-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- They'll never replace the
traditional Christmas ham, but mealworms (beetle larvae) may
someday offer an environmentally friendly alternative to meat, a
new study suggests.
Researchers in the Netherlands used three factors -- land usage,
energy needs and greenhouse gas emissions -- to compare the
environmental impact of mealworm farms to chicken, pork, beef or
Compared to the other types of farming, mealworm farming
produced more edible protein using the same amount of land and less
energy, according to the study in the journal
The same team of researchers previously found that mealworms
produce less greenhouse gases than other meat-producing
"Since the population of our planet keeps growing, and the amount of land on this earth is limited, a more efficient, and more sustainable system of food production is needed," study author Dennis Oonincx, of the University of Wageningen, said in a journal news release.
"Now, for the first time it has been shown that mealworms, and possibly other edible insects, can aid in achieving such a system," he added.
The University of Arizona has more about
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