Story 2015-04-21 7F7R Crickets aren’t ready to replace meat

Crickets aren’t ready to replace meat

by
in environment on (#7F7R)
Worldwide, statistics show that crickets are the most widely cultivated insects for the human diet and are considered the “gateway bug” for people who choose to eat insects. Crickets are readily available in pet stores as food for turtles, frogs, and other pets. They are considered delicacies or snacks for people in many countries. Cricket flour is now commonly found in protein bars, baked goods, and protein powders. Crickets have been touted as much better for the planet—environmentally and financially—than livestock, due to the supposedly more-efficient rate at which they convert feed into body mass. But in reality, there is very little data to support this.

Researchers measured the biomass output and feed conversion ratios of crickets (Acheta domesticus) that were reared on foods ranging from grain-based to high in cellulose. Crickets fed on processed food waste grew to harvestable size with conversion efficiency similar to industrial-scale production broiler chickens. But over 99 percent of the crickets fed minimally processed, municipal-scale food waste died before reaching a harvestable size. The measurements were made at a much greater population scale and density than any previously reported studies. These feed conversion ratios are much less efficient than those reported from studies conducted at smaller scales and lower population densities.
Reply 5 comments

Shucks (Score: 2, Informative)

by fishybell@pipedot.org on 2015-04-21 04:48 (#7FVZ)

Looks like we'll have to stick to the more nutritive, cheaper, less "icky," and already being consumed, spirulina.

Re: Shucks (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-04-21 23:23 (#7HV8)

Which tastes disgusting. Yes, I went on a health kick once.

Same thing that applies everywhere.. (Score: 1)

by insulatedkiwi@pipedot.org on 2015-04-21 14:06 (#7GVD)

Garbage in.. garbage out.

I'd be interested to see if they could be used in a larger scale system, obviously, straight garbage isn't particularly useful, but for example, if they were fed plant material like algae grown in the natural sewage processing farms as part of the process?

It's not 1+1 =2 obviously.. and that probably wouldn't be enough alone.

So... they ARE ready? (Score: 1)

by kwerle@pipedot.org on 2015-04-21 16:04 (#7H42)

Researchers measured the biomass output and feed conversion ratios of crickets (Acheta domesticus) that were reared on foods ranging from grain-based to high in cellulose. Crickets fed on processed food waste grew to harvestable size with conversion efficiency similar to industrial-scale production broiler chickens.
So... with just a few? years of industrial scale testing, they are as efficient as one of the highest min/max'd meats on the market? That we've spent decades grinding efficiency on? That sounds ready.

gateway bug (Score: 1)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2015-04-21 23:33 (#7HW8)

Never eaten one and don't plan to, but I love the expression "gateway bug."