Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Edible insects produce smaller quantities of greenhouse gasses than cattle

Date:
January 9, 2011
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
Insects produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases per kilogram of meat than cattle and pigs. Insect meat could therefore form an alternative to more conventional types of meat.

Greenhouse gas production by insects.
Credit: Image courtesy of Wageningen University and Research Centre

Insects produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases per kilogram of meat than cattle and pigs. This is the conclusion of scientists at Wageningen University who have joined forces with government and industry to investigate whether the rearing of insects could contribute to more sustainable protein production. Insect meat could therefore form an alternative to more conventional types of meat.

Cattle farming worldwide is a major producer of greenhouse gases. For the assessment of the sustainability of insect meat, the researchers at Wageningen University quantified the production of greenhouse gases of several edible insect species.

The results of the study were published in the online journal PLoS ONE on 29 December.

The research team has for the first time quantified the greenhouse gases produced per kilogram of insect product. The gases concerned were methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The results demonstrate that insects produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases than conventional livestock such as cattle and pigs. For example, a pig produces between ten and a hundred times as much greenhouse gases per kilogram compared with mealworms. Emissions of ammonia (which causes the acidification and eutrophication of groundwater) also appear to be significantly lower. A pig produces between eight and twelve times as much ammonia per kilogram of growth compared to crickets, and up to fifty times more than locusts. An additional advantage of insects over mammals is that they convert their food into meat quicker.

Alternative

The study indicates that proteins originating from insects in principle form an environmentally-friendly alternative to proteins from meat originating from conventional livestock. Further research is required to ascertain whether the production of a kilogram of insect protein is also more environmentally friendly than conventional animal protein when the entire production chain is taken into account.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dennis G. A. B. Oonincx, Joost van Itterbeeck, Marcel J. W. Heetkamp, Henry van den Brand, Joop J. A. van Loon, Arnold van Huis. An Exploration on Greenhouse Gas and Ammonia Production by Insect Species Suitable for Animal or Human Consumption. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (12): e14445 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014445

Cite This Page:

Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Edible insects produce smaller quantities of greenhouse gasses than cattle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107083737.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2011, January 9). Edible insects produce smaller quantities of greenhouse gasses than cattle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107083737.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Edible insects produce smaller quantities of greenhouse gasses than cattle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107083737.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) An international team uncovered a large ancient wine celler that likely belonged to a Cannonite ruler. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins