Skip to content
Why not to eat insects

Eat insects? 6 reasons why we should do without them

Should we eat insects to save the world? We all know that the resource-intensive factory farming of cows, pigs, chickens and many other "farm animals" causes massive animal suffering and is one of the main causes of the greatest suffering in the world. Environmental problems of our time contributes to this. Our diet therefore needs to change. More and more people are therefore consuming insect burgers, insect pasta, as well as seasoned snacks and energy bars made from grasshoppers and mealworms. Not least because insects are real sources of nutrients. They contain high-quality proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and valuable minerals.

And to say it up front: Eating insects is definitely the more sustainable alternative to consuming meat, eggs and dairy products. So should we all eat insects now?

In this article, I would like to give you six decisive reasons why the consumption of insects cannot be the future of our diet.

Here is in advance already a short Overview for you:

  1. It is still a waste of resources
  2. Industry is dependent on wasted food
  3. Insects also have a central nervous system and pain receptors
  4. Calorie requirements can only be met with extreme masses of insects
  5. No help in the fight against global insect mortality
  6. More sustainable and animal-friendly alternatives from plants are there

6 reasons - Why shouldn't we eat insects?

You already know the benefits of insects as food: they are very nutritious and reduce the suffering of cows, pigs, chickens and dozens of other animals in the world. Factory farming for the production of food. But what are the disadvantages of having moths, maggots and buffalo worms in our diet?

Here I would like to give you 6 good reasons why we should prefer other alternatives to meat, milk & eggs. Let's go!

Good to know: Insects as food fall under the Novel Food Regulation of the European Commission. Insect burgers & co. are therefore among the new types of food that originate from other cultures, for example. This also includes foods from cell and tissue cultures or plants and plant parts.

1. because it is still a waste of resources

Compared to chicken farming, grasshopper breeding only produces around half of the CO2 emissions. Also the Water and land consumption is significantly lower. In addition, around 10 kilograms of feed are required to produce one kilogram of beef - one kilogram of insects only requires 1.7 - 2 kilograms of feed.₁

Insect breeding is therefore much more resource-efficient and sustainable. But that doesn't automatically make it resource-friendly and sustainable - because the food for insects also has to be produced first.

Tip: You want to use the Stop factory farming? Then read the linked article to find out what you can do about it!

2. because the industry would otherwise be dependent on wasted food

The insect economy could be even more resource-efficient if no newly produced feed used, but one would have to rely on people wasted food could fall back on.

This would Industry dependent on our food waste which we should actually be avoiding. When our food waste ends at some point, insects will also have to be fed more resource-intensively and in ever larger quantities. In my opinion, this is a decisive reason for not eating insects.

3. because insects also have a nervous system and pain receptors

A grasshopper on a fence

Why do vegans not eat insects? Because the breeding continues to be an exploitation of innocent, sentient animals is. Like humans, grasshoppers and other insects also have a central nervous system and pain receptors.

The Science However, research into how exactly insects perceive the world and how much pain they feel and avoid is still in its infancy. In studies, however, fruit flies and grasshoppers, for example, have already demonstrated characteristics such as the ability to learn. We will certainly know more about this at some point.

However, we can already be very certain today that Plants have no feelings as they have neither a central nervous system nor pain receptors. Their direct consumption is therefore not only more resource-efficient, but also more morally justifiable. Because in the end, the Consumption of mealworms and beetles continues to be the consumption of sentient beings.

4. because we would have to breed and kill masses of insects to cover our calorie requirements

One would have to Killing 363,000 locusts to get the calorie count of just one cow. How many insects are needed to produce the calories from the 80 billion land animals and around 0.8 - 2.3 trillion marine animals currently killed each year cannot be quantified - and would be absolutely beyond our imagination.₂ This pre-programmed Mass breeding is a major reason why I would not eat insects and why I do not consider their consumption to be sustainable.

5. because it is no help in the fight against global insect mortality.

