One of the most important argument in favor of introducing insects in our diet, is that they are much more sustainable than traditional protein sources. Compared to traditional Danish protein sources, insects have the following benefits, according to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations):
- They produce more protein per kilo feed they eat. That is, they convert their feed into protein much more efficiently. In order to gain a kilo, mealworms have to eat about two kilos of feed, while a cow has eat close to 25 kilos. In addition, there is relatively less protein per kilo edible meat in the cow, if we adjust for the weight of the cow, which again speaks in favor of the insects.
- Mealworms can live on waste products. A mix of discarded cereals and unsaleable vegetables is a great source of feed for the mealworms. Many of the waste product we usually throw out in our homes, in the super market or in the agriculture, could instead be converted into good and nutritious protein. It should be stated, though, that if we want the mealworms to have the best possible conditions, their feed must be customized very carefully, and then they cannot do with random vegetables and cereals.
- They emit relatively little ammonic and green house gasses in the production.
- They consume way less water.
Furthermore, mealworms can be farmed using very little space, they can be farmed locally and they can be farmed vertically. You cannot farm a quarter of a cow on your kitchen table, but you can easily farm 200 grams of mealworms a week in your home, and you can maybe even do it only by feeding them with your own leftovers from your kitchen. With an efficient production setup, you can easily farm 5 tons of mealworms per square meter.