Are insects and fake meat the future of food
Scientists have indicated that we may need to make some major dietary changes over the coming years.
In a new report published in the journal 'Global Food Security', researchers highlighted the impact that our ever-growing reliance on livestock is having on the environment.
As mankind's appetite for meat grows, more and more farm animals are needed which in turn produce increasing quantities of greenhouse gas emissions. Solving climate change, it seems, is going to necessitate quite a serious reduction in the amount of livestock being kept worldwide.
One solution, the researchers argue, is to substitute traditional meats with alternatives such as edible insects or even lab-grown meat that can be produced without killing any animals at all.
Insects are actually quite a common delicacy in many parts of the world and are particularly nutritious, pound-for-pound, compared to other types of meat.
"It is very widespread, especially in Asia, and not seen as unusual in those cultures," said Peter Alexander of the University of Edinburgh. "We are not trying to mandate or even suggest some policy that you eat insects every day [but] our work indicates the potential benefits that are there."
Whatever the case however, it is clear that something will need to change sooner or later.
"The developing world is eating more meat as they can afford to do so," said Alexander. "That really is a concerning trend if it continues. If everybody eats meat like an American does currently, then it's going to be very difficult to sustain."
"With current production practices, more than the entire area of the planet would be required.