Monday, November 28

Insects are not only rich in protein, now they also serve to save the planet


The world population is projected to increase to more than 9 billion people in 2050, which means that agricultural production will have to increase by around 70% to feed everyone. This is where the insects come into play.

Meat consumption has increased over the years and soon there may not be enough to go around. Farming insects for food is extremely efficient, says Marcel Dicke, a researcher at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

In 2010 he advocated for the entomophagy, which is how the consumption of insects is known. Now it also alludes to the fact that we will have to deal with less waste.

To all this we must add that recently, this researcher found out that insects also have a strong impact on plants. In an opinion piece published March 2 in the journal Trends in Plant Science, Dicke has delved into the benefits of using insect production residues as food and feed to promote sustainable crops.

This approach could improve plant growth, health, pollination and resistance.

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According to the document, the insects are fed with waste from agriculture or food production. The insects then provide nutrients to humans by consuming them. Using the remains of insect production to enhance crop growth could close this circle.

And what remains are we talking about? the exuviae, the exoskeletons that remain after molting, and the droppings, They carry nitrogen, a nutrient that is essential for plant growth, but is scarce in most soils.

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Insect farming is also efficient, especially when compared to traditional livestock farming. About 25 kilos of grass are needed to produce one kilo of beef. The same amount of grass can produce 10 times more edible protein than insects.

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What are the best insects to consume?

Crickets they are known to be a good source of iron, protein and vitamin B12. grasshoppersVery popular in Mexico, Latin America, and parts of Africa and Asia, they are also high in protein.

This group is joined termiteswhich are not only rich in protein, but also in fatty acids, iron and calcium.

The antsLastly, said to have a sour lemon-like taste, they are used in high-end dishes in parts of South America and India.

In Spain, especially in the gastronomy sector, it is increasingly used and common. We don’t know how long it will be until it becomes part of our daily diet, but little by little it is making a name for itself that was unthinkable a few years ago.

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