2 April, 2021
Attentive Friday 5 readers might recall that we’ve long had the bug for insects. These little critters are a high-protein, low-impact alternative to meat that could be the secret to feeding a growing global population. They’re packed with micronutrients including iron and zinc, require much less space and feed than livestock and some species are also resistant to drought: a major plus point as water resources become increasingly precious.
To date, the most exciting uptake of insect protein has been for animal food. Ÿnsect, a world leader in natural insect protein funded by our friends at Astanor Ventures, has products suitable for cats and dogs, but also for rodents, birds and reptiles, as well as farmed fish. Given that petfood is responsible for an estimated one quarter of all global meat production, switching to a lower-impact protein source could have a massive impact on global emissions. And there’s another major benefit compared to humans: whilst in many (but not all) cultures, there’s a behavioural barrier to eating bugs, between 3% and 5% of a wild cat’s diet already consists of insects – so there’s no ick factor.
If you’re buzzing to join the party yourself, there’s no need to wait. Food start-up Beneto has launched a high-protein pasta made of 40% ground cricket flour, whilst Bug Farm Foods offers Welsh cricket cookies and biscuits made from powdered buffalo insects. When even your cats are getting involved, it might be time to become a bee-liever.