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Edible Insects: High Protein and Sustainable


By Rebecca Heaton

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In the push to satisfy people’s desire for meat, scientists are looking for ways to grow protein quickly, cost-effectively and with less environmental impact. A potential solution: insects.

“Insects are frequently lauded for their high nutritional value—rich in proteins, healthy fats and minerals,” says Natalie Rubio, a cellular-agriculture Ph.D. candidate and lead author of a research project at Tufts University on lab-grown insect meat. “Insect cells have lower growth-medium requirements than mammalian cells, too, meaning they could be more cost-effective to produce.”

But how do they taste?

“Many people describe edible insects as ‘meaty’ and liken them to seafood or chicken-like tastes,” Rubio says. “We can also regulate the taste by changing the composition of the growth medium that the cells grow in.”

The jury is out, but we’ll be willing to try some when it comes to market.

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