Two billion people in cultures around the world include insects as a part of their diet, and there are lots of stories about it in the news right now. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has recently recommended that we eat more insects, National Geographic recommends 8 bugs to try, this Washington Post video profiles a D.C. resident that cooks and eats cicadas, BBC News has a video about how insect-farming can combat hunger, and The Guardian has reported on what a healthy and sustainable food source they are:
Entomophagy: The Economist looks at why eating insects makes sense.
The cost of meat is rising, not just in terms of hard cash but also in terms of the amount of rainforest that is destroyed for grazing or to grow feedstuff for cattle. There is also the issue of methane excreted by cows. The livestock farming contribution in terms of greenhouse gas emissions is enormous – 35% of the planet’s methane, 65% of its nitrous oxide and 9% of the carbon dioxide.
Edible insects emit fewer gases, contain high-quality protein, vitamins and amino acids, and have a high food conversion rate, needing a quarter of the food intake of sheep, and half of pigs and chickens, to produce the same amount of protein. They emit less greenhouse gases and ammonia than cows and can be grown on organic waste.