Monthly Archives: May 2013

Why eating bugs is good for the body, and the environment, too

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A recent report by the United Nations, entitled Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security, has a lot of people feeling queasy as the organization recommends eating insects in order to deal with a growing global population.

With global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, current food production needs to double to accommodate such huge number of people. However, with land scarcity, overfishing, climate change, and water shortages having profound implications on food production, it will be difficult to meet future food demand. Thus, the UN advocates people to include insects in their diets. After all, insects “are healthy, nutritious alternatives to mainstream staples such as chicken, pork, beef, and even fish.”

bug meal
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Although entomophagy, or the consumption of insects as food, is not really a far-fetched idea—National Geographic notes that there are some 2 billion people who eat a wide variety of insects regularly, both cooked and raw—people who cringe at the thought on munching a bucketful of beetles, bees, or wasps while watching TV cannot really be faulted. However, what the UN is asking is for people to consider how underutilized insects are potential food for livestock, or the ways insect consumption could benefit the environment. As the UN report notes, “Insects are often considered nuisance … yet this is far from the truth. Insects provide food at low environmental cost, contribute positively to livelihoods, and play a fundamental role in nature.”

bug snack
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Although Janique Goff’s lunch does not include grasshoppers (yet), the San Diego-based environmentalist seconds the UN report on its take on insect consumption. For more tips on environment-friendly diets, check out this Facebook page.