A preeminent thought leader in the use of insects as an alternative protein source, All Things Bugs discusses the genetic engineering of insects as a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to inefficient agricultural production and animal farming efforts.
A preeminent thought leader in the use of insects as an alternative protein source, All Things Bugs discusses the genetic engineering of insects as a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to inefficient agricultural production and animal farming efforts. All Things Bugs LLC is one of the world’s leading innovators in the area of insects as sustainable food ingredients and insect biotechnology for everything from agriculture to health and medicine. This emerging industry has received massive recent attention, including the recent PBS NOVA episode on Edible Insects that premiered Wednesday, October 20 at 9:00 PM.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the world is facing a looming crisis regarding vital protein sources in the population’s food supply. With the global population expected to boom to an estimated 9 billion by 2050, the production of meat would need to double, with feed and crop production keeping pace to support livestock. This would require even more land clearing and result in mass extinction of many plant and animal species. Already 70% of agricultural land and nearly half of land on earth is used to produce livestock.
Resource scarcity in terms of space, water, and funding is almost an insurmountable obstacle to global food security in and of itself, but the distressing reality is that the limited availability of resources is only the tip of the iceberg. Furthermore, an increase in agricultural production substantial enough to keep pace with demand amidst a rapidly growing population and world-wide shift towards Western style, protein-heavy diets, would exacerbate the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and act as a catalyst for furthering the decimation of the planet.
Research shows that agricultural activities account for nearly 10% of greenhouse emissions in the US alone. With the devastating effects of global warming at the forefront of a growing number of community and political concerns alike, there has been a rise in efforts to shift towards more sustainable practices in numerous industries including agriculture, but at current rates, without increased support, these initiatives are unlikely to curtail greenhouse gas emissions to the necessary levels.
Food security may seem like an impossible issue to overcome, but it turns out there may be a bite-sized solution within reach. While traditional agricultural solutions offer little more than the silent chirp of *crickets*, one innovative leader in this space is proposing actual crickets, and other insects, as potential heroes capable of feeding the world.
As the most diverse and largest group of organisms on the planet, insects offer hope where traditional protein sources fall short. Highly efficient metabolic pathways mean that production can be scaled while using fewer resources, making insects a cost-effective and resource-efficient alternative that can benefit both people and the planet simultaneously.
Crickets, mealworms and other farm-raised insects are a significant source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. While naturally protein-rich, these animals are also full of healthy fat, potassium, magnesium, copper, folate, biotin, iron, calcium and pantothenic acid.
One study demonstrated that the iron content of mealworms was greater than that of steak or beef, while another study showed that those consuming cricket-based foods [AD3] had biomarkers for improved gut health and increased probiotic bacteria.
Yet even more can be done to increase the nutrition value of these prolific little insects. Breakthroughs in genetic engineering and modern science, such as CRISPR and other biotechnology, enable scientists to genetically engineer these little creatures to even more than just dietary protein. They can be improved to be more nutritious and a more robust food crop by using genetics to make them resistant to diseases that impact insect farms, etc.
Similarly, insects can be genetically engineered to meet the unique requirements and demands of the bio-pharma industry. For example, insects can be genetically altered to incorporate viral spike proteins that work as a type of vaccination for cattle and other animals. This new delivery vector could open up new possibilities for combating zoonotic viruses and protecting the health of livestock. Simply add the genetically modified insect-based pellets to feeding troughs, and let the animals feed as usual. It’s never been easier to ensure vaccines are administered to the whole herd.
Using genetically modified insects as a protein-rich vehicle for vaccinating livestock also opens doors to global trade with countries who previously may not have had the budget for, or access to, veterinary resources. This cost-effective solution is ‘easy to digest’ for farmers around the world, as well as their precious livestock.
Published by entomology and sustainable food applications pioneer Aaron T. Dossy, PhD in Biomedical Science and Engineering, the book “Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients” details the potential mass production and use of insects as a sustainable and eco-friendly addition to the population’s food supply.
Concepts Discussed Within the Book Include:
● The current state and potential future of insects as a sustainable source of food, medicine, feed and biomaterials;
● Insight on the effective utilization of insects as a food ingredient;
● Describes how insects are an ideal alternative for use across a multitude of industries and applications;
● Expert recommendations on ways to develop and execute research programs, companies and products around insects;
● A depth and breadth of information and reference material for farmers, researchers, entrepreneurs, policymakers and more; and
● Reveals unique opportunities as well as emerging threats and challenges within this developing industry.
Dr. Aaron T. Dossey (PhD in biochemistry, molecular biology and biomedical science) is a life-long, self-taught Entomologist and enthusiast of Entomology and nature. He is a pioneer of insect-farming technology and insect-based food product development and has developed patented solutions that are poised to have a profound effect on the world. Some examples include: pastas, cereals, alternative meats, snacks, tortillas and All Things Bugs’ patented Griopro cricket powder ingredient.
As founder of All Things Bugs LLC, Dr. Aaron T. Dossey has published several peer-reviewed articles and the field’s only textbook (Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients). His passion for creative solutions utilizing insects has earned him over $4 million in research funding and grants, including grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA, DARPA and the state of Oklahoma.
Founded over 10 years ago, All Things Bugs is the leading innovator in developing insects as sustainable solutions for food, agriculture and health. The company develops cutting edge technologies in everything from insect-based food and ingredient products to insect farming technologies and insect genomics and genetic engineering.
Today, the company brings decades of experience to the table using its wealth of knowledge in genetic engineering, biomedical science, farming technology, and food production to solidify its place as a world leader in the industry.
Those interested in learning more about the company or its cutting edge agricultural and biotech research are encouraged to reach out via its official website or by calling 352-281-3643.
Read more: https://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/using-insects-to-revolutionize-agriculture-tackle-climate-change-and-fight-future-pandemics#ixzz7PVdm2TGc