Livestock is defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, milk, fur and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats. Horses are considered livestock in the United States; the USDA uses livestock to some uses of the term “red meat”, in which it refers to all the mammal animals kept in this setting to be used as commodities. The USDA mentions pork, veal and lamb are all classified as livestock and all livestock is considered to be red meats. Poultry and fish are not included in the category; the breeding and slaughter of livestock, known as animal husbandry, is a component of modern agriculture, practiced in many cultures since humanity's transition to farming from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animal husbandry practices have varied across cultures and time periods. Livestock were not confined by fences or enclosures, but these practices have shifted to intensive animal farming, sometimes referred to as "factory farming".
Now, over 99% of livestock are raised on factory farms. These practices increase yield of the various commercial outputs, but have led to negative impacts on animal welfare and the environment. Livestock production continues to play a major economic and cultural role in numerous rural communities. Livestock as a word was first used between 1650 and 1660, as a merger between the words "live" and "stock". In some periods, "cattle" and "livestock" have been used interchangeably. Today, the modern meaning of cattle is domesticated bovines. United States federal legislation defines the term to make specified agricultural commodities eligible or ineligible for a program or activity. For example, the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 defines livestock only as cattle and sheep, while the 1988 disaster assistance legislation defined the term as "cattle, goats, poultry, equine animals used for food or in the production of food, fish used for food, other animals designated by the Secretary."Deadstock is defined in contradistinction to livestock as "animals that have died before slaughter, sometimes from illness".
It is illegal in many countries, such as Canada, to sell or process meat from dead animals for human consumption. Animal-rearing originated during the cultural transition to settled farming communities from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animals are domesticated when their living conditions are controlled by humans. Over time, the collective behaviour and physiology of livestock have changed radically. Many modern farm animals are unsuited to life in the wild; the dog was domesticated early. Goats and sheep were domesticated in multiple events sometime between 11,000 and 5,000 years ago in Southwest Asia. Pigs were domesticated by 8,500 BC in the Near 6,000 BC in China. Domestication of the horse dates to around 4000 BC. Cattle have been domesticated since 10,500 years ago. Chickens and other poultry may have been domesticated around 7000 BC; the term "livestock" is may be defined narrowly or broadly. Broadly, livestock refers to any breed or population of animal kept by humans for a useful, commercial purpose.
This can mean semidomestic animals, or captive wild animals. Semidomesticated refers to animals which are only domesticated or of disputed status; these populations may be in the process of domestication. Traditionally, animal husbandry was part of the subsistence farmer's way of life, producing not only the food needed by the family but the fuel, clothing and draught power. Killing the animal for food was a secondary consideration, wherever possible its products, such as wool, eggs and blood were harvested while the animal was still alive. In the traditional system of transhumance and livestock moved seasonally between fixed summer and winter pastures. Animals can be kept intensively. Extensive systems involve animals roaming at will, or under the supervision of a herdsman for their protection from predators. Ranching in the Western United States involves large herds of cattle grazing over public and private lands. Similar cattle stations are found in South America and other places with large areas of land and low rainfall.
Ranching systems have been used for sheep, ostrich, emu and alpaca. In the uplands of the United Kingdom, sheep are turned out on the fells in spring and graze the abundant mountain grasses untended, being brought to lower altitudes late in the year, with supplementary feeding being provided in winter. In rural locations and poultry can obtain much of their nutrition from scavenging, in African communities, hens may live for months without being fed, still produce one or two eggs a week. At the other extreme, in the more developed parts of the world, animals are intensively managed. In between these two extremes are semi-intensive family run farms where livestock graze outside for much of the year, silage or hay is made to cove
Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat where hot air envelops the food, cooking it evenly on all sides with temperatures of at least 150 °C from an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting can enhance flavor through Maillard browning on the surface of the food. Roasting uses indirect, diffused heat, is suitable for slower cooking of meat in a larger, whole piece. Meats and most root and bulb vegetables can be roasted. Any piece of meat red meat, cooked in this fashion is called a roast. Meats and vegetables prepared in this way are described as "roasted", e.g. roasted chicken or roasted squash. For roasting, the food may be placed on a rack, in a roasting pan or, to ensure application of heat, may be rotated on a spit or rotisserie. If a pan is used, the juice can be retained for use in Yorkshire pudding, etc.. During oven roasting, hot air circulates around the meat. There are several plans for roasting meat: low-temperature cooking, high-temperature cooking, a combination of both.
