Replace Soy with Mealworms as a Protein-Rich Animal Feed Supplement


| 3/25/2015 10:25:00 AM


Tags: mealworms, soy, sustainable farming, insects, livestock, animal feed, New Mexico, Abe Connally and Josie Moores,

Mealworm 

Quality protein is essential to the healthy growth of any omnivore or carnivore, whether it be pig, poultry, fish, reptile, canine, or human. Soy fills this need, but it has an increasingly large environmental footprint and its mass-scale production is anything but sustainable. Finding a cheap and easy alternative to this greedy crop has become imperative, and that’s where mealworms come in.

The Dark Side of Soybean Production

The majority of soy produced worldwide is used as a protein supplement for animals, while a lesser proportion is grown for human consumption and for biofuel. Between the three markets, a huge demand for soybeans has developed, and it is causing a massive problem.

To produce one pound of soy, it requires over 240 gallons of water (Save Our Water), 17 square feet of land (USDA projects record crop production), and it releases 0.86 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere (Tofu Carbon Footprint). It also is important to note that about 90 percent of soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified and needs a large amount of herbicides, mostly fossil fuel based. Because of this drain on precious natural resources, soy production has become a leading cause of deforestation in places like Brazil (Wikipedia: Deforestation in Brazil).

Meal Worms

The Soy Alternative

Soy protein is often hailed as a "green" replacement for meat. However, it is the use of soy within the meat industry that is largely responsible for the emissions and carbon footprint of livestock production.  If animals didn’t consume so much soy, they would be considerably less harmful to the environment.




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