Ethan A. Huff,
Jan 16, 2011
Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands say that insects produce far less greenhouse gases than cattle and pigs do, and would thus be a viable alternative to eating meat. Published in the journalPLoS ONE, the study found that pigs, for instance, produce up to one hundred times more greenhouse gases than the equivalent weight of mealworms.
Researchers compared the greenhouse gas emissions of mealworms, crickets, locusts and pigs. Particularly with methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), theinsectsproduced far loweremissionsthan pigs did overall. Ammonia emissions, which can pollute groundwater supplies, were also lower among insects compared tocattle.
Researchers did not verify that actually producing insectproteinfor human consumption is as environmentally-friendly as producing cattle and pig protein, pound for pound. So while the idea may sound beneficial in theory, it is unknown whether or not it would work in reallife.
There was also no clarification about how the cattle and pigs used in the study were raised. Studies have shown that conventional feedlot raisingmethodsare highly toxic to theenvironment, while traditional, pasture-based methods of raising animals can actually replenish environmental health (http://www.naturalnews.com/028182_g…).
While some scientists insist that elevated levels of man-madegreenhouse gaseslike carbon dioxide (CO2) are getting trapped in the atmosphere and causing globalclimate change, other scientists say that the sun is the true culprit, and that cyclical climate change is completely normal (http://www.sciencedaily.com/release…). This topic remains hotly debated.
As far as plants are concerned, CO2 is vital for life. Plants need CO2 in order to survive, and when they take in CO2, they release oxygen for humans and other mammals to breathe (http://www.populartechnology.net/20…).
Reducingpollutionand developing cleaner methods of living are both worthy causes in protectingenvironmental health, but feeding insects and bugs to humans as a way to be more “green” isn’t likely to go over very well with the population. How would you like your Chicken McBuggets served up today?
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This article was posted: Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 5:20 am