Each method can be suitable, depending on the tastes of the people. A low-temperature oven, 95 to 160 °C, is best when cooking with large cuts of meat and whole chickens; this is not technically roasting temperature. The benefit of slow-roasting an item is a more tender product. More of the collagen that makes meat tough is dissolved in slow cooking. At true roasting temperatures, 200 °C or more, the water inside the muscle is lost at a high rate. Cooking at high temperatures is beneficial if the cut is tender enough—as in filet mignon or strip loin—to be finished cooking before the juices escape. A reason for high temperature roasting is to brown the outside of the food, similar to browning food in a pan before pot roasting or stewing it. Fast cooking gives more variety of flavor, because the outside is brown while the center is much less done; the combination method uses high heat just at either the beginning or the end of the cooking process, with most of the cooking at a low temperature. This method produces the golden-brown texture and crust, but maintains more of the moisture than cooking at a high temperature, although the product will not be as moist as low-temperature cooking the whole time.
Searing and turning down to low is beneficial when a dark crust and caramelized flavor is desired for the finished product. In general, in either case, the meat is removed from the heat before it has finished cooking and left to sit for a few minutes, while the inside cooks further from the residual heat content, known as carry over cooking; the objective in any case is to retain as much moisture as possible, while providing the texture and color. As meat cooks, the structure and the collagen breaks down, allowing juice to come out of the meat. So meat is juiciest at about medium rare. During roasting and vegetables are basted on the surface with butter, lard, or oil to reduce the loss of moisture by evaporation. In recent times, plastic oven bags have become popular for roasts; these cut cooking times and reduce the loss of moisture during roasting, but reduce flavor development from Maillard browning, somewhat more like stew or pot roast. They are popular for turkeys; until the late 19th century, roasting by dry heat in an oven was called baking.
Roasting meant turning meat or a bird on a spit in front of a fire. It is one of the oldest forms of cooking known. Traditionally recognized roasting methods consist only of baking and cooking over or near an open fire. Grilling is not technically a roast, since a grill is used. Barbecuing and smoking differ from roasting because of the lower temperature and controlled smoke application. Grilling can be considered as a low-fat food preparation, as it allows any fat in the food to drip away. Before the invention and widespread use of stoves, food was cooked over open flames from a hearth. To roast meat, racks with skewers, or, if accessible, complicated gear arrangements, would be utilized to turn the piece. In the past, this method was associated with the upper class and special occasions, rather than customary mealtimes, because it required freshly killed meat and close attention during cooking, it was easy to ruin the meat’s taste with a smoky fire or negligence to rotate it at regular intervals.
Thus, elite families, who were able to afford quality meat, appointed this task to servants or invested in technology like automatic turning devices. With further technological advances, cooking came to accommodate new opportunities. By the 1860s, working families were able to afford low-priced stove models that became sufficiently available. However, the key element of observation during roasting became difficult and dangerous to do with the coal oven. Hence, traditional roasting disappeared as kitchens became no longer equipped for this custom and soon thereafter, "baking" came to be called "roasting". Roasting can be applied to a wide variety of meat. In general, it works best for cooking whole chickens and leaner cuts of lamb and beef; the aim is to highlight the flavor of the meat itself rather than a sauce or stew, as it is done in braising or other moist-heat methods. Many roasts are tied with string prior to roasting using the reef knot or the packer's knot. Tying holds them together during roasting, keeping any stuffing inside, keeps the roast in a round profile, which promotes cooking.
