According to scientists, the Earth’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. The food supply has been continuously decreasing throughout the years. Having enough supplies to feed all those people is a challenge which requires coming up with new solutions. The amount of land, water, and feed being used, as well as the production of greenhouse gases, make the current ways of supplying food and animal husbandry unsustainable.
Solution to future problems and today’s concerns
Insect farming is commonly known as minilivestock or micro stock. Not only are they kept for commodities they produce, such as honey, silk, or lac, but they can also be used as food, feed, dye, etc. For years there has been a stigma around eating insects in the West, while it is a customary practice in the Eastern parts of the world. As for now, what scientists focus on is feeding the livestock species. The methods used now are unsustainable. Edible insects are an attractive and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional livestock.
Benefits of insect farming
Raising and breeding insects resembles livestock, however the biggest difference lies in numbers. They take up less land and resources and are raised in small spaces. A small farm can accommodate a few cows or pigs, but the same unit can fit an enormous number of insects. In contrast to conventional livestock, there is no need to destroy natural ecosystems and build big ranches and fields. Insects production is based on zero waste philosophy, produces less greenhouse gases and requires fewer resources as food, water, and space.
Insect meal – advantages
First of all, they are high in protein and fat. Sources say that their protein content is comparable to other meat types, such as pork or beef, whereas the fatty acid levels – to those in fish. However, it is worth noticing that the exact content depends on their diet. They are very versatile – properly bred and processed can be used as feed for pets and small mammals, fish, and birds, as well as for gardening and farming.