A global protein shortage is prophesied for the coming decades, but bugs are flying in to the rescue. Insects can be raised using way less water and energy than traditional livestock, and they emit a fraction of the greenhouse gases (though they may not be as eco-friendly as is often repeated).
Insects are also a promising source of protein. But are they healthier than beef, pork and chicken? A team of researchers wanted to find out, so they conducted the first nutritional comparison of meats: the kind you squash in the bathroom, and the kind you eat in a burger. They graded mealworms, crickets, honeybee larvae, palm weevils, silkworms and caterpillars against chicken, beef and pork. “Most of the meat that we eat is fairly similar in terms of nutritional composition,” says Charlotte Payne, research associate at the University of Oxford and co-author of the study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “But the insects that people eat are incredibly different.”
Think you can tell which insects are healthier than meat? Test your knowledge with the quiz below, based on the findings of the study.
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