Why? Because it's an important, complex question, and like all good questions, there are no easy answers. It's also an exciting journal to write for - new, peer-reviewed, and established in the hope of being "a catalyst for radical, egalitarian, compassionate, unifying change".
And with a limit of 500 words and just five references, I knew it'd be a challenge - and a useful exercise in really thinking it through.
Here's the article. And here's the conclusion I came to (paraphrased):
- Yes, insects are potentially more ecologically sustainable* than other animal protein (beef, lamb, poultry, fish etc).
- But to realize this potential, we need legislation and policy that prioritize reduced ecological impact (e.g. through the use of food waste as feed, the preservation of habitat, and the regeneration of wild nature in reclaimed land)
- For now, I think that a plant-based diet – perhaps with the occasional insect- or poultry-based treat – remains the most ecologically sustainable* choice.
*A note on sustainability: This article focused on ecological sustainability. For broader sustainability in the food system, we also need to think about how to combat structural inequality, empower producers, improve animal welfare and control antibiotic use.