We’re no strangers to the concept of climate change. And, since we were children we’ve been told to do various things to help slow down its onset; switch off lights and fans to conserve energy and have showers instead of baths to conserve water. Now, a new study has found a more unusual way to tackle climate change; eating insects.
The Future Of Food
Yes, we’re totally serious. If you swap your serving of beef with a serving of insects, you could reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, the risk of deforestation and the amount of methane emissions.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and Scotland’s Rural College looked at what effect replacing traditionally produced meat with insects, lab grown meat or imitation meat products would have on the environment. The study quickly nixed lab grown meat, saying that it takes as much energy and produces as much emissions as traditional meats.
Instead, it suggested that eating insects or imitation meat would be more environmentally friendly.
This is because rearing insects for consumption would use much less energy as compared to rearing cows and buffalo for beef. It would reduce a demand for fertiliser and water to feed the cows, reduce the amount of trees being cut down to make room for grazing and reduce methane emissions from the cows.
The lead researcher Dr Peter Alexander, from the University of Edinburgh’s school of GeoSciences, said: “A mix of small changes in consumer behaviour, such as replacing beef with chicken, reducing food waste and potentially introducing insects more commonly into diets, would help achieve land savings and a more sustainable food system.”
Eating insects has become more popular around the world; experts are encouraging major food companies to include insects as ingredients in pre-packaged foods to get consumers more open to eating them. Meanwhile, in certain regions, insect eating is already the norm.