Red meats such as beef and venison, certain game birds are roasted to be "pink" or "rare", meaning that the center of the roast is still red. Roasting
Beef is the culinary name for meat from cattle skeletal muscle. Humans have been eating beef since prehistoric times. Beef is a source of high-quality protein and nutrients. Beef skeletal muscle meat can be used as is by cutting into certain parts roasts, short ribs or steak, while other cuts are processed. Trimmings, on the other hand, are mixed with meat from older, leaner cattle, are ground, minced or used in sausages; the blood is used in some varieties called blood sausage. Other parts that are eaten include other muscles and offal, such as the oxtail, tongue, tripe from the reticulum or rumen, the heart, the brain, the kidneys, the tender testicles of the bull; some intestines are cooked and eaten as is, but are more cleaned and used as natural sausage casings. The bones are used for making beef stock. Beef from steers and heifers is similar. Depending on economics, the number of heifers kept for breeding varies; the meat from older bulls, because it is tougher, is used for mince. Cattle raised for beef may be allowed to roam free on grasslands, or may be confined at some stage in pens as part of a large feeding operation called a feedlot, where they are fed a ration of grain, roughage and a vitamin/mineral preblend.
Beef is the third most consumed meat in the world, accounting for about 25% of meat production worldwide, after pork and poultry at 38% and 30% respectively. In absolute numbers, the United States and the People's Republic of China are the world's three largest consumers of beef. According to the data from OECD, the average Uruguayan ate over 42 kg of beef or veal in 2014, representing the highest beef/veal consumption per capita in the world. In comparison, the average American consumed only about 24 kg beef or veal in the same year, while African countries, such as Mozambique and Nigeria, consumed the least beef or veal per capita. In 2015, the world's largest exporters of beef were India and Australia. Beef production is important to the economies of Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Nicaragua; the word beef is from the Latin bōs, in contrast to cow, from Middle English cou. After the Norman Conquest, the French-speaking nobles who ruled England used French words to refer to the meats they were served.
Thus, various Anglo-Saxon words were used for the animal by the peasants, but the meat was called boef by the French nobles — who did not deal with the live animal — when it was served to them. This is one example of the common English dichotomy between the words for animals and their meat, found in such English word-pairs as pig/pork, deer/venison, sheep/mutton and chicken/poultry. Beef is cognate with bovine through the Late Latin bovīnus. People have eaten the flesh of bovines from prehistoric times. People domesticated cattle around 8000 BC to provide ready access to beef and leather. Most cattle originated in the Old World, with the exception of bison hybrids, which originated in the Americas. Examples include the Wagyū from Japan, Ankole-Watusi from Egypt, longhorn Zebu from the Indian subcontinent, it is unknown when people started cooking beef. Cattle were used across the Old World as draft animals, for milk, or for human consumption. With the mechanization of farming, some breeds were bred to increase meat yield, resulting in Chianina and Charolais cattle, or to improve the texture of meat, giving rise to the Murray Grey and Wagyū.
Some breeds have been selected for both milk production, such as the Brown Swiss. In the United States, the growth of the beef business was due to expansion in the Southwest. Upon the acquisition of grasslands through the Mexican–American War of 1848, the expulsion of the Plains Indians from this region and the Midwest, the American livestock industry began, starting with the taming of wild longhorn cattle. Chicago and New York City were the first to benefit from these developments in their stockyards and in their meat markets. Beef cattle are raised and fed using a variety of methods, including feedlots, free range, ranching and Intensive animal farming. Beef is first divided into primal cuts, pieces of meat butchering; these are basic sections from which other subdivisions are cut. The term "primal cut" is quite different from "prime cut", used to characterize cuts considered to be of higher quality. Since the animal's legs and neck muscles do the most work, they are the toughest. Different countries and cuisines have different cuts and names, sometimes use the same name for a different cut.
