20 January 2020

Using insects to feed livestock: not so simple

Emilie Filou, on The Correspondant, wrote a very good summary of where we stand when it comes to insects as source of protein:

Food for humans is only in part about nourishment; eating is also a social and cultural activity, and so changing diets isn’t just about what makes sense to eat. As such, great advances are being made with feeding insects to other animals. Here’s why that matters: Livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. To feed the growing demand for animal protein, soybeans have become the foundation of livestock feed, leading to extensive deforestation and the reliance on farm chemicals.

Until now, when I thought of insects as food and all the associated benefits for the planet, I only pictured patties or bread made from crickets, I never really considered them becoming the food for, well, our food. Insect-based proteins for cows, chicken and salmon appears to be a promising idea, but apparently, the current costs and current European regulations are giving soybeans a huge advantage for many years to come.


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