London: Are insects the meat of the future? John Straw, co-author of the new book iDisrupted thinks so, and here he explains why…
According to the United Nations, livestock uses around 30% of the world’s ice-free land mass and produces 14.5% of all greenhouse-gas emissions. Making meat also requires supplying animals with vast amounts of water and food. For example, in the United States producing 1kg of live animal weight typically requires 10kg of feed for beef, 5kg for pork and 2.5kg for poultry. Insects on the otherhand are much easier to raise; they produce less waste and the world has a huge supply.
What does this mean for the future? Between now and 2050, the world’s population is expected to rise from 7.2 billion to over 9 billion people—and the appetite for meat will grow along with it. To keep up with demand, food production will need to increase significantly. It is a big challenge, however there is also an economic opportunity.
Ali Partovi, who has previously invested in both Dropbox and Airbnb, as well as half-a-dozen sustainable-food companies recently stated in the Economist that plant based proteins are the way forward. He explained: “Anytime you can find a way to use plant protein instead of animal protein there’s an enormous efficiency in terms of the energy, water and all sorts of other inputs involved—which translates at the end of the day to saving money.”
Co-author John Straw thinks there is an alternative solution to the problem: “As the population is set to drastically increase, the world’s supply of meat will be strained. There is a growing need for alternative animal proteins and insects could be the future.”
There’s a lot being talked about around the subject of insect protein. TinyFarms – a Silicon Valley startup that has raised $75 million to scale their insect farm operations.
John Straw concluded: “Insect protein has the positive potential to disrupt the worlds food supply dramatically.”