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Food Security and Cricket Salad

January 6, 2011

Food security is a phrase that doesn’t sit right with me. It has a militaristic feel to it, like we must secure our food against some kind of enemy outside ourselves. We know darn well that we humans are the only ones to blame for resource overuse.

Political jargon aside, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has developed an interesting new program on edible insects, which it hopes will contribute to food security in many countries around the world.

Yuummmm, red ants!

If your skeptical about why eating bugs might be beneficial, check out Natoinal Geographic’s nutrition breakdown for  a grasshopper, red ant egg, and cricket.

Worldwide, about 2.5 billion people eat insects as an everyday part of their food, and there are over 1,400 insect species eaten. The FAO says that at least 527 different insects are eaten across 36 countries in Africa, and insects are also eaten in 29 countries in Asia and 23 in the Americas.

In most places where insects are eaten, harvests are made in forests without any population management without much disturbance. But like the honey bee and silk worm, we may see a rise in more forest insect domestication and farming soon.

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