“Let them eat… insects?!?”
Commentary by Mike McMorris, LRIC CEO, August 2021
About ten years ago, I attended a gathering at the University of Guelph to learn about insects as food. I was in the Animal Bioscience building, in a lecture hall that I had been in many years prior to learn poultry production and so it struck me as odd that there was a group of people, passionate people, talking about the future of food being insects!
In fact, they were even discussing humane slaughter. The logical part of my brain took in and appreciated the production data on insect production: little feed needed, high protein output, etc. But I really did not get past the “yuck” factor. In fact, I thought to myself “Well, I’ll be dead by the time this becomes mainstream”. Maybe not.
Today, I looked up insects as food on the internet and found an interesting FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization ) article.
What really stuck me was the list of criteria now used to compare insects as food with products from more conventional livestock agriculture: feed conversion, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, animal welfare, risk of zoonotic infections and the One Health concept.
That's the same list that every livestock sector is using as they aim to do better and retain/grow market share. They say competition is a good thing.