Saturday, April 14, 2018

Bug in the food

Nutritionists and scientists have long touted insect consumption for humans as a sustainable and cheap source of protein, but snacking on bugs is a stomach-churning prospect for people in many countries and cultures. Introducing insect protein further down the food chain may be more palatable.

Fast food giant McDonald's is studying using insects for chicken feed to reduce reliance on soy protein.  It typically takes about two pounds of feed to produce a pound of chicken. For pork, it takes four pounds.

Benoit Anquetil - strategy and technology lead for Cargill's animal nutrition business - called developing new sources of protein a "long-term opportunity."
"Sustainable protein is a key challenge, which is why Cargill is evaluating the viability of insects as part of the solution to nourish the world," Anquetil said. Cargill conducted an insect-based feed trial on poultry in 2015, but the company's efforts with insects have since focused on bolstering its growing aquaculture business, where demand for alternative proteins is most acute.
"Fishmeal has a limited supply, and aquaculture is continuing to grow," said Andrew Loder, president of Wilbur Ellis' feed division. "We see insect meal as one piece of a solution."

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