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Are Insects The Solution To Food Shortages

Have you ever tried eating an insect? There are 6 million species of insects on the planet. 80% of all animal species on earth walk on six legs. The earth is indeed a planet of insects not man, and there is a significant movement advocating for the consumption of insects as a solution to the food crisis. You can read all about the food crisis here.

How Hungry Do You Have To Be To Eat A Bug

It turns out you don't have to be very hungry to eat a bug. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, every one of us is eating 500 grams (That’s more than a pound) per year in the foods we purchase day to day. You find it in all the processed food you eat. Peanut butter allows 30 insect parts per 100/grams, wheat flour 75 insect parts per 50 grams and even chocolate 60 insect components per 100 grams.

Insects remove dung, pollinate crops, control pests and are food for animals. Humans could not exist on earth without insects. Today, more than 1000 species of insects are being eaten around the world. Man can’t live without insects and insects would do just fine without man.

Does Eating Insects Save Water

Meat consumption hit an all-time high this year in the U.S. - 222 pounds per person per year. It takes about 22 pounds of feed to produce a pound of beef. The ratio of feed to produce a pound of insects is much better. The same 22 pounds of feed will yield around 19 pounds of insects. Also, there is much less manure waste, and insects are lower in calories too. So yes, you do save water when you eat insects for protein instead of meat and may be a healthier alternative.

This is about perception.

We are not use to it. Shrimp is a delicacy and locust are very similar in shape and size to shrimp. Locust are the shrimp of the land, but many of you would not think of eating a locust. Why do many people believe eating tuna is okay but repulsed at the thought of eating a dolphin? Why is it alright to eat a cow, but eating horsemeat is un-American.

For many, the real solution is going to be a plant-based diet. We see more scientific data every day on the health benefits of plant-based foods. We know they save water and there is little or no perception problems. A shift to eating a higher percentage of plant-based meals is a solution many will be able to live with and has many of the advantages of eating insects without the challenges.

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Richard Restuccia

Richard is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. Richard is a spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. He served on the Irrigation Association's Board of Directors and is a University of California Master Gardener. Richard also writes for other publications and is an award winning contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine. In 2014 his efforts were recognized with a “Leadership in Landscape” award. He has a great interest in the supply of clean water for people in developing countries and as an outdoorsman, spends his free time running, swimming and surfing.


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