Insects are bred separately in halls and probably have no direct influence on the insect population in nature. But Even today, around two trillion insects are caught in the wild every year and processed into food.₃

In times of global insect extinction, which has a significant impact on our food security and the general species extinction this is extremely questionable. Not least because the increased Acceptance for the consumption of insects would lead to an enormous increase in demand for such products in all regions of the world. It could even be that the urgency of Solutions against insect mortality suffers from the generally accepted consumption of insects.

6. because there are already sustainable and animal-friendly plant-based alternatives for animal products

Vegan burgers as a sustainable insect alternative
Vegan beetroot and chickpea burger with vegetables and guacamole / © istockphoto - vaaseenaa

We are desperately looking for protein-rich, sustainable alternatives to resource-wasting cow, pig and chicken meat. Eating insects seems to be one such alternative, but it is still a long way off. Large quantities natural resources devours and also remains questionable from an ethical point of view is.

It is a mystery to me why people prefer to eat beetles, grasshoppers and mealworms - Animals that many of us are disgusted by - instead of simply consuming plant-based products. Whether for burgers, pizza, pasta or schnitzel - there are countless protein- and nutrient-rich vegan alternatives in the supermarket that are much more resource-efficient. Simply because the "animal detour" is avoided. This also makes them all the more animal-friendly.

What do you call people who eat insects?

The consumption of insects by humans is known as entomophagy. This form of nutrition is then called entomophagic nutrition.

Is it healthy to eat insects?

Insects are generally rich in proteins and unsaturated fatty acids, as well as vitamins and minerals. However, their nutritional value is basically not a necessity, as we humans can also obtain the essential nutrients from a plant-based diet.

What insects are allowed to eat?

There are around 2000 edible insect species. These mainly include mealworms, beetles, caterpillars, wasps, ants, grasshoppers and crickets.

What's wrong with eating insects?

One argument against the consumption of insects is that insects are also an exploitation of animals, which also consumes natural resources. In addition, the calorie requirement can only be met with large quantities of insects, which in times of global insect extinction must also be questioned from an ecological point of view.

Can you eat insects raw?

Insects should not be eaten raw. Insect products are also blanched in breeding facilities before they are offered for sale.

We should not eat insects!

Insects are probably less sensitive than cows, pigs and chickens. Nevertheless, their lives are morally valuable. The best way to Cruelty to animals and animal suffering is therefore a way of life that is no longer based on the exploitation of animals. From an ecological point of view, too more sensible to consume plants directlyinstead of eating insects that have to be fed in breeding.

Accordingly, I come to the conclusion that the solution to the ecological and ethical problems and conflicts of our time cannot be to prefer to eat insects in the future.

Do you have any questions or suggestions about this article on eating grasshoppers, mealworms and other insects? Then, as always, please write me a comment.

Stay animal-friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: You want to know, Why I live vegan at all? I explain my reasons in detail in the linked article.

₁,₂,₃ Earthling Edt: The Argument for Eating Insects (Instead of Going Vegan), YouTube, 20.07.2021, Web, 21.07.2021 at 10:11, in:

Coffee box Suggestions for improvement Newsletter

* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

4 thoughts on “Insekten essen? 6 Gründe, Warum wir darauf verzichten sollten”

  1. You didn't even cover the safety aspect.
    Some of the known risks in eating insects: toxins, anti-nutrients, pesticides, bacteria, allergens.
    Unknown risk at this time: the possibility of viral transmissions.

    1. Hey Bernard,

      thanks for your comment. Do you have any studies, facts about this topic? Just send me an email, I will check it and probably add the information.

      With regards

  2. No, even very "vegan" products already contain insects - that's the interesting thing. Even vegetarian snacks, like M&M's.
    Children certainly do not always read all the ingredients.
    Insects are also vectors to transmit pathogens like viruses to humans. Very alarming !

    1. Hello Michael,

      vegan products are free of any animal components and do not contain insects. So how do you come up with your steep thesis that especially vegan products contain insects? 🙂

      If you have read the article, you will have noticed that I am also justifiably opposed to eating insects.

      I look forward to your response.

      Many greetings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *