Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Eating Bugs May Not Be as Eco-friendly as You Think

"Crickets, considered a “gateway bug” and an ecologically viable food source, have become one of the latest food crazes - popping up on grocery store shelves in baked goods and even dog treats. 
But a UC Davis study cautions that while crickets do have the potential to increase the supply of dietary protein that we need to feed our exponentially growing population, their sustainability claims have been “overstated". 
University of California Cooperative Extension agronomist Mark Lundy informs us discerning non-bug consumers:
“Our study demonstrates that the sustainability gains associated with cultivating crickets as an alternative source of protein will depend, in large part, on what the crickets are fed and which systems of livestock production they are compared to.” 
In their experiment, crickets fed minimally processed food waste composed largely of straw died before they reached a harvestable size. Those fed processed food waste or raised on typical poultry feed only had a protein conversion rate that’s similar to chickens.
In other words, crickets can’t convert plants into protein more efficiently than chickens.  But if we can eventually find ways to efficiently farm crickets, edible bugs can be a part of our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while sustainably feeding a growing population." 

Ummm....I don't think so!