The rising per capita income of the global population coupled with a substantial increase in the global population is driving the demand for more animal-based products. A recent analysis by Persistence Market Research opines that the growing demand for animal-based products is causing animal farmers to find an alternative source of protein to ensure sustainability. Insect feed provides a great alternative to replace soy and fishmeal used as animal feed owing to its high protein content and low-fat percentage.
Recent studies suggest insect feed can partially replace fishmeal used to feed poultry, fish, and pigs. The replacement can serve the nourishment required by the animals while reducing the possibility of over-fishing. Further, a plant-based diet’s composition includes non-starch polysaccharides, high fiber content, anti-nutritional components, and low sulfur amino acids content which are unfavorable for livestock and other animals.
Growing Controversies around Soybean Cultivation to Promote the use of Insect Feed
Soy is a plant-based animal feed that is being used extensively. According to the recent study by PMR, growing controversies around soybean cultivation have sparked demands for finding an alternative to soy feed. Soybean plantations have been known to cause large scale deforestation across the world. With the global temperatures on the rise, governments around the world are concerned about the impact the plantations can have on the earth. Growing awareness about soybean plantations is causing food chains to look out for animal feed alternatives to ensure sustainability in production while doing their bit for the environment. For instance, fast food giants McDonald’s is already researching the use of insects for chicken feed in order to replace soy. The company aims to substantially reduce the use of soy in the chicken feed with an intention to contribute towards the welfare of the environment. Preliminary results of the research suggest insects for animal feed are better than plant-based feed and could potentially replace soy.
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Assortment of Benefits Associated with Insect Feed Make it a Lucrative Alternative Animal Feed Option
Insects are rich in proteins and cultivation of insects requires less space and energy as compared to other forms of feeds. For instance, a recent study suggested that production of approximately one ton of crickets requires a surface area of just over 3000 square-meter and over 2 metric tons of feed and provides protein equivalent to 600 kilograms which is far more compared to one ton of soybean production. Further, insect rearing can help in a comprehensive reduction of organic wastes as several species of insects fit for use as animal feed have been found out to thrive on food waste. Another benefit that makes insect feed a lucrative alternative is that insects can be reared all year round unlike, soy and fishmeal. The use of insects in animal feed can also potentially reduce the demand for importing raw materials and can, therefore, boost the local economy. Due to these factors, insect feed is gaining widespread popularity in the animal feed market.