The Insect Solution
NUMEROUS SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE ON THE CONTENT AND NUTRITIONAL QUALITY IN INSECTS AND IT IS STATED THAT, DEPENDING ON THE SPECIES, BREEDING METHOD AND FEEDING, THE PROTEIN CONTENT IS BETWEEN 40-60% ON A DRY BASIS, RICH IN ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS AND UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS, FIBER, AND MICRONUTRIENTS.
CURRENTLY, THE CONSUMPTION OF INSECTS IN HUMAN FOOD IS NOT POPULAR IN CHILE, NOR IN LATIN AMERICA. INSECTS ARE ONLY CONSUMED IN SOME COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD (MEXICO AND SOUTHEAST ASIA MAINLY). THIS MEANS THAT A GREAT OPTION FOR A PROTEIN SOURCE IS NOT TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF, EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT IT HAS GREAT BENEFITS IN ADDITION TO THE NUTRITIONAL ONES SINCE IT IS A SUSTAINABLE OPTION AND ALIGNED WITH AVOIDING CLIMATE CHANGE.
ACCORDING TO FAO, BY THE YEAR 2050 IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THE WORLD POPULATION WILL BE 9.3 BILLION PEOPLE, OF WHICH 870 MILLION WILL SUFFER FROM MALNUTRITION DUE TO LACK OF FOOD. IN ORDER TO GUARANTEE THE AVAILABILITY OF FOOD, FOOD PRODUCTION SHOULD INCREASE BY 60%, WHICH IS ENVIRONMENTALLY UNSUSTAINABLE DUE TO THE SCARCE AVAILABILITY OF LAND AND DRINKING WATER, AS WELL AS THE CONTRIBUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE THAT WOULD GENERATE THROUGH INTENSIVE LIVESTOCK AND OVERGRAZING. IN THIS SENSE, INSECTS CAN HAVE A STRONG IMPACT ON THE DIET OF THE FUTURE, SINCE THERE ARE MULTIPLE BENEFITS, BOTH ECONOMIC, NUTRITIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL.
Crickets and mealworms require 0.05% of the water that cows need to produce the same amount of protein.
The estimated amount of water needed to produce 100 g of beef is about 2,200 liters, taking into account the enormous amount of water needed for forage crops. The amount of water needed to produce the same amount of insect powder would be about 2000 times less!
One third of the entire land is already being used for meat production. On average, 200 square meters of land are used to produce 1 kg of beef. For insects, 15 square meters is sufficient.
Insects produce 1% of the greenhouse gases that cows produce. Livestock industries are the world’s second leading cause of air pollution.
Crickets have almost 3 times and mealworms have 2 times more protein than beef. Insects are one of the most sustainable sources of protein in the world. ⠀
Crickets and mealworms contain more than 50% protein, which is just WOW! if you consider that beef contains only an average 26%.
Insects are rich in vitamins. They contain B12, they are high in phosphorus, iron, and potassium. They have 15% more iron than spinach!