Eighteen percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions originate from livestock used for human consumption and by products. Primarily cattle, pigs, and sheep are the main culprits in producing methane and nitrous oxide gases.  A future concern is whether continued use of livestock to feed people can be sustained with the expected population growth.  Scientists are already investigating in-vitro meat production, which is lab-grown tissue not requiring the production of a whole animal.  In vitro meat has already been grown using goldfish cells, turkey and pig cells to create edible fish fillets and spam like substances.  Scientists feel that there is another option that can impact future meat production and reduce greenhouse gases.  Researchers are advocating the wholesale farming of edible insects to raise meat production and lower greenhouse gases.  Insects are already harvested in developing countries and provide daily sustenance to a  broad population in these countries.  Insects like mealworms, house crickets, migratory locusts, sun beetles, and Dubia cockroaches would be perfect substitutes for livestock protein.  Scientists have discovered on a per kilogram comparison that these insects release significantly less amounts of methane and nitrous oxide.  If the prospect of eating in vitro meat sounds totally unappealing, then perhaps a meal of cooked insects might be palatable.  Remember that fad of chocolate covered insects?

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  1. I know that your entry is about alternative protein sources but what about termites? Are they at least edible? If humans could eat termites that might help lessen their increase in population due to worldwide deforestation (deforestation gives termites a hospitable living environment). Termites are also responsible for less than 15% of the world’s methane production due to the same breakdown of food in their gut as major livestock culprits. If it were possible to eat termites or find another way to stem their population rise, then not only would it decrease the rise in methane but it would also lessen the possibility of home damage from them eating out the wood.