07 February 2010

Gourmet Fare: Bugs and Mushrooms

Can you imagine eating grasshoppers "more savoury than shrimp?" It's easy if you try. Costa Rican scientists at the National Biodiversity Institute are researching insect farming for purposes of food production. It makes sense: insects are high in protein, low in carbs, and produce very high quality fats including omega 3s. And insects can learn to eat a wide range of cheap feed -- even algal carcases left over from the production of algal biofuels!
At the institute, Costa Rican scientists mingle with Bhutan mycology expert Ugyen Yangchen and Elisabeth Zannou, an entomologist from Benin.

Costa Rica and Benin share historical ties, as many slaves were taken from the western African country to Central America during the colonial era.

“Benin knows a lot about insect consumption and Bhutan about eating mushrooms, while Costa Rica is bringing its experience in managing biodiversity,” Marianella Feoli, who manages the foundation coordinating the research program, told AFP.

In Benin, termites, grasshoppers and crickets, as well as butterfly and moth larvae are a common part of people’s diet, explained Zumbado, who traveled with his colleagues to explore the phenomenon in the coastal country.

“In other countries, gourmet restaurants serve insects,” he noted. _ImpactLab
If Obama is US President for much longer, humans will have to learn to eat lower on the food chain. Elections have consequences.

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