Protix – Insects Replacing Fish as Protein Source
Over-fishing is a real problem in the modern world. A lot of fish is used for the production of protein, to be used for instance as food for animals. That protein can be obtained from another unexpected source: insects. There are about 1400 edible insects in the world. To name a few: crickets, cockroaches, worms, fruit flies, moths… Are you still there? These insects can produce high quality protein, suitable for humans as well. Europeans currently refuse to eat insects, but Africans and Asian do. Insects are cold-blooded so they don not need food to keep their body temperature high.
A big plus of insect farming: no harmful methane production. Operating farm temperature: 28 degrees Celsius. Regarding efficiency:
Insects are nutrient efficient compared to other meat sources… For every 100 grams of substance crickets contain 12.9 grams of protein, 121 calories, and 5.5 grams of fat. Beef contains more protein containing 23.5 grams in 100 grams of substance, but also has roughly 3 times the calories, and four times the amount of fat as crickets do in 100 grams. So, per 100 grams of substance, crickets contain only half the nutrients of beef
Farming method (crickets):
Crickets are usually housed in small (4′ x 8′) containers, furnished with simple items like egg cartons to provide shelter. Heat is a necessity for breeding crickets as they require temperatures around 90° Fahrenheit. House crickets live up to about eight weeks. Until they are twenty days old they are fed high protein animal feed, most commonly chicken feed, that contains between 14% and 20% protein. In the days before harvesting the crickets at around forty to fifty days old, they are often fed various vegetables, fruits and other plant matter. This is done to improve the taste of the insects and reduce the use of expensive, high protein animal feed. Crickets are normally killed by deep freezing, where they feel no pain and are sedated before neurological death. In some parts of the world crickets are baked or boiled.
[protix.eu] – Protix home page
[wikipedia.org] – Entomophagy (insects as food)
[wikipedia.org] – Insect farming
[thrillist.com] – We dare you to eat these 8 insect recipes
[fao.org] – Environmental opportunities for insect rearing for food and feed
[journals.plos.org] – Article expressing slight skepticism.