Global consumption of animal protein—milk, eggs, meat, and fish—is likely to rise 60 to 70 percent by mid-century. But producing food animals already eats up three-quarters of all agricultural land, and it threatens to empty the seas for fishmeal. Meanwhile, pig and poultry operations in particular have become notorious for polluting the surrounding countryside with manure.
What’s the answer? Eating less meat can help, especially in meat-gorged nations like the United States, but it isn’t going to make these problems go away. Much of the increased demand will come from population growth and from greater wealth in protein-starved developing nations.
Instead, insects may be the answer. We’re not talking about direct consumption as human food, the perennial delight of horror-stricken journalists. The truth is that most people are never going to want to throw a housefly burger on the grill. But insects could just be the perfect feed for livestock.
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