Insects as a sustainable alternative to animal proteins

The smaller the life form, the less area it requires for cultivation. Pigs need less land than cows, chickens need less than pigs. Due to their smaller size, grasshoppers require considerably less cultivable land than conventional farm animals to meet their protein requirements. An average of 30,000 litres of water are needed to produce 1 kg of protein from beef, while only about 15 litres are needed to produce 1 kg of grasshopper protein. The situation is comparable with the food consumption and the required floor space. Since locusts can be bred in swarms in very confined spaces, the main part of the required useful area consists of the area under cultivation for food. In addition, a large part of the plant protein requirement can be covered by agricultural waste.

 

In terms of breeding, locusts offer further advantages. Locusts also exhibit swarming behaviour in nature, which is why they can be kept naturally and sustainably in larger numbers without impairing the animals' natural way of life. In addition to their ability to be kept in large numbers, they are more efficient in breeding and less susceptible to disease than other insects (source: FoodBytes).

They have a very neutral smell and taste. 

 

Locusts also score better than meat products when it comes to environmental issues. In comparison, the production of locust protein causes 160 times less CO2. In addition, most species of insects, with a few exceptions such as termites, do not produce methane gas, which is a major contributor to global warming. The production of ammonium (NH3) is also significantly lower. Ammonium leads to over-acidification of soils, which has a long-term adverse effect on agriculture. Compared to crickets, the production of grasshopper protein produces more CO2, but less ammonium.

 

Locusts offer a very balanced nutritional profile, with Omega-3, Omega-6, iron, zinc and all essential amino acids. As a result, they have better nutritional values than traditional meat products. As they are very neutral in taste, they are ideal as a powdered form for protein powder or can be combined with bread, yogurt or snacks.

The following diagram illustrates the healthy and balanced composition of grasshoppers. Dried grasshoppers have a protein content of approx. 70%.

 

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