World Economic Forum Promotes Mealworms as New Protein Source in Europe’s Bid to Reduce Meat Consumption
As well as being a nutritious food source, insects consume fewer resources than traditional livestock. There are, of course, many parts of the world where insects are already part of everyday diets. Industrializing their production and consumption could open up new routes to feeding the world’s growing population and alleviating some of the environmental pressures caused by conventional agriculture.
Ensuring access to safe, healthy sources of food is a key part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) drive. From zero hunger to climate action, from ending poverty to ensuring responsible use of resources, many of the 17 SDGs relate to the food people eat, how it is grown and how it is distributed.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Meat: The Future report, keeping up with the demand for animal-derived protein could put meeting the SDGs and Paris Climate Agreement targets in jeopardy.
Eat Bugs!! Eeewww!!
Catchy slogan, do ya think? Or maybe not so much…
Crickets don’t Fart – Eat Mor Crikits
Sure, 2020 was rough on restaurants and food stands, but 2021 is stacking up to be a bountiful year for crunchy snacks.
NewsTalk–The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has given the green light to snacking on worms.
These mealworms could be used as a protein-rich snack, or an ingredient for other foods.
Environmentalist Dr Cara Augustenborg told The Hard Shoulder this is the way our diets are moving.
“They’re the kind of worms you would feed if you have a turtle or a protein-eating fish.
“They’re very small worms, very crunchy and can be served roasted or mixed into a smoothie.”
She said the EU is also looking at other edible insects, such as crickets.
“We know that the plant-based and alternative meats industry has grown enormously over the last decade, and edible insects are part of that because they’re very protein and vitamin-rich – and they can serve as an alternative source of protein.”
And here you thought only crickets were the new, approved food for the masses…
5 reasons we need to start nurturing – and eating – weeds. Sticks and twigs and bugs for thee, steak for me.
World Economic Forum–Finding new plant-based foods is becoming increasingly urgent with the world’s population forecast to grow by two billion in the next 30 years. While farming animals for meat generates 14.5% of total global greenhouse emissions, weeds capture carbon from the atmosphere and can therefore help to control climate change.
Of course, not all wild plants are safe to consume – some are poisonous. You should always check with a reliable source before eating them. Many countries also have laws against harvesting some wild plants, so the best advice is to check before you pick.
The World Economic Forum’s recent virtual event, Bold Actions for Food as a Force for Good, was asking how food systems can be improved to feed the extra mouths, including looking at alternative food sources.
After we’ve filled our plate at the ‘All You Can Eat’ Weed Bar, let’s move on down the line to the Bug Bar.
Eeewww!! Wait a minute! Wait a minute. The donuts only look like cockroaches. I was worried that donuts had become the newest example of “Cricketeria” Food. Ugh.
From FastCompany, “This Giant Automated Cricket Farm Is Designed To Make Bugs A Mainstream Source Of Protein“. Eeewww!!!
Inside a new building in an industrial neighborhood near the airport in Austin, a robot is feeding millions of crickets, 24 hours a day. The facility–a 25,000-square-foot R&D center that opened this month for the startup Aspire–uses technology that the company plans to soon duplicate in a farm 10 times as large. It’s a scale that the startup thinks is necessary to begin to make cricket food mainstream in the United States.
Eating bugs–or at least products made from bugs–has been growing in popularity. For a few years, it’s been possible to buy cricket snacks such as protein bars made with cricket flour or cricket chips (like Chirps) at some grocery stores or online. But for insect food to fulfill its sustainable promise of supplying protein without the massive carbon and land footprint of beef, it will have to be much more widely available, and more affordable. Aspire believes its farms can make that possible.
Here’s the actual ‘Automated Cricket Factory’. And I thought all you needed to do to ‘farm’ crickets was drop some crumbs on the floor and turn off the lights.
Since NBC News decided to trot out it’s predictably gross “How Crickets Could Help Save the Planet” to commemorate Al Gore’s newest inconvenient movie release and Donald Trump’s ‘Climate Denier’, oil-guy EPA appointment, it time to reprise our little story on crickets. First NBC.
Unless we all stick to salads, the global production of meat will need to double in that time to feed our growing population, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO). Feed and crop production will also have to increase in kind to support livestock and our own appetites, inevitably taking up more land space and water — precious and dwindling commodities required for cattle.
Now our reprise – Your Sustainable Thanksgiving Dinner
Forget that turkey. Or dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberries. Belly up to the cricket buffet. Eat your fill and feel good about exterminating hunger for the next generation.