Why You Should Eat Insects: Insects Versus Beef

We have made it our mission to fix the broken food and agriculture system. One of the main reasons why it is broken, is our high and growing consumption of red meat, particularly beef and pork.  

The production of red meat is driving climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity - and it is not only damaging our environment, but also our health.

A comparison of the nutritional values and environmental impact of insects vs beef shows us why eating insects is a fantastic alternative. 

Nutritional Comparison 

Insects contain almost all the nutritional benefits that you get from eating meat, fish and rye bread - at once!

High protein content and quality
In fresh weight, insects contain approximately the same amount of protein as beef. The protein is also a high quality because it has all the 9 essential amino acids. 

Low saturated fat
While beef has saturated fat and an overconsumption is linked to increased risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes, insects have a low saturated fat content. Instead, insects are rich in Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, which we usually get from fish. 

High in fibre
Eating insects also provides fibre, which is not present in beef. 

Essential vitamins and minerals    
Insects contain a range of vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, magnesium and  zinc. Some of these nutrients, particularly vitamin B12 is impossible to get on a plant-based diet, and many people also lack iron.  


Environmental Impact

Insects have a much smaller environmental footprint, compared to red meat. Insects are cold-blooded and require much fewer resources because they are more efficient at turning water and feed into protein that we can eat. This saves a lot of resources.  

Reduce CO2-emissions
Producing 1 kg of protein from crickets causes emissions as little as 1 g of CO2Producing 1 kg of protein from beef emits 2.850 g of CO2.

Water consumption 
Rearing cattle requires large amounts of water. A lot of water is used in the production of feed for cattle, as well as on farms where cattle are raised. 

To produce 1 kg of protein from insects requires 5 L of water, compared to approx. 15.500 L needed to produce 1 kg of protein from beef.  

Feed consumption   

Because insects are so efficient at turning water and feed into body weight (they grow and reproduce fast), you save a lot of land by switching from beef to insects. Switching from beef to insects would free up vast amounts of land, which would help our ecosystems and biodiversity. 

Insects require 1.7 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of protein, whereas cattle need 20 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of protein.

Land use 
Insects are also farmed vertically, requiring very little space and meaning that land does not need to be cleared to set up an insect farm. Farmed insects are fed on waste streams, such as spent grain from breweries, solving yet another problem. 

Producing insects requires approximately 3.5 m2 per kg of insect protein, whereas 250 m2 are used per kg of beef protein.

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