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Insects for food?

Mehlwurm-Kekse (Foto: Rumpold/ATB)

July 25th, 2015: ATB scientist Birgit Rumpold researches for years on the subject of insects. In a German tv broadcast (ZDF ML Mona Lisa) she explains why insects are an alternative protein source for animals and humans.  
The contribution spans from production to consumption: Heinrich Katz of the Hermetia Baruth GmbH shows how efficiently eg soldierflies use water and nutrients for protein production and cooking expert Folke Dammann gives tips for cooking insect snacks.

The broadcast is available in the zdf mediathek (in German).


More than 2 billion people all over the world consume more than 1900 edible insects species - and not only due to hunger but for their taste. 

In addition to high protein and fat contents, edible insects provide essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc. Furthermore, they are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and essential amino acids.

Insects are generally omnivorous, can thus be reared on organic waste streams of the food industry and this way can simultaneously contribute to biomass degradation and conversion of food wastes to valuable protein. 

Insect rearing requires little space and has much lower greenhouse gas emissions and water requirement than conventional livestock. This can mostly be attributed to the comparably excellent food conversion. In comparison to cattle, insects require almost ten times less feed for the production of 1 kg biomass. 

More on the ATB research on insects...