News Stories

Bugs for Dinner

We farm fish and we certainly farm fruits and vegetables. Insects are full of protein and while Americans don't eat them, many other cultures do, so why not farm them? In the future, we may do just that (unless they get too powerful--in which case we'll probably shoot them down and eat the roadkill).

Raising cows, pigs and sheep uses up 2/3 of the world's farmland and produces 20% of all the greenhouse gases that are changing our climate. The UN wants us to eat less meat, so a natural alternative is insects. global warming. As a result, the United Nations and senior figures want to reduce the amount of meat we eat and the search is on for alternatives.

In the August 1st edition of the Guardian, Damian Carrington quotes entomologist Arnold van Huis as saying, "There is a meat crisis. The world population will grow from 6 billion now to 9 billion by 2050 and we know people are consuming more meat. If we continue like this we will need another Earth."

On the PopSci website, Paul Adams writes: "Tons of edible, sustainable protein swarms all around us, free for the taking. Farming edible insects like mealworms and crickets would produce far less greenhouse gas--10 times less methane and 100 times less nitrous oxide--than the large mammals we currently farm. Insects are metabolically much more efficient, which makes them far cheaper to feed and raise and since they're so biologically different from humans, they are less subject to contagious disease scares like mad cow. They are high in protein and calcium, and with over 1,000 edible species, offer plenty of delicious variety."

BBC quotes Huis as saying, "Most of the world already eats insects. It is only in the western world that we don't. Psychologically we have a problem with it. I don't know why, as we eat shrimps, which are very comparable."

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Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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