Some people don’t like seafood or prawns. I love it. I wonder if I could learn to love eating crunchy fried insects? Apparently some restaurants are starting to serve them not for their environmental benefits, but for their flavour!
But what are the environmental benefits? Basically it’s because the insects are cold blooded. They don’t waste so much of their energy just keeping warm, so when they eat feedstock, they grow and give a protein to feedstock investment that is much greater than the return from chooks, let alone cattle. This podcast is quite convincing.
Then there’s the wiki.
“Production of 150g of grasshopper meat requires only very little water, while cattle requires 3290 liters to produce the same amount of beef. This indicates that lower natural resource use and ecosystem strain could be expected from insects at all levels of the supply chain. Edible insects also display exponentially faster growth and breeding cycles than traditional livestock. An analysis of the carbon intensity of five edible insect species conducted at the University of Wageningen, Netherlands found that “the average daily gain (ADG) of the five insect species studied was 4.0-19.6 percent, the minimum value of this range being close to the 3.2% reported for pigs, whereas the maximum value was 6 times higher. Compared to cattle (0.3%), insect ADG values were much higher.” Additionally, all insect species studied produced much lower amounts of ammonia than conventional livestock, though further research is needed to determine the long-term impact. The authors conclude that insects could serve as a more environmentally friendly source of dietary protein.”