Mealworms for birds are a cheap form of nutrition. Could they be processed at home in a way to make them healthy?

Dried mealworms are sold as bird food for just under £8/Kg in the UK or $3/Kg from China. This is mostly a dehydrated fat protein mixture, google quotes Protein: 53% Fat: 28% Fibre: 6% Water: 5%. This is a protein source comparable in price to the cheapest animal protein source in the supermarket, chicken at around £2/Kg and 18% protein. It does not require refrigeration and has a long shelf life. Insects are considered a more sustainable source of protein than other animals, and the welfare considerations are different at least.

As they are sold, they taste quite good, a good comparison would be pork scratchings. However they have not been handled with human food quality standards, and so eating they so is likely to be bad for you, potentially very bad. One could easily eliminate the main problem of infectious disease by cooking them, but this could leave residues such as heat stable drugs and heavy metals.

Could this food source realistically be used as a low cost sustainable welfare friendly source of nutrition in the UK today?


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