Insects: The Other White Meat

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 1:55 PM

En.to.moph.a.gous adj- feeding on insects

A report contributed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), recently proposed a new way of thinking about insects. Their suggestion? To farm insects for food. While many of us shiver at the thought of frying up grasshoppers, beetles or caterpillars, let's consider the unfamiliar territory.

The potential of insects for nutrition is nothing new, but for many of us, the word insect carries a negative connotation. This negative association may be hindering our ability to tap into an unused resource. The FAO reported an expected population of 9 billion by 2050. With many mouths to feed, it's no wonder why the FAO is conjuring up new solutions. According to a 2010 estimate, 925 million people were undernourished (FAO 2010). So, let's examine the positive benefits of digesting insects.

-over 1900 species of insects have been proven to be edible
-insects contain zinc, iron and vitamin A
-they are genetically very different, in turn lessening the chance of spreading viruses through      consumption (e.g., swine flu).
-bugs produce far less amounts of green house gases then animals
-they are easily farmed, requiring less space and resources
-pests can be delicious!

Nearly 2 billion people in the world eat insects (that's roughly 30%) Some cultures suggest insects as a delicacy. For example, escamoles (insect caviar) is made from ant eggs, which is easily accessible and many claim is delicious. One James Beard award winning restaurant, Oyamel, provides tacos with grasshoppers. This innovative motion may just be a step in the right direction.

 One company hopes to shift the minds of non insect eaters with a slow, steady aim at in a different direction. Ento, a company from the U.K,  details their vision and process of shifting the common misconception of insects for dinner.

Watch here.
http://vimeo.com/user10201578/theentovision

For more information, please visit
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/06/04/grubs-as-grub/



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