For example, for every kg of high-quality animal protein produced, cattle are fed about 6 kg of vegetable protein. It is estimated that a increased agricultural costssuch as fertilizers and animal feed, will result in an increase of more than 30% off beef, pork and poultry prices by 2050. It is also believed that these prices could increase by an additional 18-21% due to climate change and falling agricultural productivitywhich will increase feed costs, increasing the need for alternative sources of protein.
Growing demand for edible insects
Around 2000 species of insects they are eaten all over the world in countries in Africa, South America and Asia. Thailand has a particularly thriving insect industry, with 20,000 farms producing 7,500 tons of bugs a year. But many people in Europe and the US are still hesitant to eat insects despite their Excellent flavor and environmental and nutritional benefits, missing the 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 grasshoppers after seeing images of this tasty snack on my social media, shared by Ugandan friends celebrating the start of grasshopper season. My search for the Ugandan delicacy took me to East and West London and Leeds, but I couldn’t find any.
Indroneel Chatterjee, a consumer psychology and marketing researcher 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 problems in the supply chain that restrict [the] availability [of grasshoppers] as they are not currently mass-produced in the UK, which makes it difficult to acquire,” says Chatterjee.
There is also concern that widespread wild collection of insects in some countries could only put more pressure on declining insect populations already threatened by climate change, disease and pesticides.
However, there are a growing number of companies in Europe and the US that specialize in farming edible insects. Located in St Davids in Wales, Bug Farm, the UK’s first edible insect farm, sells a wide range of snacks for insects, including chocolate cookies made with crickets and buffalo bug cookies with orange spice and laverbread. It also sells powdered crickets and whole crickets for home cooking and baking.
Bug Farm believes that encouraging children to try bugs could increase their appeal. “Children, in particular, are very open-minded, so we think working with them is the way we can change attitudes in the long run – they are the buyers of the future,” says Elinor Philp, who works at Bug Farm. .
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