Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Insects as a Valuable Food Source

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recently promoted the idea of using insects as a valuable food source during emergencies. Patrick Durst, a senior forestry officer at the FAO in Bangkok says, “In certain places, insects can very well be seen as part of the solution to hunger.” According to scientists, crickets, caterpillars, and grubs are a reliable source of protein and can safely be eaten as a reliable food source should no other safe option be available. Some restaurants around the world are beginning to put bugs on the menu.

Using insects as a reliable food source during emergencies is becoming an increasingly popular means to combating hunger. However, the challenge lies in organizing insect food operations on the ground in countries most in need. There is almost no infrastructure to raise insects as a food source in the countries that need it most and the challenge of transporting large quantities of these insects’ far distances has not been overcome. There are concerns about the safety of eating bugs and dangers that might come with over-harvesting them. The facts are on the table and many challenges lay ahead, but there is a glimmer of hope for the future of preventable hunger.