Researchers are now pushing mealworms as a healthier choice when it comes to protein intake, according to press reports.
Edible insects protein derived from mealworms can become a more sustainable alternative to foods such as milk and chicken, according to the latest research from researchers in the field of nutrition.
The researchers compared the environmental impact of meat production from beetle larva mealworms to a farm of traditional animals, using three parameters: land use, energy requirements and greenhouse gas. They found that worms produce more edible protein than traditional farm chicken, pork, beef or milk, for the same amount of land used.
Research conducted by Dennis Oonincx from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, found that from the beginning of the process to the point that the meat is taken from the farm, mealworms scored better than other foods. Mealworm farms require less land and a similar amount of energy per unit of edible protein produced.
Previous work by the team has shown that mealworms themselves produce less greenhouse gases than other animals farmed for meat.
In this new study, researchers elaborated on the sustainability of insects as food proteins, showing that more mealworms animal protein requires less land and produce fewer emissions of greenhouse gases than chicken, pork, meat or milk.