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Will insect proteins be normal in the future?
Our diet is often the cause of weight problems or various illnesses. With the increasing number of people around the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide sufficient food. Researchers are now investigating the use of maggots, grasshoppers, and other alternative proteins.
A recent study by the University of Queensland found that conventional livestock farming will soon no longer be able to meet the global demand for meat. Therefore alternatives are urgently needed to replace or supplement traditional protein sources. Are maggots the solution here?
Would you eat insects?
"An overpopulated world will cause problems with protein supply unless people are ready to open their minds and stomachs to a much broader concept of food," study author Professor Hoffman of the University of Queensland said in one Press release. The question arises, would you eat sausage from maggots or insect larvae and even whole insects? Studies have already shown that western consumers who were willing to eat insects in prepared foods did not want to eat an insect-based meal unless the insects were processed beforehand, Hoffman explains. But the greatest potential for sustainable protein production lies in insects and new plant sources.
Protein from insects and kangaroos?
In order for people in the western world to eat insect protein, this must be incorporated as a component in existing food products. In addition to insects, the researchers also say that meat from kangaroos is a potential source of protein, since kangaroos live in landscapes that are unsuitable for pasture and animal husbandry.
Maggots have been used as a source of protein for chicken farming
Current research included the use of larvae (maggots) of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) as a protein source for chicken farming. "Poultry is a huge industry worldwide and this industry is under pressure to find alternative proteins that are more sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly than the cereal crops currently used," explains the study author. A chicken diet that contains up to 15 percent larvae flour does not affect the performance of the chicken production, the efficiency of the nutrients, the aroma of the breast meat, the general taste, the juiciness and the tenderness of the meat or the composition of long-chain fatty acids. Actually, the results are completely logical. Finally, chickens also eat insects and larvae in the wild.
Insects are a normal part of the diet for millions of people
“Although insects are largely foreign to food in Western cultures, they are a familiar part of the diet for millions of people around the world,” the researchers report. Insect larvae could be bred from waste and wastewater. "There has to be a better understanding of the difference between animal feed and human food and a global re-evaluation of what healthy, nutritional and safe food is for everyone," the study authors demand. (as)