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Eating Insects Will Help Feed 9 Billion People, Says UN Report

Don Bugito – toffee mealworms on ice cream

There has been a lot of talk about eating bugs to help feed the world’s growing population, and a new report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says it would be a highly efficient way to help combat world hunger and cut down on pollution. With more than 2 billion people around the world already enjoying beetles, wasps, and other insects as part of their regular meals, it really isn’t as gross as us Westerners seem to think.

According to the report, insect farming is “one of the many ways to address food and feed security,” suggesting that not only could we feed ourselves, but livestock as well. Insects are high in protein, fat, and nutrients, and an good source of nutrition. They also require 12 times less feed than cattle to become a food for the same amount of protein, and produce considerably lower greenhouse gas emissions than other livestock farming methods.

In order to get Westerners into the idea of eating bugs, the report suggests that restaurants should put them on the menu, which may help in “raising the status of insects” as a legitimate food source. If a popular restaurant can cook a beetle burger that has mouths watering, it probably would help a lot to de-stigmatize the idea, wouldn’t it?

I am still a little squeamish at the thought of eating bugs, but I would definitely consider it if it became readily available, especially as a more environmentally friendly source of protein. I especially find it funny how different parts of the world see things like this. It’s totally cool for Americans to slaughter and grill up millions of tons of animal flesh, but grinding up tiny crickets into a patty? Gross! Personally, I find gallons of breast milk from cows to be much weirder than a bug burger.

What do you think? Would you try a burger made of bugs, or perhaps caramelized mealworms on ice cream, if your favorite restaurant made it?

Image: Toffee mealworms on ice cream from Don Bugito in San Francisco

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