Why eat insects? Six reasons you may want to try!
1. Insects are delicious! From grasshopper tacos in Mexico to insect dishes as popular street food in Thailand, the United States is missing out on these delicacies. 80% of countries eat insects, and there are 1000+ varieties of edible insects to work with, all with different flavors and nutrition.
2. Insects are the most efficient living creatures for converting feed to food: 25-lbs of feed will produce 1-lb of beef or 12-lbs of crickets.
3. Fewer greenhouse gases: If we raised insects instead of cattle, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 60%.
4. Water: It takes 2,600 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef but less than one gallon to produce one pound of mealworms.
5. Health: Insects are high in protein, B vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc, and they're low in fat.
6. No cruel factory farming: No hormones. No antibiotics. Just insects being insects. Eating insects is the most humane way to eat meat.
Addressing the Environment
Currently, the livestock industry produces 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all forms of transportation combined. It uses 70% of arable land in the world and 50% of the water in the U.S. Considering that the demand for meat is expected to double by 2050 , we need an alternative, environmentally-friendly source of protein.
Unlike factory farming, insects can be raised humanely in small spaces, without antibiotics or growth hormones, and require little upkeep. This means that insect farms can be established almost anywhere, even in cities, providing a significant opportunity for urban farming. At scale, insects are a cheaper source of protein than cattle and are far more sustainable.
Addressing Nutrition and Taste
Insects are high in protein, low in fat, and full of vitamins and minerals. Per 200 calories:
• crickets have 31g of protein and only 8g of fat
• beef only has 21g of protein and 15g of fat
• a veggie patty only has 10g of protein and 6g of fat
Crickets are also low in saturated fat (see diagram) and contain more iron and calcium per gram than beef and veggie patties. In fact, four crickets contain just as much calcium as a glass of milk.
But do insects taste good? Well, most of the world thinks so! 80% of countries and 2.5 billion people are already eating insects regularly, and our test-tasters agree. Even top chefs like Rene´ Redzepi and Jose´ Andre´s are serving up insects in some of the best restaurants in the world. Because insect meat is an animal product, it has the taste and texture that meat alternatives lack.