What are the benefits of eating insects? And what are the disadvantages? Insects are a sustainable source of protein, breeding insects is much better for the environment than breeding cattle (Sports enthusiasts, perhaps a responsible snack? Edible insects are ideal for your muscles to recover after sport).

The benefits at a glance; edible insects emit less methane, require less space to grow and consume less water and require less feed. Only 1.7 kg of feed is needed for 1 kg of insects, compared with 24 kg that is needed for 1 kg of beef. A big advantage of breeding edible insects is that the upgrade waste streams to high quality protein.

Edible insects are healthy and rich in nutrients. They contain protein, unsaturated fat and fiber. Insects contain high-quality proteins because they have a good mix of essential amino acids. In addition, they are full of zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and many more other micronutrients. The chitin contained in the exoskeleton of insects could possibly contribute to a better immune system. An important advantage of our insects is that they are all grown in the Netherlands and therefore don not have to be imported from the other side of the world.

The disadvantage of eating insects is that they are unknown and therefore the allergens they contain (the same as dust mites and crustaceans and molluscs) most people allergic to these things do not know that insect have the same allergens. In addition, cultivated insects must be kept well separated from wild insects in order to ensure that they are not contaminated with pathogens from the outside and must not be allowed to escape to the outside. This puts the ecosystem out of balance (but that is no problem for our breeders) . Also, the cultivation of insects is still very labor-intensive and new, so the yields of the cultivation are not yet optimal. However, techniques are developing fast and breeding insects in a high tech way makes it less intensive to breed them.

There are a number of disadvantages associated with eating insects, but this is because it is still an emerging market, when the market will become more adult the benefits of edible insects will become bigger while the process can be scaled up.

Source: Evelien Donkers, National Manager Nederland-Duitsland, Jimini’s

 

Food Valley Breakfast Session: Food & Proteins – Insects in Food, 6 June 2018

Food Valley is organizing a number of Breakfast Sessions in 2018 for industry professionals, in order to facilitate informal networking opportunities with peers in the industry and as a method of showcasing the knowledge and expertise of the network of Food Valley in Wageningen. On June 6th the third Breakfast Session of this series in 2018 will take place with  experts on insects in food, including Evelien Donkers, National Manager Nederland-Duitsland, Jimini’s.

Read more about this Food & Proteins Breakfast Session

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