I read an interesting article today on how eating insects may save the world. The rationale: eating insects are not only nutritious (high in protein and fat), but would also help to save the Earth’s resources as the human population continues to expand.
According to Aaron T. Dossey, a biochemist, entomologist, and founder and owner of All Things Bugs, humans consume ~40% of potential terrestrial productivity and livestock currently takes up ~30% of the Earth’s land (pasture and growing feed). With the growing population of humans, food consumption will necessarily increase. He sees insects as the solution to that problem as they can be produced in a more sustainable way than cattle, since they literally, and figuratively, have a smaller ecological footprint. Because they are cold-blooded, they are able to convert feed into weight gain more efficiently than cattle since they are not using the energy for thermoregulation. Bug consumption would also reduce the utilization of water for irrigation and land for growing livestock feed. Since insects can eat foods that are not edible for humans (unlike cattle that eat grain and corn), they are not competing with humans for food. In addition, insects are abundant. In fact, Dossey mentioned that the UN estimates the current list of edible insect species on the menu in many parts of the world is currently ~1,400. According to Dossey, a goal of the UN is to increase the consumption of edible insects to help fight hunger and lower child mortality rates.
Chocolate-covered ants, anyone?