The consumption of insects could develop in the years to come, in particular since the FAO promotes it widely. One of the reasons for this is that using insects derived protein products has a reduced impact on the environment. In addition, the population is expected to increase from 7 to 9 billion by 2050 while the demand for protein, and therefore meat, could double. Moreover, if developing countries were to adopt the current level of protein consumed in industrialized countries, all the cultivated land would not be sufficient to raise poultry and cattle.
Insects thus have the advantage of being a protein-rich food, with a breeding of which does not require a lot of resources.
First of all, raising insects requires proportionally much less animal feed than raising cattle or poultry. In other words, for example, it takes 8 to 10 kg of plants for a calf to grow one kilogram, while 2 kg of plants are sufficient to obtain one kilogram of insects.
According to the researchers’ estimates, the insects would also consume little water. A considerable advantage knowing that the production of 1 kg of beef requires, for example, 22,000 litres of water.
Another positive point of insects: their breeding results in very few emissions. Livestock farming is indeed often criticised for its impact on global warming. It would contribute to around 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. It is more than the transport sector. Insects such as mealworms or black soldier fly emit much less.
Additionally, insects can be bred from organic by-products. In other words, it is not necessary to cultivate land in order to feed them since their food can be composed of organic waste from the food industry. This has the other consequence of reducing the mass of waste produced.