Why does the debate on the use of edible insects risk precluding a more sustainable future?
The use of insects as food is seen as a possible sustainable solution to address the problems of the world's growing population and increasing demand for animal protein.
Insects have a high protein yield, require fewer resources than traditional animals such as cattle and poultry, and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
However, the debate on the use of insects as food risks precluding a more sustainable future because there are still many cultural and psychological barriers that prevent the acceptance of insects as food by most Western consumers.
Furthermore, insect farming for human consumption is still in its infancy and cannot yet meet the global demand for protein.
To overcome these barriers and create a more sustainable future, it is necessary to continue to promote research and development in insect farming, as well as consumer education and awareness of the benefits of insects as food.
Italian food products could be threatened by insect foods if they become widely accepted and used as food in Italian food culture. However, at present, insects are not yet widely accepted as food in Italy and the market for insects as food is still relatively small.
Italian food is very varied and traditional, with a wide range of typical and quality products, with recipes and traditions rooted in the culture and history of the country.
The production of insects for food is still in the development phase and cannot threaten or satisfy the global demand for protein, so it does not represent a threat to Italian food products.
Insects can be used as food for farm animals, such as chickens, fish and pigs, unlike animals used for feed production such as fish, insects bred for food or fertiliser production do not require antibiotics for their growth and produce a hypoallergenic protein meal.
Besides being used as a source of protein for feed production, insect excrement can also be used as a fertiliser for plants.
Insect faeces fertilisers are a form of organic fertiliser that uses insect excrement as a source of plant nutrients. Insect excrement contains nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, which are the three main nutrients that plants need to grow. In addition, insect excrement also contains other micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium and iron. Insect faeces fertilisers are considered a sustainable alternative to chemical fertilisers as they utilise a natural source of nutrients and do not require the use of chemicals for their production.