Are Edible Insects The Solution To Deforestation?
After many protests, the United Kingdom is the first country to have declared a climate change emergency. The question is though, what will actually be done to combat climate change?
With the population growing fast, food production needing to rapidly increase, water shortage on the rise and our forests disappearing, many are hoping that the other countries will follow this climate change emergency too.
Currently one of the biggest contributors to climate change are our dietary habits, livestock farming being the biggest culprit.
Our solution: Change you dietary habits, find sustainable meat substitutes and ultimately join the Entomophagy movement of eating insects.
Why the consumption of Insects you ask? Well to find out, keep reading.
The big challenge: Deforestation
Daily more and more hectors of greenery in our beautiful tropical rain-forests are disappearing and this does not just lead to the extinction of various animals but also leads to significant damage to us. Did you know that since 2015, UK citizens on average, are living 1.5 years shorter due to pollution?
Currently a big contributor to deforestation is livestock farming. Livestock is the world’s largest user of land resources, with pasture and arable land dedicated to the production of feed representing almost 80% of the total agricultural land. One-third of global arable land is used to grow feed, while 26% of the Earth’s ice-free terrestrial surface is used for grazing.
Now to add some sauce to this fire, things are pretty bad as we speak and they are about to get a whole lot worse. As our population is increasing so does the demand for food.
The world's population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Can you imagine the extent to which food production will need to increase to feed all those mouths? Can you imagine the increase of deforestation with the need to farm more livestock to create food?
This is the part where many say “oh well I will just change over to soy based products, surely Soy helps protect the environment in some way, why else would people eat it?
Here comes the bummer, many aren’t aware that right after livestock farming soy production is a significant contributor too.
Now you are probably thinking how does Soy cause so much damage. Ironically the arrows point back to livestock. As the demand for livestock increases so does the need to produce additional Soy, this is because 80% of Soy production ends up in the feed we give livestock.
If majority of Soy is eaten by livestock and we simply reduce our livestock in take this should thus also reduce farm land required for Soy? That is correct, but Soy production for people is growing yearly as more and more people are looking towards sustainable meat alternatives. Soy is a great alternative but Soy is not as sustainable and eco friendly as edible insects. The fact of the matter is, that Soy still does need to grow on land, taking up space where we could otherwise reforest. Cricket factories on the other hand can be built anywhere and can even expand vertically occupying even less space. Adding onto that, Soy also requires more Water to farm than edible insects such as Crickets.
Crickets can help save our Forests, and this is how:
1) They require Less Land
As mentioned, compared to traditional protein sources such as Chickens, Cows, Pigs and even Soy, Crickets have a far smaller impact on our forests and are ultimately more environmentally friendly. While a cow requires 200 square meters of land to produce 1 kg of protein, crickets only require 15 square meters to produce the same amount of protein. That is a significant difference, also keeping in mind that edible insect farms can grow vertically.
m² required to farm 1kg of each
2) Crickets have a highly efficient feed conversion
Crickets have a far higher feed conversion efficiency than traditional livestock.
Up to 80 % of a cricket is edible compared to only 55 % for chickens and pigs and 40 % for cattle.
Crickets are thus:
- 2 X more efficient in converting feed to meat as chickens 4 X more efficient than pigs 12 X more efficient than cattle.
3) Crickets require far less feed
As we are now aware, 80% of Soy production is used to feed livestock. They are thus not only taking up land to live and graze but their feed is also contributing too deforestation.
Crickets on the other hand require far less feed and the best part is that they are not picky at all when it comes to food. Crickets can eat a wide variety of foods, such as grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, yes no Soy needed.
The benefit to you in this is also edible insects are completely free of hormones, Antibiotics, GMO’s and all sorts of other nasty ingredients that many are looking to avoid.
To Produce 1kg of each
Change needs to happen now
To preserve what we have left of our forests and in the attempts too reforest, we need to act now. As evident one of the biggest contributors for deforestation is livestock farming. We need to thus change our dietary habits, which won’t only benefit the environment and help us tackle climate change but honestly will benefit the health of many.
Eager to join Chirp Nation and 2 billion more people in different parts of the world in making a difference and introducing insects as food into your diet? Try our Chirp Nation Gluten Free Cricket Powder Superfood today and take a step in the right direction.
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