Exploring the circular economy potential of larvae fat for feed and food

The majority of dietary fat in human diets comes from animal products. Yet animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and therefore is often not considered the most sustainable option.

At the same time, humans are not consuming enough fat. Recent research out of Sweden calculates that average consumption of fats in many populous regions of the world is below nutritional recommendations.

Those same researchers estimate that in order for the global population to reach recommended levels of fat consumption, an additional 45m tons of dietary fat needs to be produced and consumed.

Given livestock, palm and soy production’s track record of deforestation, amongst other irresponsible and unethical practices, researchers are seeking alternative means to increase fat production and consumption, sustainably.

Circular economy potential

A separate group of researchers in Sweden, working out of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, is approaching this issue through the lens of waste management.

Globally, organic waste accounts for around 3-5% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions due to food scraps being discarded in landfill. Yet in a truly circular economy, there should be no waste – including food waste.

“The side stream from one process should be used as a new process in another,” Cecilia Lalander, associate professor of environmental engineering at the university’s Department of Energy and Technology, explained at a recent TABLE event.

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