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Insect diet may be the solution for a hungry world
France 24 ^ | 8/17/2011

Posted on 08/17/2011 11:49:39 PM PDT by bruinbirdman

Mexicans eat deep-fried grasshoppers. Japanese love wasp cookies. Leafcutter ants are considered a delicacy in Colombia, as are some caterpillars in South Africa. And in Thailand people cook everything from water beetles to bamboo worms. Even though eating insects has often been dismissed as a cultural eccentricity, it might soon become one of the answers to pressing global problems like hunger and environmental destruction.

As disgusting as the idea of eating insects may be for many, the reality is that eating insects, or entomophagy, is practised in more than half the countries in the world. There are an estimated 1,462 species of edible insects in the world, ranging from beetles, dragonflies and crickets to ant eggs and butterfly larvae, according to research by Wageningen University in the Netherlands. More than 250 species are eaten in Mexico alone.

But more than tasty snacks, insects could become a protein-rich, green and global source of food, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The FAO says the projected growth of the world’s population – around 2.3 billion more people by 2050 – will require a significant increase in food production. As a result, demand for livestock is expected to double during the next four decades. However, almost 70% of the land in use for agriculture in the world is for livestock, meaning that the need for more grazing land would bring further deforestation. Agriculture also contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and puts a strain on valuable resources like water. Finding alternative protein sources other than livestock is therefore crucial.


Insect vendors in Thailand

The FAO and scientists around the world are suggesting that insects could be a serious alternative. To begin with, insects have about the same nutritional value as beef, chicken or fish. They are easily raised in a sustainable way, since they require less land and water than cows, pigs or goats. They also reproduce at a quicker pace than mammals. What's more, people in developing countries can harvest them without owning vast properties of land or making huge financial investments.

Currently the FAO is promoting sustainable cricket farms in Laos. Meanwhile, in the United States and Europe, a small but growing number of chefs and foodies are praising the benefits of eating insects and some grocery stores like Sligro in the Netherlands have begun marketing them.

Contributors

Daniella Martin .

“Insects are not just an alternative source of food, but they’re superior in many ways”

Danielle Martin is a foodie and insect lover. She posts gourmet insect recipes on her blog “Girl Meets Bug” and hosts insect cook-offs in museums and schools across the United States.

I first encountered edible insects in Mexico, when I bought a packet of ‘chapulines’ [deep-fried grasshoppers.] I remember being suddenly surrounded by a group of children that wanted to eat them right off the table. It really struck me that entomophagy was very much alive.

Since eating insects is so unusual in the U.S., people mainly come to my presentations out of curiosity. There is a sensational aspect to it: they basically want to see the girl eating the bugs. But as they are watching and it smells like regular food to them, there is a moment of realization that bugs can be good.


Wasp cookies


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/17/2011 11:49:47 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman

This was the topic I chose for the persuasive speech in my college speech class. ;-)


2 posted on 08/17/2011 11:56:41 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: bruinbirdman

The UN probably discusses this over steak and lobster.


3 posted on 08/17/2011 11:57:11 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar
The UN probably discusses this over steak and lobster.

Lobster is my kind of arthropod.

4 posted on 08/18/2011 12:02:41 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: bruinbirdman

If true, I can live the rest of my life on the grasshoppers devouring what is left of my drought plagued yard.


5 posted on 08/18/2011 12:05:30 AM PDT by berdie
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To: berdie
If true, I can live the rest of my life on the grasshoppers devouring what is left of my drought plagued yard.

lol! Boy can I relate o that statement.

6 posted on 08/18/2011 12:07:17 AM PDT by South40 (Primaries are about choosing a conservative candidate, not settling on a Rove RINO)
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To: bruinbirdman

I think I read this in Reader’s Digest back in ‘55.


7 posted on 08/18/2011 12:09:23 AM PDT by metesky (Brethren, leave us go amongst them! - Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond, The Searchers)
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To: bruinbirdman

No.


8 posted on 08/18/2011 12:15:09 AM PDT by americanophile ("this absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, is a rotting corpse which poisons our lives" - Ataturk)
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To: bruinbirdman

. . . which Biblical figure ate locusts and wild honey?


9 posted on 08/18/2011 12:22:54 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: bruinbirdman

The only insects I would be willing to try are the ones that eat plant material.

I would not touch anything else.


10 posted on 08/18/2011 12:24:32 AM PDT by Jonty30
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To: bruinbirdman
Andrew Zimmern, where are you?


