Insect farming is sometimes advertised as the way to feed the growing global population with animal protein in a way that is more efficient (in terms of protein yielded/feed consumed) than growing cows, sheep, pigs or fish.

Would insect farming be more efficient than shrimp farming, even though these two broad groups of animals share some similarities in terms of "complexity"?

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe worth reading this and this $\endgroup$ – user438383 Feb 3 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have an answer one way or the other, but from what I've seen, shrimp farms require flooding large patches of land, often in coastal regions where, whereas insects can be grown in self-contained and relative dry environments that should be easier to scale up. It's a topic I've followed for years, but I still haven't seen an insect protein product that's priced competitively with other sources. $\endgroup$ – MikeyC Feb 3 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ efficent at what? calories per acre, calories per kilowatt hour, calories per gram, water usage, cost vs profit, ect. $\endgroup$ – John Feb 4 at 5:06

Insects have a very low feed conversion ratio, which essentially means most of what they're fed turns into edible protein for us. Cows, sheep, pigs, etc. typically have high feed conversion ratios. According to this site: https://in.virbac.com/aqua/health-care/aqua-advice/how-to-get-optimum-fcr-in-shrimp-culture, shrimp have a feed conversion ratio of 1.5 - 1.8., where Acheta domesticus, which is a cricket, is at about 0.9 - 1.1, pork is 5, and beef is around 10 (Huis. A., 2012).. So if we look at feed conversion ratios, they are approximately the same, especially when compared to cows and pigs. What's more efficient to produce depends on the area, and what resources are available. Hope this helps.


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