Offal called variety meats, pluck or organ meats, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but includes most internal organs excluding muscle and bone; as an English mass noun, the term "offal" has no plural form. Some cultures consider offal as food to be taboo, while others use it as everyday food, or in delicacies. Certain offal dishes—including foie gras, pâté and sweetbread—are considered gourmet food in international cuisine. Others remain part of traditional regional cuisine and may be consumed in connection with holidays; this includes Scottish haggis, Jewish chopped liver, U. S. chitterlings, Mexican menudo as well as many other dishes. Intestines are traditionally used as casing for sausages. Depending on the context, offal may refer to those parts of an animal carcass discarded after butchering or skinning. Offal not used directly for human or animal food is processed in a rendering plant, producing material, used for fertilizer or fuel.
In earlier times, mobs sometimes threw offal and other rubbish at condemned criminals as a show of public disapproval. The word shares its etymology with several Germanic words: West Frisian ôffal, German Abfall, afval in Dutch and Afrikaans, avfall in Norwegian and Swedish, affald in Danish; these Germanic words all mean "garbage" or "waste", or —literally— "off-fall", referring to that which has fallen off during butchering. However, these words are not used to refer to food with the exception of Afrikaans in the agglutination afvalvleis which does indeed mean offal. For instance, the German word for offal is Innereien meaning innards and the Swedish word is "innanmat" meaning "inside-food". According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word entered Middle English from Middle Dutch in the form afval, derived from af and vallen. In some parts of Europe, brain, trotters, head, liver, spleen, "lights", fries, snout and maws from various mammals are common menu items. In medieval times, "humble pie" made from animal innards was a peasant food and is the source of the used idiom "eating humble pie", although it has lost its original meaning as meat pies made from offal are no longer referred to by this name.
The traditional Scottish haggis consists of sheep stomach stuffed with a boiled mix of liver, lungs, rolled oats and other ingredients. In the English Midlands and South Wales, faggots are made from ground or minced pig offal, bread and onion wrapped in pig's caul fat. Only two offal based dishes are still served nationwide at home and in restaurants and are available as pre-cooked package meals in supermarket chains: Steak and kidney pie is still known and enjoyed in Britain and Ireland as is liver and onions served in a rich sauce. Brawn is the collection of meat and tissue found on an animal's skull, cooked and set in gelatin. Another British and Irish food is black pudding, consisting of congealed pig's blood with oatmeal made into sausage-like links with pig intestine as a casing boiled and fried on preparation. "Luncheon tongue" refers to reformed pork tongue pieces. "Ox tongue" made from pressed complete tongue, is more expensive. Both kinds of tongue are found in slices in supermarkets and local butchers.
Home cooking and pressing of tongue has become less common over the last fifty years. Bleached tripe was a popular dish in Northern England with many specialist tripe shops in industrial areas. Today, in South Lancashire certain markets may still sell tripe. Offal connoiseurs such as Ben Greenwood OBE have campaigned to bring Elder back on the menu of restaurants across Yorkshire and Lancashire. In Norway the smalahove is a traditional dish eaten around and before Christmas time, made from a sheep's head; the skin and fleece of the head is torched, the brain removed, the head is salted, sometimes smoked, dried. The head is served with mashed rutabaga/swede and potatoes; the ear and eye are eaten first, as they are the fattiest area and must be eaten warm. The head is eaten from the front to the back, working around the bones of the skull. Smalahove is considered by some to be unappealing or repulsive, it is enjoyed by enthusiasts, is served to tourists and more adventurous visitors. Other Norwegian specialities include smalaføtter, a traditional dish similar to smalahove, but instead of a sheep's head it is made of lamb's feet.
Syltelabb is boiled, salt-cured pig's trotter, is known as a Christmas delicacy for enthusiasts. Syltelabb is sold cooked and salted. Liver pâté and patéd lung are common dishes, as are blood pudding. Fish roe and liver are central to several Norwegian dishes, such as mølje. In D
An antelope is a member of a number of even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a wastebasket taxon within the family Bovidae, encompassing those Old World species that are not cattle, buffalo, bison, or goats. A group of antelope is called a herd; the English word "antelope" first appeared in 1417 and is derived from the Old French antelop, itself derived from Medieval Latin antalopus, which in turn comes from the Byzantine Greek word anthólops, first attested in Eustathius of Antioch, according to whom it was a fabulous animal "haunting the banks of the Euphrates savage, hard to catch and having long, saw-like horns capable of cutting down trees". It derives from Greek anthos and ops meaning "beautiful eye" or alluding to the animals' long eyelashes. This, may be a folk etymology; the word talopus and calopus, from Latin, came to be used in heraldry. In 1607, it was first used for cervine animals; the 91 species, most of which are native to Africa, occur in about 30 genera.
