Series “Nelson Müller: The Protein Compass”: Getting a Good Supply of Proteins

Updated on 5/5/2022 07:18

“I have to show you how to live well with protein,” promises Nelson Müller in the second part of his nutrition compassion. Late Wednesday night, the TV chef explains how much protein you actually need, where you can get it, and how producers make money on special protein foods.


Trend, lifestyle, art, culture, hobbies, work, enjoyment – food has different meanings for everyone. But for everyone, it is one thing above all: necessity. In light of these necessities of life, we are welcome to think about what is in our food. TV chef Nelson Müller did just that and looked at “the basic building blocks” of our food in the three-part “Compass” series. It started Tuesday night with “The Fat Compass”, later Wednesday night “The Protein Compass”.

Why are?

About protein. It means not only what is neither shell nor plum in the egg, but also protein in the sense of protein. It is not only in chicken eggs, but almost everywhere – in varying amounts. With the second part of his “Compass” series, Nelson Müller will now show which proteins are best in which food. Consequently, the subtitle of Elias Ettenkofer’s documentary says: “Live well with eggs, fish and tofu.”

How does Nelson Mueller do it?

“Proteins are important for the growth of our body,” explains Nelson Müller right at the beginning of the most important thing and then goes in search of clues to show the viewer as many aspects as possible around the topic of proteins. Of course, this may not be entirely comprehensive in a 45-minute program, which is why Müller has to concentrate on individual topics.

So Müller travels to a gym in Hattingen to ask a highly decorated bodybuilder about his protein intake; the documentary makes a price comparison between finished goods such as pizza or muesli and their special protein variants, asks the producer of a “protein quark” and visits a mass chicken farm near Hamburg.

A food designer “builds” uniform eggs from different ingredients, just like those used in ready meals; Müller drives to a salmon farm in Norway and to a salmon farm in Switzerland, to a soybean farmer in Gernsheim and to a tofu producer in Beckum.


Many people who want to eat healthy like to eat fish. It contains high quality protein and valuable fatty acids. But in the oceans, the high demand presents problems and many fish stocks are overfished. Therefore, sustainability should be considered when purchasing. But how do you recognize fish species that are recommended from an ecological point of view?

What is the information from the broadcast?

  • Proteins are important for building muscle.
  • How much protein a person needs depends on their weight.
  • For example, a person weighing 60 kg will already get the daily amount of protein with 90 g of bread, 50 g of Gouda cheese, 25 g of ham and 100 g of low-fat quark; Sporty people only need one more egg.
  • Many proteins are contained in foods from animals, but also in, for example, beans, peas or lentils.
  • Special protein products should be treated with caution: “Just because a product says ‘high protein’ does not mean it now has a higher protein content than another product on the shelf that does not say so,” explains Britta Schautz from the Berlin Consumer Advice Center. Often, one just pays “an obvious price premium,” Schautz says.
  • According to Schautz, the protein requirement can also be met with foods that are not special “high protein products”.
  • An egg consists of 1% carbohydrate, 11% fat, 74% water and 13% protein.
  • In Germany, consumption per. per capita of fresh eggs per year 125 eggs.
  • Egg white contains 11%, egg yolk 16% protein
  • Broken eggs are sorted out and end up in the industry as “egg products”; that is 13 million eggs a day.
  • Boiling eggs for only 4 to 5 minutes preserves most of the nutrients in the egg; the same with poaching.
  • The origin of the eggs in ready-made foods is often hidden.
  • 80 to 90 percent of the salmon in the supermarket comes from a water culture.
  • Aquaculture sounds like minor overfishing, but it presents other problems: food scraps and animal feces pollute the water, and animals also erupt and “disrupt the ecosystem.”
  • Wild salmon is almost extinct in Germany.
  • Farmed salmon are fed with other fish; 20% of global fish catch is used as feed for fish farming. The dependence on the sea and its resources has continued.
  • Large-scale fish farming is also factory use. A better alternative is organic fish.
  • In Germany, 200,000 tonnes of salmon or 2.5 kilos per person are consumed every year.
  • Fish conclusion: “Eating fish is hardly possible in a sustainable way.”
  • “Soy products like tofu are a really good alternative to animal products,” says Nelson Müller.

The conclusion:

Following Nelson Müller’s “fat compass”, the “protein compass” is a wild but not hasty journey through the many aspects of protein. Although Müller can not explain every single aspect in detail, the most important thing remains for the viewer and gives him concrete and practical tips for everyday life, and that seems to be the main goal of Elias Ettenkofer’s film.

Müller raises his head again and sees the effects that aquaculture, for example, has on the environment and ultimately also on humans. However, the documentary does not consider the global connections or questions of how we all feed humans – even with proteins – and apparently did not want them either. But the viewer now knows how to live well or at least better with eggs, fish and tofu, and that’s something.

Nelson Müller: Der Fett-Kompass “: Tuesday 3 May at 20.15 on ZDF

Nelson Müller: The Protein Compass “: Wednesday 4 May at 1.45 am on ZDF

Nelson Müller: Der Zucker-Kompass “: Tuesday 10 May at 20.15 on ZDF

Or all episodes in ZDF media library

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