Meat protein, plant protein, insect protein... what is the difference?
Insects as protein?
How do insects work as a source of protein? Unfortunately, the production and consumption of protein today are not sustainable, and sometimes even unethical. A change is both needed and required. The question is, which source of protein will be the new norm? Let us compare the different types of proteins, animal meat, plant protein, and insect protein.
Comparison of protein sources:
Animal meat protein
The most popular protein in most parts of the world is meat. In terms of protein quality, traditional animal protein is a complete protein - high digestibility and good amino acid conditions. Unfortunately, a large part of animal husbandry is unsustainable from a climate perspective. Taking into account the resources required in terms of land, food, and water, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions that occur as a result of production. Sometimes, animal breeding is also unethical and the welfare of the animals is not important. Unfortunately, studies also show that unwanted additives such as antibiotics and growth hormones are used in the animal industry and that certain dog foods thus contribute to antibiotic resistance, which is today classified as one of the biggest threats to global public health according to the World Health Organization.
Plant protein, which is already consumed by humans, has also begun to be used in the pet food industry. The risk with this type of protein source from a climate perspective is the loss of natural habitats and the negative use of chemical fertilizers and heavy machinery. At the same time, the production of plant protein requires fewer resources than animal husbandry and does not result in the same volume of greenhouse gases being emitted. The nutritional quality differs between different plants and not all plants contain all amino acids. Therefore, some plant proteins are not complete.
Insects as a source of protein require fewer resources in production than the more traditional protein sources. Furthermore, it can efficiently convert organic food waste into high-quality protein. Moreover, In the production of insect protein, less soil, water, and food is required than in the production of traditional animal proteins. Insect protein also contributes to less greenhouse gas emissions. Another fact is that Insects are rich in amino acids with high digestibility, which makes them a high-quality protein source.
From an ethical perspective, studies show that there is a low probability that insects experience emotions or are aware of their state of mind. Before the production process starts, the insect larvae are put into a dormant state or cooled down.
Did you know that 2 billion people in the world already eat insects? It is also approved as a source of food in the European Union and Sweden. The approval is made for each insect species.