As an alternative to meat, one scientist has suggested that humans will acquire the habit of eating maggots in order to reach their protein intake requirements. “Maggot sausages” will be the “meat” of the future according to an Australian scientist, Dr. Louwrens Hoffman.
Food scientists at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia are incorporating insects such as maggots and locusts into a range of specialty foods, including sausage, as well as formulating sustainable insect-based feeds for the livestock themselves. “Would you eat a commercial sausage made from maggots? What about other insect larvae and even whole insects like locusts? The biggest potential for sustainable protein production lies with insects and new plant sources,” said Dr. Hoffman.
Hoffman says that the meat industry is not sustainable, but people can start eating insects instead. “An overpopulated world is going to struggle to find enough protein unless people are willing to open their minds, and stomachs, to a much broader notion of food,” said Hoffman. The scientist says that conventional livestock production will soon be unable to meet global demand for meat. That means that other “fillers” and alternatives will be needed to supplement the food supply with sufficient protein sources, according to The New York Post.
“In other words, insect protein needs to be incorporated into existing food products as an ingredient,” he says. “One of my students has created a very tasty insect ice cream.” The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) team is focusing on disguising insects in pre-prepared foods, says Hoffman, as studies have shown Westerners shy away from eating whole insects.
A Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations report, which came out in 2013, urged global citizens to eat more insects. Apparently, compared to conventional meats, bugs are nutritious, cheaper to produce, and more sustainable. Inspired by the report and other studies, several snack makers have marketed insect-based products in the US, including Chirps chips and Chapul protein bars.
Hoffman admitted that eating bugs might seem unpalatable to Westerners, “for many millions of people around the world they are a familiar part of the diet.” He also calls for a “global reappraisal of what can constitute healthy, nutritional and safe food for all.”