In drought devastated areas of Texas, where cattle once grazed, are ranchers ready to farm insects for a living?
Can chefs and entrepreneurs come up with tempting insect eatables to persuade Americans to get over their disgust at eating insects?
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is hoping so, according to its report, “Edible Insects, Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security.”
It encourages Americans to develop new insect markets and to farm and eat insects as a protein source.
The FAO sees the benefits of the insect industry in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where there is an over abundance of insects, lack of abundant protein sources, and cultural acceptance of insects in a meal.
An FAO guide cites:
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10 Reasons to Eat Bugs:
1. Insects provide high-quality protein and nutrients compared to meat and fish.
2. Insects use significantly less water than conventional livestock.
3. Insects have high feed conversion efficiency because they are coldblooded.
4. Insects can feed on bio-waste, such as food and human waste, compost and animal slurry, and can transform this into high-quality protein that can be used for agricultural feed.
5. Insect farming is less land-dependent than conventional livestock farming.
6. Insects pose a low risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases, or diseases transmitted from animals to humans such as H1N1, and bird flu.
7. Insect gathering and rearing can offer important livelihood diversification strategies.
8. Minimal technical or capital expenditure is required for basic harvesting and rearing equipment. Insects can be easily collected in the wild.
9. Insect harvesting and farming can provide entrepreneurship opportunities for people in developed, transitional, and developing economies.
10. Insects can be processed for food and feed relatively easily.
17 Edible Creatures
Hotlix, a U.S. candy company, has been selling its confections filled with ants, bees, crickets, larva, butterflies, worms, and scorpions for 25 years.
Is anyone eager to try these common edible insects?
10. True bugs (13 in North America)