How insects address the Sustainable Development Goals
March 30, 2023
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in insect farming as a means of climate action and addressing the world’s protein requirements.
At Better Origin, we have been looking at how insect farming relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which outline key changes we need to make for a healthy, safe, and sustainable planet.
Expanding the world’s protein portfolio.
SDG #2 sets out to End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture.
One of the primary benefits of insect farming is that it can provide a sustainable and cost-effective source of protein for animals and humans. Insects require less land, water, and feed to produce the same amount of protein. By promoting sustainable insect farming, we can increase access to nutritious food sources.
This is particularly important in developing countries, where access to protein sources is limited. It ties in with SDG #3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Wellbeing for All at All Ages. Insects are a rich source of nutrients and boast a good amino acid profile. They can help improve the nutritional content of diets in regions where malnutrition is a concern.
Where insects replace animal feed, they also lead to healthier diets. Black soldier fly larvae have been shown to improve gut health in chickens, reducing the need for antibiotics and promoting healthier livestock production.
Better proteins for a better world.
SDG #12 focuses on Ensuring Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns. With insects, we can shift consumption and production patterns towards more sustainable practices. Insect species like the black soldier fly can grow on food waste, closing the loop and preventing tonnes of produce from going to landfill and emitting methane. They can help us tackle waste and build circular systems.
Farming insects generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions and produces less waste than traditional livestock farming. This is why insects can also address SDG #13: Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change and Its Impacts. They combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions that would have come from food waste.
Making better use of our land.
SDG #15 calls us to Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
In the current food system, a bulk of deforestation is caused by cattle grazing and soy production. As insects replace both traditional proteins and soy used in animal feed, they can save thousands of hectares from deforestation.
At Better Origin, we have set out to evaluate the impact of our insect farms. We looked at our units growing insects for chicken feed. We calculated that one insect farm could save 5.6 hectares of rainforest from being cut down. Because they can be farmed vertically, insects can free up lots of agricultural areas. We can use them to lighten the pressure we put on our land.
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So you want to know more about insect farming?
At Better Origin, we have perfected the science of growing insects for feed – and we have put it to use in collaboration with farmers and supermarkets.