Published on December 20th, 2012 | by James Ayre


Mealworms Can Be Used To Replace Currently Used Meat While Providing More Protein For The Same Amount Of Land Farmed Research Finds

December 20th, 2012 by

Mealworms may soon function as an effective substitute for industrially produced meat. New research has found that beetle larvae, also known as mealworms, can be farmed to produce more usable protein than current farms that focus on chicken, pork, beef or milk do, while using the same amount of land.


“The researchers compared the environmental impact of meat production on a mealworm farm to traditional animal farms using three parameters: Land usage, energy needs, and greenhouse gas emissions. From the start of the process to the point that the meat left the farm, they found that mealworms scored better than the other foods. Per unit of edible protein produced, mealworm farms required less land and similar amounts of energy.”

Previous work by the researchers has shown that the mealworms themselves create far less greenhouse gases than other animals that are raised for meat do. And now, in the new research, they expanded on that by showing that raising mealworms as food uses much less land and creates lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional meat production does.

“Since the population of our planet keeps growing, and the amount of land on this earth is limited, a more efficient, and more sustainable system of food production is needed. Now, for the first time it has been shown that mealworms, and possibly other edible insects, can aid in achieving such a system.”

The new research was just published December 19th in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Source: PLoS

Image Credits: Mealworms via Wikimedia Commons

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • 😀

  • Terezi Pyrope

    Glad to be a vegetarian, as always.

  • BDubs

    So where are the recipes for mealworms, already?

  • Americans are too spoiled to resort to eating bugs.

  • Americans are too spoiled to resort to eating bugs.

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