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Researchers say mealworm will become the burger of the future

If you like your Angus beefburgers today, then you might be in for a shock because researchers in the Netherlands claim that the beetle larvae known as mealworms may take over the supermarket shelves in the future.

Mealworms are a more sustainable alternative to beef, chicken, pork and milk according to the Dutch researchers. Livestock currently use 70 percent of all farmland. Also research shows that the demand for animal protein continues to rise globally and is expected to grow by up to 80 percent between 2012 and 2050.

Livescience report “To see if insects really might be a more sustainable food source than livestock, Oonincx and his colleagues analyzed what global warming gases insects might generate as a result of respiration, the production of their feed, distribution networks to stores where they would get sold, and emissions from the heating of climate-controlled rearing facilities.

The researchers found that growing mealworms released less greenhouse gases than producing cow milk, chicken, pork and beef. They also discovered that growing mealworms takes up only about 10 percent of the land used for production of beef, 30 percent of the land used for pork and 40 percent of the land needed for chickens to generate similar amounts of protein. The researchers note that optimizing mealworm growth might lead to even more land savings. ”

“Since the population of our planet keeps growing, and the amount of land on this Earth is limited, a more efficient, and more sustainable system of food production is needed,” Oonincx said in a statement. “Now, for the first time it has been shown that mealworms, and possibly other edible insects, can aid in achieving such a system.”

Kitguru says: I think I will live on vegetables and rice if this becomes a reality.

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