The insect food revolution
As people all over the world look to more sustainable ways of eating, insects are growing in popularity as a highly nutritious, low impact food source. Insects are already a big component of traditional diets and mainstream society is finally catching on. A Barclay’s report, says that at least a billion people in over 130 countries regularly eat insects as a source of protein and other health benefits.
Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is more relevant than ever, as we face food insecurity and the rising costs of animal protein. As we become more aware of the impact of greenhouse gasses on global warming, insects, like Mopani worms, are an attractive and sustainable long-term alternative.
There are several reasons why the insect food revolution is gaining momentum.
Insects offer high levels of nutrients, protein and iron needed for healthy growth. They’re a cost-effective alternative to meat, chicken and fish.
The World Economic Forum’s risk report has identified the food crisis as one of the main and most impactful challenges we face. This means that we will start to look more closely at more sustainable food sources over the next few years.
Insects give off much less greenhouse gas, methane and other harmful emissions than other animal farming. As we battle against climate change, they become powerful allies. Cold-blooded insects are incredibly efficient at turning feed into protein and need much less space to grow than other animals. For example: 3 kgs of Mopani leaves yields 1 kg of Mopani worms. In contrast, cattle farmers need 10 kg of feed to make 1 kg of beef.
Many communities depend on insects not only for their own dietary needs but as an important trade and financial stream. As demand rises for edible insects, these communities will have more opportunities and resources available.