It is estimated that there will be 10 billion humans living on this planet by 2050. Due to this massive growth in the world’s population, the most critical problem we are facing is food reservoirs. Now here the question is, does the food resources will be sufficient enough to feed the billions of mouths? What if we start eating bugs to meet the shortage of food?
Fortunately, scientists from all around the world are working on alternative-protein reservoirs to increase our existing beef, pork, and chicken.
Start Eating Bugs
No doubt, there’s tofu, which has been adopted as a beef replacement for many years. But today’s users demand their protein replacements to exactly match the meats they’re substituting, which is why Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have arrived to such public fanfare.
Julie Lesnik, a biological anthropologist at Wayne State University, supports that we seem to get our meat from more petite, more-resource-efficient animals than stocks — particularly, bugs. She points out that per kilogram crickets contribute approximately the same amount of protein as beef as well as significantly more micronutrients because you’re eating the exoskeleton as well.
She further writes that given their small size and affinity for crowded, dark places, crickets need far less arable land than cattle do, quoting a 2013 article by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Whereas it needs around 200 square meters of the area to produce one kilogram of beef, the equivalent amount of cricket requires only about 15 square meters. They can even be vertically grown. Their water demands are fairly reduced compared to the 22,000 liters needed to produce that kilo of beef.
Crickets for the similar yield of protein “use less than one liter of water… based on the evidence that crickets get all their water requirements from their food,” Lesnick stated during a new SciLine webcast. “You still use water to clean your facilities and all the different processing, so one liter is an incredibly idealistic number. So I generally present this more like 100 liters just to be less sensational.”
Changing our nutrition from cow to bugs could assist in moderate climate change as well. The FAO concludes that grazing animals are responsible for as much as 40 percent of the methane discharged into the atmosphere every year. Bugs, however, don’t usually eat grasses and hay and consequently produce a portion of the greenhouse gasses.
Notwithstanding all the nutritional and environmental upsides, urging people to eat bugs– particularly when the end product still looks like a bug– has confirmed challenging.
So rather substituting cows and other farm livestock wholesale with insect protein, why not simply produce only the pieces that we’re interested in eating? That’s the hope of cellular agriculture. The intention is somewhat that we would take the whole cell of a chicken and transform that to a chicken breast rather than using the entire chicken organism to make a steak.