NBC NEWS: FEB 16 2017, 11:13 AM ET
The world’s population is creeping up on 7.5 billion, but estimates suggest we’ll have a whopping 9 billion mouths to feed by 2050.
Unless we all stick to salads, the global production of meat will need to double in that time to feed our growing population, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO). Feed and crop production will also have to increase in kind to support livestock and our own appetites, inevitably taking up more land space and water — precious and dwindling commodities required for cattle.
But resources aren’t the only issue. This increase in agricultural production will exacerbate the effects of climate change by releasing more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (agricultural activities currently contribute nearly one-tenth of the country’s greenhouse emissions). What’s more, animal waste releases ammonia, a pollutant that can affect soil and water quality.
Yet this seemingly large food security problem may have a bite-sized solution: insects.