11 posted on 08/18/2011 12:27:51 AM PDT by jonrick46 (2012 can't come soon enough.)
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To: bruinbirdman

I ate bugs in Chiapas.

Lil Bastuhds didn... say nuthin....

tasted like lemon..

Probably cuz they wuz soaked in Limon.

But, nothing happened, except I wuz full....


12 posted on 08/18/2011 12:34:49 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: bruinbirdman
Sure, let's wear tree bark shoes and toss our waste in the streets. If only we could be like the savages then maybe whites might be salvageable. I'm going to worship the moon starting tomorrow. Human sacrifice, anyone?

13 posted on 08/18/2011 12:37:59 AM PDT by I see my hands (Keep your sunny side up!)
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To: Vendome
Ending the needless use of corn for fuel would transform the equation.

We could feed the world (US and Canada production) if the EPA and big Gov just got the hell out of the pockets of .... or just out of the way.

14 posted on 08/18/2011 12:44:45 AM PDT by Oiao
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To: Olog-hai

John the Baptist.


15 posted on 08/18/2011 12:46:50 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: bruinbirdman
Modern farms produce surpluses in most commodities. It is not a “hungry world” except where the market infrastructure breaks down.
16 posted on 08/18/2011 1:05:55 AM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American that a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: bruinbirdman

Crawfish/Mudbugs.... Not crustaceans. Insects.


17 posted on 08/18/2011 1:36:20 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist (It is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; ~Vattel's Law of Nations)
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To: Oiao

My thoughts exactly, government needs to end useless regulation of farms, such as the dolts in CA who shut off the water supply to save a frickin’ smelt that isn’t even native to the waters.


18 posted on 08/18/2011 1:44:54 AM PDT by calex59
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To: bruinbirdman

They say ants taste like chicken. My sister ate one when she was 8 years old, and she can testify that this is indeed true.

Off the record, there are very few inedible animals. Those that are are mainly too hard/bony/lacking enough flesh or else poisonous.


19 posted on 08/18/2011 3:10:45 AM PDT by Strk321
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To: Olog-hai

I dunno; but the locust was the only clean insect in the Mosaic Law. Why? Because it’s an important source of protein for Bedouin nomads.


20 posted on 08/18/2011 3:12:39 AM PDT by Strk321
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To: Strk321

I was on a trail hike in Central America when the guide pointed out a termite nest. He said these were an emergency source of protein and they taste like raw carrots.

Luckily I had been drinking so I tried some. Not bad, and they did taste like carrots. I chewed them up good because I didn’t want them crawling around my throat.


21 posted on 08/18/2011 4:06:52 AM PDT by RadiationRomeo (Step into my mind and glimpse the madness that is me)
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To: bruinbirdman

After we stop paying farmers to keep land out of production, and food prices for simple staples like rice and potatoes become expensive, THEN they can talking about eating grubs.

How to vegans fall out on bugs?


22 posted on 08/18/2011 4:33:22 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: bruinbirdman

Uuuuuhhhh, I wonder how well they go with peas? /s


23 posted on 08/18/2011 4:41:11 AM PDT by jennings2004 (Sarah Palin: "The bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel!")
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To: bruinbirdman

“Insect diet may be the solution for a hungry world”

I’m confused. I thought socialists believe that Soylent Green is the ideal solution for a hungry world.


24 posted on 08/18/2011 4:44:48 AM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: bruinbirdman

Can’t we just eat the corn and use the insects for fuel?


25 posted on 08/18/2011 4:55:53 AM PDT by Londo Molari
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To: Jonty30

When we begin eating insects how long will it be before they become endangered? We can’t build power lines right now because of some beetle that is endangered.


26 posted on 08/18/2011 5:00:58 AM PDT by taterjay
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To: taterjay
When we begin eating insects how long will it be before they become endangered?

You've been eating insects for many, many years.
27 posted on 08/18/2011 5:01:49 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan

When we begin eating insects (enmasse) how long will it be before they become endangered? Maybe we can eat the golden eagles the wind turbines are killing.


28 posted on 08/18/2011 5:06:41 AM PDT by taterjay
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To: bruinbirdman
Summer Glau: "I swallowed a bug" from Firefly
29 posted on 08/18/2011 5:26:42 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (The Repubs and Dems are arguing whether to pour 9 or 10 buckets of gasoline on a burning house.)
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To: aruanan

Dat true. Most of the grain products you eat have insects ground up in them.


30 posted on 08/18/2011 5:49:58 AM PDT by Strk321
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