The demand for animal protein is expected to rise by 70–80% between 2012 and 2050, while the current animal production sector already causes major environmental degradation. Edible insects are suggested as a more sustainable source of animal protein. However, few experimental data regarding environmental impact of insect production are available. Therefore, a lifecycle assessment for mealworm production was conducted, in which greenhouse gas production, energy use and land use were quantified and compared to conventional sources of animal protein. Production of one kg of edible protein from milk, chicken, pork or beef result in higher greenhouse gas emissions, require similar amounts of energy and require much more land. This study demonstrates that mealworms should be considered a more sustainable source of edible protein.
- livestock production
- nutrient composition