For example, per kilogram of high-quality animal protein produced, Cattle are fed about 6 kg of vegetable protein. It is estimated that Increase in agricultural costssuch as fertilizer and animal feed, will lead to a higher rise 30% of beef, pork and poultry prices by 2050. It is also believed that these prices may increase by an additional amount 18-21% due to climate change and reduced agricultural productivityThis will increase feed costs, increasing the need for alternative protein sources.
Increasing demand for edible insects
Around 2000 species of insects It is eaten worldwide in countries across Africa, South America, and Asia. Thailand has a particularly thriving insect industry, with 20,000 farms It produces 7,500 tons of bedbugs annually. But many people in Europe and the United States are still reluctant to eat insects despite their presence excellent taste, environmental and nutritional benefits, and miss an opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of their diets.
While living in the UK between 2019 and 2021, I struggled to buy edible grasshoppers. In December 2021, I was craving for grasshoppers after seeing photos of this delicious snack all over my social media feeds, which my Ugandan friends shared to celebrate the start of locust season. My search for Ugandan delicacies took me to East and West London and Leeds, but I couldn’t find any.
Indronel Chatterjee, a researcher in consumer psychology and marketing at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, says people looking for edible insects in the UK should start with crickets and mealworms, which are more readily available than grasshoppers. “There may be supply chain issues that limit [the] Availability [of grasshoppers] It is not currently mass-produced in the UK, which makes it difficult to obtain,” says Chatterjee.
There are also concerns that large-scale wild harvesting of insects in some countries is only possible Puts more pressure on declining insect populations Already threatened by climate change, diseases and pesticides.
However, there are a growing number of companies in Europe and the United States that specialize in breeding edible insects. Bug Farm, located in St Davids, Wales, was the UK’s first edible insect farm, selling a plant Wide range of insect snacksIncluding chocolate biscuits made with crickets, spiced orange biscuits and buffalo biscuits. They also sell whole cricket powder and crickets for home cooking and baking.
Bug Farm believes that encouraging children to experiment with insects can increase their attractiveness. “Children, in particular, are very open-minded, so we think working with them is how we can change attitudes in the long run: they are the shoppers of the future,” says Elinor Philp who works at Bug Farm.
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