The classification of tribes or subfamilies within Bovidae is still a matter of debate, with several alternative systems proposed. Antelope are not a taxonomically defined group; the term is used to describe all members of the family Bovidae that do not fall under the category of sheep, cattle, or goats. All species of the Alcelaphinae, Hippotraginae, Cephalophinae, many Bovinae, the grey rhebok, the impala are called antelopes. More species of antelope are native to Africa than to any other continent exclusively in savannahs, with 20-35 species co-occurring over much of East Africa; because savannah habitat in Africa has expanded and contracted five times over the last three million years, the fossil record indicates this is when most extant species evolved, it is believed that isolation in refugia during contractions was a major driver of this diversification. Other species occur in Asia: the Arabian Peninsula is home to the Arabian oryx and Dorcas gazelle. India is home to the nilgai, blackbuck, Tibetan antelope, four-horned antelope, while Russia and Central Asia have the Tibetan antelope, saiga.
No antelope species is native to Australasia or Antarctica, nor do any extant species occur in the Americas, though the nominate saiga subspecies occurred in North America during the Pleistocene. North America is home to the native pronghorn, which taxonomists do not consider a member of the antelope group, but, locally referred to as such. In Europe, several extinct species occur in the fossil record, the saiga was found during the Pleistocene but did not persist into the Holocene, except in Russian Kalmykia and Astrakhan Oblast. Many species of antelopes have been imported to other parts of the world the United States, for exotic game hunting. With some species possessing spectacular leaping and evasive skills, individuals may escape. Texas in particular has many game ranches, as well as habitats and climates, that are hospitable to African and Asian plains antelope species. Accordingly, wild populations of blackbuck antelope and nilgai may be found in Texas. Antelope live in a wide range of habitats.
Numerically, most live in the African savannahs. However, many species are more secluded, such as the forest antelope, as well as the extreme cold-living saiga, the desert-adapted Arabian oryx, the rocky koppie-living klipspringer, semiaquatic sitatunga. Species living in forests, woodland, or bush tend to be sedentary, but many of the plains species undertake long migrations; these enable grass-eating species to follow the rains and thereby their food supply. The gnus and gazelles of East Africa perform some of the most impressive mass migratory circuits of all mammals. Antelopes vary in size. For example, a male common eland can measure 178 cm at the shoulder and weigh 950 kg, whereas an adult royal antelope may stand only 24 cm at the shoulder and weigh a mere 1.5 kg. Not for animals with long, slender yet powerful legs, many antelopes have long strides and can run fast; some are adapted to inhabiting rock koppies and crags. Both dibatags and gerenuks habitually stand on their two hind legs to reach acacia and other tree foliage.
Different antelope have different body types. Duikers are short, bush-dwelling antelope that can pick through dense foliage and dive into the shadows rapidly. Gazelles and springbok are known for their leaping abilities. Larger antelope, such as nilgai and kudus, are capable of jumping 2.4 m or greater, although their running speed is restricted by their greater mass. Antelope have a wide variety of coverings. In most species, the coat is some variation of a brown colour with white or pale underbodies. Exceptions include the zebra-marked zebra duiker, the grey and white Jentink's duiker, the black lechwe. Most of the "spiral-horned" antelopes have vertical stripes on their backs. Many desert and semidesert species are pale, some silvery or whitish. Common features of various gazelles are white rumps, which flash a warning to others when they run from danger, dark stripes midbody; the springbok has a pouch of white, brushlike hairs running along its ba
Deer hunting is hunting for deer for meat or sport, an activity which dates back tens of thousands of years. Venison, the name for deer meat, is a nutritious and natural food source of animal protein that can be obtained through deer hunting. There are many different types of deer around the world. Hunting deer is a regulated activity in many territories. In the US, a state government agency such as a Department of Fish and Wildlife or Department of Natural Resources oversees the regulations. In the UK, it is illegal to use bows for hunting. New Zealand has had 10 species of deer introduced. From the 1850s, red deer were liberated, followed by fallow, wapiti, sika and whitetail; the introduced herds of axis and moose failed to grow, have become extinct. In the absence of predators to control populations, deer were thought to be a pest due to their effect on native vegetation. From the 1950s, the government employed professional hunters to cull the deer population. Deer hunting is now a recreational activity and advocated for at the national level by the New Zealand Deerstalkers' Association.
