Serious problem of livestock

here I go, again I am not going to write about Universe but this time I want to turn towards livestock and then towards entomophagy, which I will explain in a minute.

So livestock is name for all the animals we have domesticated and we eat them, at least some of us.

I do not want to talk here about intense farming of animals but rather the numbers which will then lead towards entomophagy, which is the diet of eating insects.

So we have chickens and other domesticated birds as ducks, turkeys and so on that we rise for meet and eggs.
There are 50 billion chickens raised annually for both meet and eggs.

There is also cattle which is part of livestock. There are about 1.4 billion individuals of cattle in the world. If I guess, this could mean something like 250-300 trillions kilograms of biomass.

You see that the numbers are huge. Extremely huge while I do not want to call any sad feelings with pictures of intense farming, this has some serious causes.

First of all it takes tremendous amount of water to grow those animals.
70% of all our fresh water which we need is used to feed livestock.

For example, 1 kilogram of beef takes 22,000 liters of water.
1 kilogram of pork is 3,500 liters of water.
1 kilogram of chicken takes 2,300 liters of water.

This is not very promising since the rate in which the population on Earth rises is pretty scary considering that the land on which we can farm is pretty same, or it may even drop caused by expansion of desserts (of course that places on north are thanks to global warming getting unfreezed at the same time).

There are:
1.53 billion hectares of cropland
3.38 billion hectares of pastures.

This makes together 38% of all the land (which is not covered by ice) used for agriculture.

Lot of people think that the most serious problem of global warming are cars, factories and so on but about 50% of the CO2 made is made by livestock, so yes they greatly influence the global warming!

Also because of livestock there are effects like: deforastation, land degradation (means that land is not usable so much) and decrease of biodiversity.

On the other hand, livestock is still food which is also used on many other thing like: milk, wool, bone products, also cattle can work for human on field. Even if you say yes, we can digest only 50% of chicken and 40% percent of cattle, some parts may be used anyway for other things.

Now lets see what is the matter of entomophagy.
As I said this is the consumption of insects as a food. Trust me, you are not the only one who is disgusted by this but do not imagine the cricket in your mouth, rather look at it in the rational way where the numbers are what matters.

For water there is 1 liter of water needed to rise 1 kilogram of crickets! That is 22,000 times less than beef! This is because insects are able to stay hydrated only from their food and they do not need extra water to wash it all down.

While you need 200 meters square to grow one pound of beef you need only 15 meters square to grow one pound of crickets!
Also there is lower carbon dioxide emission but I did not find the exact numbers.

Also when compared insects to cattle there is around the same nutrition inside, while insects have more vitamins and other stuff which depends (that already depends on what you are eating).
Insects are not so related to us so there is lower risk of spreading disease.

Already there are some companies that produce some insects but anyway if it seems so disgusting to you, do remember that for thousands of years lot of cultures are eating insects, the only reason why it seems so awful to you is that you have been raised in the feeling that insect is something awful.

The problem with eating insects is that, it is not much researched yet, we do not know which species are safe to eat (there is already some basic list of insects that are safe but it is not large enough). It is recommended to boil, cook or microwave them before consumption, otherwise there could be some problems with bacteria.

Another problem is what we caused ourselves and that is called bio-accumulation [1] of herbicides which make cause some insects to be uneatable for us.


[1] Bio-accumulation is accumulation through plants and whole chain of organisms of some material (usually this term is used to something toxic like lead or herbicides). This effect is most powerful for predators which pick this material from all their food.

PS: Thanks for this post belongs to Hejkal who showed me some videos about this.

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