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Friday, May 20, 2016

Good morning,

Recent research has found that the production of 21 staples, such as eggs, meat, vegetables and soybeans is beginning to run out of momentum, while the global population continues to soar.

The experts call it "peak food".

Peak chicken was in 2006, while milk and wheat both peaked in 2004 and rice peaked way back in 1988, according to research from Yale University, Michigan State University and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany.

So are there alternatives to simply going without? Yes.

But you might not like them. At first.

Thanks for reading,

Your Living Green editor

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Entrepreneur Elliot Mermel has opened his first edible cricket farm in California.

If Mermel has his way, cricket-based powders and flours will one day be available in every grocery store in the U.S.

That problem is a soaring human population expected to number more than 9 billion by 2050. With edible insects requiring fewer resources and producing less waste than cows, pigs or chickens, it's a simple matter of math to understand how Mermel's new venture makes sense.

Crickets in particular are especially nutritious, with half the fat of beef and a third more protein. In California, where water restrictions are increasingly the norm, it's worth noting that it only takes one gallon of water to raise a pound of crickets; whereas it takes more than 2,000 gallons for one pound of beef.

Today, there are roughly 30 companies making products using cricket flour, from energy bars to cookies. Mermel's Coalo Valley farm in California will join a collection of edible insects ventures already underway in states like Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Georgia. "It's basically the next superfood," Daniel Imrie-Situnayake, co-founder of high-tech cricket incubator Tiny Farms, told FastCoExist. "It's a healthy and sustainable way to get some protein. The market size for similar categories, even niche products, gets into the hundreds of millions pretty quickly."

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