http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-22508439Eating more insects could help fight world hunger, according to a new UN report.
The report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution.
It notes than over 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects.
However it admits that "consumer disgust" remains a large barrier in many Western countries.
Wasps, beetles and other insects are currently "underutilised" as food for people and livestock, the report says. Insect farming is "one of the many ways to address food and feed security".
"Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly, and they have high growth and feed conversion rates and a low environmental footprint," according to the report.
The authors point out that insects are nutritious, with high protein, fat and mineral content.
They are "particularly important as a food supplement for undernourished children".
Insects are also "extremely efficient" in converting feed into edible meat. Crickets, for example, need 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein, according to the report.
Most insects are are likely to produce fewer environmentally harmful greenhouse gases than other livestock.
The ammonia emissions associated with insect-rearing are far lower than those linked to conventional livestock such as pigs, says the report.
The report calls for insect dishes to be added to restaurant menus
Insects are regularly eaten by many of the world's population, but the thought may seem shocking to many Westerners.
The report suggests that the food industry could help in "raising the status of insects" by including them in new recipes and adding them to restaurant menus.
It goes on to note that in some places, certain insects are considered delicacies.
For example some caterpillars in southern Africa are seen as luxuries and command high prices.
Most edible insects are gathered in forests and serve niche markets, the report states.
It calls for improved regulation and production for using insects as feed.
"The use of insects on a large scale as a feed ingredient is technically feasible, and established companies in various parts of the world are already leading the way," it adds.
Madagascar welcomes this report from the UN. As a country where insects are already accepted as a part of the diet and where there is significant malnutrition, we feel that this report needs to be disseminated as quickly as possible. Rural healthcare workers need to have this information in order to educate and promote the inclusion of insects in children's diets in particular, giving a realistic and workable way of staring to combat malnutrition and provide children with protein.
UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger Watch
- Thread Starter
- 13-05-2013 21:33
- 14-05-2013 09:05
Mozambique commends this new incentive. Having an embarrassingly high malnutrition rate ourselves, Mozambique is committed to any viable way of helping feed our citizens
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- 14-05-2013 12:55
The UK whilst finding this thorough distasteful does concur with the general idea, New Zealand seconds this.
- 16-05-2013 08:12
The Netherlands also commends this, and although it does not foresee many people enjoying insects in the Netherlands, it hopes that the idea will be more welcomed in other parts of the world.
- 16-05-2013 09:45
Uganda commends the initiative. Uganda does feel however, that the incentive is more aimed at those in developing countries. Already more than 2 billion people have bugs as part of their daily diet, so this isn't a new phenomenon. Having a high malnourishment rate, Uganda is happy with new thoughts and ideas for food security for its citizens.
- 19-05-2013 00:51
Malaysia welcomes this round of protests from citizens worldwide, to make clear their stance on the deprivation of basic necessities such as food on a global scale.
- 19-05-2013 15:15
The Swiss Confederation believes that this incentive is a good idea, however we must not forget the importance of a balanced diet. Let us make it clear that food shortages are still a problem however.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan hopes that the United Nations word on World Hunger shall not be ignored. We believe that this will help.
The Republic of India echoes the above sentiments. We also hope that the economic disparity in regards to the food crisis shall be solved in our nations.