Insects are the sustainable food of the future

Insects as food (file)
Insects as food (file)

The buzz is getting louder as we make more room on our dinner tables for bugs.

With a growing global population and shrinking resources, some experts think insects could eventually replace meat and fish.

It's been estimated that it takes 1750 litres of water and more than 6kg of feed to make an average hamburger.

So maybe it's time to bite the bugs back.

We already know a handful of freeze-dried ants or a salad sprinkled with crickets can provide heaps of protein.

But a new study says bugs can also provide us crucial nutrients.

Two billion people around the world make meals out of 1900 different insect species, some of which can provide necessary minerals like iron.

That's important because non-meat diets can cause iron-deficiency anaemia, which can lead to an increased risk of infections, heart and lung problems, and even birth defects.

The researchers found grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms and buffalo worms provide nutrients like iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, and zinc.

As we seek out more sustainable foods for the world's pantries, expect bugs to crawl on to more of our plates in the near future.