Eat Insects. Save the World?

Image credit: OZ

Depending on your cultural and culinary heritage, this one might be a hard sell—but apparently mini-sized teacup cows are not the only micro solution to more sustainable meat being proposed.

It turns out that encouraging a diet of insects and other creepy-crawlies could also be a great way to feed the world. News comes via The Guardian that insects could be the key to meeting global food demand, and that a proposal on the eating of insects is being seriously considered by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization:

"There is a meat crisis," he said. "The world population will grow from six billion now to nine billion by 2050 and we know people are consuming more meat. Twenty years ago the average was 20kg, it is now 50kg, and will be 80kg in 20 years. If we continue like this we will need another Earth."

Van Huis is an enthusiast for eating insects but given his role as a consultant to the FAO, he can't be dismissed as a crank. "Most of the world already eats insects," he points out. "It is only in the western world that we don't. Psychologically we have a problem with it. I don't know why, as we eat shrimps, which are very comparable."

It's really not news to many TreeHuggers. Lloyd reported back in 2008 that bugs are back on the menu because of their excellent feed to meat ratio. And given the fact that the much coveted oyster appears to have contracted herpes, and that Scottish brewers are serving strong beer in dead squirrels, it's kind of hard for Western culinary traditions to start pointing the finger about "ickiness".

Of course, the vegans of the world will be asking "why bother?" If there's a meat crisis, we could always stop eating meat...

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