There are many benefits to using insects in pet goods, including implications for the environment and sustainability. There is potential for growth in the pet food industry, with many insect species having the ability to be used as a novel protein source. There are also alternate uses for insects, such as control of hypertension and antioxidant properties.
Due to their nutritional profile, especially the high protein content, various types of insects can be used as feed for industrial animal production and aquaculture. An insect-based diet for farm animals has been scientifically investigated for pigs, poultry and edible fish. Insects can provide as much protein and essential amino acids for swine and poultry that can potentially replace soybean meal in a diet. Inclusion of black soldier fly larvae in a diet for fish farming gave positive effect with no difference in odor and texture. At the same time, there are challenges and disadvantages compared to established feed in terms of performance and growth. For monogastric farm animals, such as swine and poultry, replacing their conventional formula entirely with insects can result to decrease in performance and growth e.g., because insect flour may contain high levels of ash. Insects as feed are legally considered farm animals themselves, therefore they must not receive feed from ruminant proteins, kitchen and food waste, meat and bone meal and liquid manure.
With a view to protecting the environment and resources as well as feed and food security in the face of a growing world population, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has called for increased use of feed insects for feed production.