04 August 2010

Saving the World by Eating Closer to the Earth

More than 1,000 insects are known to be eaten by choice around the world, in 80% of nations. They are most popular in the tropics, where they grow to large sizes and are easy to harvest. _Guardian

Insects can provide an excellent source of high protein food almost everywhere in the world. After reading a bit more about the wisdom of eating insects, study the nutritional table at the bottom. Think of all the human beings who have starved throughout history who might have been saved through a smarter use of the food chain.
Being cold-blooded, insects convert plant matter into protein extremely efficiently, Van Huis says. In addition, he argues, the health risks are lower.

... Locusts and crickets are calcium-rich and 90% of people in Laos have eaten insects at some point, he says.Durst says the FAO's priority will be to boost the eating of insects where this is already accepted but has been in decline due to western cultural influence.

He also thinks such a boost can provide livelihoods and protect forests where many wild insects are collected. "I can see a step-by-step process to wider implementation."

First, insects could be used to feed farmed animals such as chicken and fish which eat them naturally. Then, they could be used as ingredients.

Van Huis adds: "We're looking at ways of grinding the meat into some sort of patty, which would be more recognisable to western palates."


Thailand Dishes include fried giant red ants, crickets and June beetles

Colombia "Fat-bottomed" ants are a popular snack, fried and salted

Papua New Guinea Sago grubs in banana leaves are a local delicacy

Ghana Winged termites are collected and fried, roasted, or made into bread

Japan Dishes include aquatic fly larvae in sugar and candied grasshoppers

Mexico The agave worm is eaten on tortillas, and grasshoppers are toasted

Cambodia Deep-fried tarantulas are popular with locals and tourists

South Africa Locusts lend interest to the staple dish of cornmeal porridge

Australia Witchetty grubs are a traditional part of the Aboriginal diet _Guardian

Nutritional Value of Various Insects
Per 100 Grams


Protein (g)

Fat (g)


Calcium (mg)

Iron (mg)
Giant Water Beetle 19.8 8.3 2.1 43.5 13.6
Red Ant 13.9 3.5 2.9 47.8
Silk Worm Pupae 9.6 5.6 2.3 41.7 1.8
Dung Beetle 17.2 4.3 0.2 30.9 7.7
Cricket 12.9 5.5 5.1 75.8 9.5
Small Grasshopper 20.6 6.1 3.9 35.2 5.0
Large Grasshopper 14.3 3.3 2.2 27.5 3.0
June Beetle 13.4 1.4 2.9 22.6 6.0
Caterpillar 6.7 N/A N/A N/A 13.1
Termite 14.2 N/A N/A N/A 35.5
Weevil 6.7 N/A N/A N/A 13.1
Beef (Lean Ground) 27.4 N/A N/A N/A 3.5
Fish (Broiled Cod) 28.5 N/A N/A N/A 1.0

If you are thinking about getting into the insect farming business, here is a vast resource of information about the worldwide phenomenon of insects-as-food.

As part of their food foraging training, members of the Society for Creative Apocalyptology are expected to demonstrate the ability to harvest insects and grubs from the wild, and prepare them for eating. Such a skill when combined with the ability to forage wild plants, mushrooms, and small animals for food, could keep a small group alive for an extended period of time on just a few acres of apparently "useless" land.

Under Obama Pelosi, the US economy has not been doing well. In fact, thanks in large part to Obama Pelosi, an enormous pension tsunami is threatening to bankrupt several US states. Should that happen, the chain reaction of consequences will reverberate globally....Considering that virtually everything the Obama Pelosi government is doing will have further devastating effects on the US economy, you may want to seriously consider learning to enjoy the idea of eating grasshoppers.

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