The two main species of deer found in the United States are white-tailed deer. Mule deer have a black-tipped tail, proportionally smaller than that of the white-tailed deer; the male deer or bucks grow antlers annually. The mule deer have taller skinnier tines on their antlers where white-tailed deer have shorter thicker tines White-tailed bucks are smaller than mule deer bucks. Both of the species lose their antlers in January, regrow the antlers during the following summer beginning in June. Although both species are found in the United States where they are found is vastly different. Mule deer are found in the western United States in the foothills of the mountains; as their antlers become developed, they will start to shed their velvet. Velvet is vascularised tissue, a furry skin-like material that covers the growing antlers; the velvet will fall off of the deer when their antlers start to harden in late summer to early fall to get ready for mating season in the winter. If the velvet doesn't fall off on its own they will make a "rub" on a small tree.
This is they rub their antlers to both Mark territory and to take the remaining velvet off of their antlers. Methods of pursuing game for wild meat and corresponding seasons are subject to regulation by state governments and therefore vary from state to state. A state government agency such as a Department of Fish and Wildlife or Department of Natural Resources oversees the regulations. Deer hunting seasons vary across the United States. In game zone 3 in the state of South Carolina, deer hunting season starts August 15th and runs through January 1st; some seasons in states such as Florida and Kentucky start as early as September and can go all the way until February like in Texas. The length of the season is based on the health and population of the deer herd, in addition to the number of hunters expected to be participating in the deer hunt; the durations of deer hunting seasons can vary by county within a state, as in Kentucky. In the case of South Carolina, the season varies by SCDNR region.
Each region has multiple counties. The DFW will create specific time frames within the season where the number of hunters able to hunt is limited, known as a controlled hunt; the DFW may break the deer-hunting season into different time periods where only certain weapons are permitted: bows only, modern firearms or black-powder muzzleloaders. For example, during a bows-only season, in many areas a hunter would be limited to the use of a bow and the use of any firearm would be prohibited until that specific season opens, in some areas a crossbow can only be used during a dedicated season for that weapon. During a muzzleloader season, use of modern firearms is always prohibited. However, in many states, the archery season overlaps all firearms seasons; some states have restrictions on hunting of antlered or antlerless deer. For example, Kentucky allows the taking of antlerless deer during any deer season in most of the state, but in certain areas allows only antlered deer to be taken during parts of deer season.
There are six species of deer in the UK: red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, Sika deer, Reeves muntjac deer, Chinese water deer, as well as hybrids of these deer. All are hunted to a degree reflecting their relative population either as sport or for the purposes of culling. Closed seasons for deer vary by species; the practice of declaring a closed season in England dates back to medieval times, when it was called fence month and lasted from June 9 to July 9, though the actual dates varied. It is illegal to use bows to hunt any wild animal in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. UK deer stalkers, if supplying venison to game dealers and restaurants, need to hold a Lantra level 2 large game meat hygiene certificate. Courses are run by organisations such as the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and this qualification is included within the Level 1 deer stalking certificate. If supplying venison for public consumption, the provider must have a functioning and clean larder that meets FSA standards and must register as a food business with the local authority.
