Protein is a key part of the human diet and essential for good health. The main source of dietary protein typically comes from farmed animal products. However, livestock and aquaculture-based protein products are associated with negative climate and environmental impacts. These are both direct through the production systems, as well as indirect through livestock feed.
As the global population continues to grow, so does the demand for meat and fish products in our diets. This further drives the market for food and feed ingredients, putting pressure on our ecosystems.
Alternative protein sources include traditional plant-based proteins and novel insect proteins. These are being explored to meet demand and mitigate against destruction of the natural environment.
Ingredients used in animal feed, such as soybean meal and fishmeal, have serious environmental impacts. These include land use change and deforestation, biodiversity loss and water quality issues.
Insect protein can also enhance a circular economy through rearing insects on by-products and food waste. However, there are regulatory and production challenges with its use.
You can find out more in a WWF-UK commissioned research project that ADAS undertook in 2021 – ‘Roadmap to accelerating insect protein in UK feeds (2021)’.