Insects as an alternative food protein source


Insects as an alternative food protein source

In 2013 the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization stressed that a new approach to food production was crucial if we are to avoid future shortages. Their suggestion was edible insects. It is their sustainability credentials that has lead the UN to highlight insects as the potential future of food, requiring minimal resources to farm and producing substantially less waste than conventional livestock. “A protein shortage is expected in 2050, and we need to find alternative protein sources,” said Catriona Lakemond, associate professor Food Quality and Design Group, Wageningen University.

Around 2 billion people around the world already consume insects as part of their regular diet due to their high nutritional value, versatility and flavor. “In Zimbabwe, over 80% of the population eats insects,” said Lakemond. “Why? Because they like the taste and the nutritional properties.” Insects are a sustainable source of nutrition. “The protein content of the yellow mealworm is comparable to meat and fish.” Eric Michels, Project lead Insects, Vivara/CJ Wildbird Foods ltd. Agrees: “In addition, insects are ver efficient, with 10kg of feed, we can produce 9kg of locusts, compared to 1 kg of beef. Insects produce less waste, less manure and less greenhouse gas.” Continue reading “Insects as an alternative food protein source”

Insects, imitation meat to cut environmental impact of livestock


Insects, imitation meat to cut environmental impact of livestock.

Insects and imitation meat are the best alternatives to real meat in tackling the huge and growing environmental impact of livestock on the planet, new research has shown.

The world’s appetite for meat is rising fast as incomes grow but the resulting greenhouse gas emissions, already 12% of the total, are also soaring and taming global warming will be impossible unless the trend is reversed. Rising demand is also leading to more of the world’s natural areas being converted to farmland, a key factor in the mass extinction of species currently unfolding.

Globally, twice as much land is used to raise cattle, pigs and other animals than is used to grow crops. Furthermore, a third of those crops harvested are fed back to livestock. The new research is the first systematic comparison of the environmental impact of various sources of food, and found that imitation meat and insects are vastly more efficient than raising livestock. Continue reading “Insects, imitation meat to cut environmental impact of livestock”