The vast majority of deer hunted in the UK are stalke
Insects as food
Insects as food or edible insects are insect species used for human consumption, e.g. whole or as an ingredient in processed food products such as burger patties, pasta, or snacks. The cultural and biological process of eating insects is described as entomophagy. Estimates of numbers of edible insect species consumed globally range from 1,000 to 2,000; these species include 235 butterflies and moths, 344 beetles, 313 ants and wasps, 239 grasshoppers and cockroaches, 39 termites, 20 dragonflies, as well as cicadas. Which species are consumed varies by region due to differences in environment and climate; the table below lists the top five insect orders consumed by humans worldwide, retrieved from Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security by Arnold van Huis, Joost Van Itterbeeck, Harmke Klunder, Esther Mertens, Afton Halloran, Giulia Muir and Paul Vantomme. For a list of edible insects consumed locally see: List of edible insects by country. In Western markets such as Europe and North America, academics as well as large-scale insect food producers such as Entomofarms in Canada, Aspire Food Group in the United States, Protifarm in the Netherlands, Bühler Group in Switzerland, focus on four insects species suitable for human consumption as well as industrialized mass production: House cricket European migratory locust Mealworms as larvae Lesser mealworms as larvae marketed under the term buffalo worms.
Insects are nutrient efficient compared to other meat sources. Insects such as crickets are a complete protein and contain a useful amount, comparable with protein from soybeans, though less than in casein, they have dietary fiber and include unsaturated fat and contain some vitamins, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin and vitamin A, essential minerals. Locusts contain between 20 milligrams of iron for every 100 grams of raw locust. Beef on the other hand contains 6 milligrams of iron in the same amount of meat. Crickets as well are efficient when you compare nutrients. For every 100 grams of substance crickets contain 12.9 grams of protein, 121 calories, 5.5 grams of fat. Beef contains more protein containing 23.5 grams in 100 grams of substance, but has 3 times the calories, four times the amount of fat as crickets do in 100 grams. So, per 100 grams of substance, crickets contain only half the nutrients of beef, except for iron. High levels of iron are implicated in heart disease. Edible insects are raised as livestock in specialized insect farms.
In North American as well as European countries such as the Netherlands or Belgium, insects are produced under strict food law and hygiene standard for human consumption. Several variables apply, such as temperature, feed, water sources, depending on the insect species; the insects are raised from eggs to larvae status or to their mature form, killed, in industrialized insect farms by lowering the temperature. After that the insects are freeze-dried and packed whole, or pulverized to insect powder, to be processed in other food products such as bakery products, or snacks. Aside from nutritional composition and digestibility, insects are selected for ease of rearing by the producer; this includes susceptibility to disease, efficiency of feed conversion, developmental rate and generational turnover. The following processed food products are produced by several producers in North America and the EU: Insect flour: Pulverized, freeze-dried insects. Insect burger: Hamburger patties made from insect powder / insect flour and further ingredients.
Insect fitness bars: Protein bars containing insect powder. Insect pasta: Pasta made of wheat flour, fortified with insect flour. Insect bread: Bread baked with insect flour. In spite of all the advantages that insect protein are provided, there are some potential challenges caused by production and safety concerns. Mass production in the insect industry is a concern due to a lack of technology and funds to efficiently harvest, produce insects; the machinery would have to house proper enclosure for each life cycle of the insect as well as the temperature control as, key for insect development. The industry has to consider the shelf life of insects in companion animal products as that some can have food safety concerns. Insects have the capability of accumulating potential hazards, such as contaminants, the concentration of heavy metals and pesticides etc. Table below combined the data from two studies published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, summarized the potential hazards of the top five insect species consumed by humans.
Hazards in insects that are shown above can be controlled by various ways. Allergic hazard can be labelled on the package to avoid consumed by the allergy susceptible consumers. Selective farming can be used to minimize chemical hazard, whereas microbial and parasitical hazard can be controlled by cooking processes. On 1 May 2017, Switzerland has approved the following insect species as food: House cricket European locust Mealworms as larvaeUnder certain conditions, these may be offered to consumers as whole animals, pulverized, or processed in food products. In the EU, insects fall within the definition of novel food as food ingredients isolated from animals, given by the European Commission. Parts of insects, e.g. legs, wings, o