Scientists have discovered insects can be turned into meat-like flavors, helping provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional meat options. Mealworms, the larval form of the yellow mealworm beetle, have been cooked with sugar by researchers who found that the result is a meat-like flavoring that could one day be used on convenience food as a source of protein.
In 2017, Switzerland changed its food safety laws and became the first European country to allow the sale of insect-based food for humans. And the same year, the Coop unveiled a range of mealworm burgers and balls in some of its Swiss supermarkets.
Why Eat Bugs?
It’s for the environment, of course.
The World Economic Forum suggests that eating bugs is good for the environment and predicts that juicy hamburger on your plate will be replaced with a creepy crawler.
According to an article in The Guardian, The global production of food is responsible for about a third of all greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, with the raising of animals for meat responsible for the majority of these emissions. Grazing and feeding livestock consumes about 80% of Earth’s farmland, with everything from cow burps to the mass deforestation of land to make way for pasture causing planet-heating emissions.
Scientists say avoiding meat and diary products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact upon the planet.
Insects, which can be raised in vast numbers in small spaces with a fraction of the pollution of traditional meat, have been cited by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization as a potentially valuable protein source to feed a growing global population that is expected to surpass 9 billion people by 2050.
Per kilo of live weight, bugs emit less harmful gas than more mainstream farm animals. A cow, for example, produces 2.8 kg of greenhouse gas per kilo of live body weight. Insects, on the other hand, produce just 2 grams. They also consume fewer resources than traditional livestock. For each kilo it weighs, a cow needs 10 kg of feed. Bugs on the other hand need just 1.7 kg. [Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon]
So, there you have it… eat bugs, save the environment.