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.
In fact, the production of meat from traditional livestock emits more CO2 than the entire global transport sector.
So, years ago, we went searching for the most resource-efficient and nutritious alternative protein that our planet has to offer. Little did we know that the solution would be edible insects!
We want to make it easy to follow a planetarian diet, which means getting the most nutritious food, whilst causing the least environmental harm as possible.
A quick comparison of insects vs beef shows us why eating insects is a fantastic alternative:
Insects have a much smaller environmental footprint, compared to red meat. Producing 1 kg of protein from crickets causes emissions as little as 1 g of CO2. Producing 1 kg of protein from beef emits 2850 g of CO2.
Rearing cattle requires large amount of water. A lot of water is used in the production of feed for cattle, as well as on farms where cattle are raised. 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.
To produce 1 kg of protein from insects requires 5 L of water are used, compared to approx. 15 500 L needed to produce 1 kg of protein from beef.
Because insects are so efficient at turning water and feed into body weight (they grow fast), you save a lot of land by switching from beef to insects.
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.
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.
In many countries, especially Western countries, the average consumption of meat per person is much higher than recommended.
Numbers vary per country, but the recommended daily intake of meat per day lies around 50 - 100 g. In Denmark we consume more than double that amount. The average daily meat consumption lies at 224.32 g.
The overconsumption of beef has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes, while a moderate intake of animal products is beneficial as it provides important nutrients. Insects contain all the nutritional benefits that red meat contains, which are difficult to get from plants, including vitamin B12, iron, omega 3 and zinc - and even vitamin D and fibre, which you cannot get from eating beef.