From Farm To Table, Mealworms May Be The Next Best Food
The researchers compared the environmental impact of meat production on a mealworm farm to traditional animal farms using three parameters: Land usage, energy needs, and greenhouse gas emissions. From the start of the process to the point that the meat left the farm, they found that mealworms scored better than the other foods. Per unit of edible protein produced, mealworm farms required less land and similar amounts of energy.
Previous work by the same team, published in PLOS ONE in 2010, has already shown that mealworms themselves produce less greenhouse gases than other animals grown for meat. In this new study, the researchers elaborate on the sustainability of insect proteins as a food by showing that growing mealworms for animal protein requires less land and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions than chicken, pork, beef or milk.
Commenting on their results, Oonincx adds, "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. Now, for the first time it has been shown that mealworms, and possibly other edible insects, can aid in achieving such a system."
Citation: Oonincx DGAB, de Boer IJM (2012) Environmental Impact of the Production of Mealworms as a Protein Source for Humans – A Life Cycle Assessment. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51145. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051145
Financial Disclosure: This study was directly funded by Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands as part of a PhD program. Wageningen University had no other role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript, than can be expected with the academic supervision of a PhD candidate.
Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Public Library of Science
Source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Public Library of Science. "From Farm To Table, Mealworms May Be The Next Best Food." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 27 Dec. 2012. Web.
27 Apr. 2017. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/254365.php>
Public Library of Science. (2012, December 27). "From Farm To Table, Mealworms May Be The Next Best Food." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.