Should people eat bugs to solve world hunger?

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

Should we pour some chocolate on those critters to the left? Fry up some grasshoppers? Dip a moth in some cheese dip? Sprinkle a bunch of ants for some ice cream topping? Ok, ok, I know I’m probably grossing you out, but the United Nations – a group of countries around the world that try to solve global problems – is recommending that people eat more bugs! The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that insects are awesome because they are, “…healthy, nutritious alternatives to… chicken, pork, beef and even fish.”

insect collageNot only that, they say that raising bugs is environmentally friendly, because rather than having to chop down a ton of trees to make room for crops, farmers can just raise them in smaller areas. Also, the bugs don’t cause as much planet-warming greenhouse-gas emissions as cows do.

Bugs are excellent sources of protein, too, and while a lot of Americans can’t even imagine eating bugs, guess what? Over 2 billion people around the world eat insects as part of their diet! Now, even if we can’t stomach the idea of eating bugs, farmers could still consider using the insects to feed chickens instead of buying expensive fish or soybean meals. By feeding insects to chickens, there’s also going to be less chemicals used in raising chickens.

Human insect-eating is common in places like Africa, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. Some of the most popular bugs to eat are grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, ants, beetle grubs, caterpillars, scorpions and even big hairy tarantulas! Just take a look at the picture over here to the right, where a market has buckets filled with delicious (gross?) bugs.

Now, a word of warning: don’t go in the backyard and start eating bugs. Some bugs are good for you and some bugs are bad for you. If you’re really feeling adventurous, please make sure you buy bugs from a store that knows how to prepare them.