Sunday, November 7, 2021

The future of food is insects. Wait And it will Become The New Normal

We have been here before. In the 14th century, people didn’t see coffee coming. As we entered this century, avocados still took their time before achieving today’s popularity – often misleading vegans unaware of their strong ecological impacts. Perhaps in 50 years, a cricket burger for lunch will be as common as a morning latte today.

The fact is: edible insects are slowly flying into the diet of Western people. We would (or maybe we still do) look at them as something disgusting, only to be eaten when facing real hunger situations. But according to a Barclay’s report, billion people in over 130 countries already regularly eat insects as a source of protein. And it’s not just protein, bugs are rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals too.

The consumption of insects for now is practiced mainly in regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, however it is estimated that by 2050 entomophagy will be one of the main consumptions for obtaining protein on the planet.

By 2050, a high range of scarcity of both land, water and other vital resources is projected, so changing habits, in this case food, will cease to be an option to become an imperative.

With Earth's population estimated to grow from seven billion to around nine billion by 2050, the growing demand for sustainable protein sources has put entomophagy in the spotlight.

According to estimates by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock industry could account for roughly 70% of the planet's agricultural land, with as much as 33% of all cropland being used to grow food for livestock.

In comparison cultivating insects requires less space, less feed, and generates less greenhouse gas.

Kebabs, curries, sushi or ramen were once considered weird foods too. Perhaps the convenience of a restaurant around the corner doesn’t make us think straight ahead that these are foods come from specific locations. Perhaps we do remember it when we see waiters who look culturally very different and using specific customs.

As we’ve seen, the market is developing with the curious note that the Israeli entrepreneurial ecosystem seems to be one of the most active on the insects’ and food markets. As the market does grow, and the offer of bugs increases – either in their original shape or via flours or burgers – so do the number of restaurants offering these options.

In the case of Europe, a year ago European legislators approved the use of insects in the kitchen for several countries of the European Union.

Belgium is one of the most prominent on the subject. Since 2013, it has authorized 10 insects for human consumption, including crickets. Little Food is an urban cricket breeding farm in Brussels and its creator sees in this business a more environmentally friendly protein alternative, with less energy and water consumption for its production and with less greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse.

In New York, several chefs took over the attributes of these invertebrates to give flavor to their cuisine and offer the diner dishes completely different from those

usually consumed in this country.

"The production of a pound of cricket represents a fraction of resources compared to a pound of meat and the amount of water that greenhouse gas emissions require," explains Joseph Yoon, executive director of the aforementioned Brooklyn Bugs restaurant.

"Insects have been used for centuries in Mexico, in fact, this is called entomophagy, which is the action of consuming proteins through insects, also let me tell you that they taste incredible," said Gerardo Alcaraz, one of the chefs who are among those who took the plunge and propose insects on the menu of their New York restaurant.

With some 1,900 species of edible insects, these innovative chefs hope to achieve their goal: to turn something that people don't perceive as food into a delicious food option.

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