WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Food scientists have started to incorporate insects, such as locusts and maggots, into specialty foods such as sausages.
- Scientists explained that conventional livestock production will soon be unable to meet the global demand for meat, which is why we need alternative protein sources.
- Scientists implored everyone to eat more insects, which are nutritious, cheaper to produce, and more sustainable than livestock meat.
“Would you eat a commercial sausage made from maggots? What about other insect larvae and even whole insects like locusts?”
This is what meat science professor Dr. Louwrens Hoffman is asking the current population.
Hoffman pointed out that conventional livestock production will soon be unable to meet the global demand for meat. This is why other fillers and alternative protein sources are looked into.
Insects, such as maggots and locusts, are currently being incorporated into a range of specialty foods, including sausages. The food scientists of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia are taking charge of the operations, which include the formulation of sustainable insect-based feeds for livestock.
Hoffman explained, “An overpopulated world is going to struggle to find enough protein unless people are willing to open their minds, and stomachs, to a much broader notion of food… The biggest potential for sustainable protein production lies with insects and new plant sources.”
Since people tend to shy away from eating whole insects, the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) team have developed a way to satisfy Western palates by disguising insects in pre-prepared foods.
Hoffman explained, “In other words, insect protein needs to be incorporated into existing food products as an ingredient.” He proudly added, “One of my students has created a very tasty insect ice cream.”
Aside from insects, Hoffman also suggested using kangaroo meat, which is another sustainable source of protein as they don’t need grasslands for grazing. They also created an alternative blend of chicken feed – which is currently mostly composed of grains – by adding black fly larvae.
Hoffman remarked that wild chickens eat mostly insects. He argued that the alternative chicken feed is “pretty logical” since the poultry industry is struggling “to find alternative proteins that are more sustainable, ethical and green than the grain crops currently being used.”
Their team is not the first one to push for alternative protein sources. In a 2013 report, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations implored global citizens to incorporate more insects in their diet. They explained that insects are nutritious, cheaper to produce, and more sustainable than livestock meat.
Several insect-based products have since been marketed in the U.S., such as Chapul protein bars and Chirps chips.
Hoffman acknowledges that Westerners might be grossed out by the thought of eating bugs, but “for many millions of people around the world they are a familiar part of the diet.” The professor also called for a “global reappraisal of what can constitute healthy, nutritional and safe food for all.”
Source: New York Post