Population booms in developing countries have led to a shortage of protein sources. For that reason, scientists from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) have proposed yellow mealworms as an alternative protein source for animals and, possibly, humans.
In the new study, scientists focused on analyzing the genome of a yellow mealworm species known as tenebrio molitor. By analyzing the genome, they could utilize DNA to optimize mealworms for mass production. But could yellow mealworms be a useful source of protein?
Firstly, fish and domestic birds can use the worms as an alternative source of protein. The worms also produce nutrient-rich waste, which can be used to create organic fertilizer.
Because the fish enjoy mealworms as food, the scientists believe these worms could be used for fish farming. Scientists also say pet food industries could use worms as a supplemental protein source. As for humans, scientists don’t exclude the possibility of us humans eating yellow mealworms in the future.