16 May 2013

Bugs: The Surprising Super Food

Jokes naturally followed the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s new report extolling the virtues of eating bugs.

The most popular tweet was a variant on “Let them eat cake.” Others pointed to the scene in the Disney movie the Lion King where Timon and Pumba introduce bugs to Simba. They assure Simba that bugs are “slimy, yet satisfying.”

It’s all in good fun and probably got more people to pay closer attention to an issue (hunger) in a report that would have otherwise only been discussed within development wonk circles.

Setting aside jokes and a gross-out-factor, bugs turn out to be a pretty awesome food. They pack some real protein punch and are better for the environment as compared to cows, pigs and chickens.

The Economist shows how:

“Forests contribute to the livelihoods of more than a billion people, including many of the world’s neediest. Forests provide food, fuel for cooking, fodder for animals and income to buy food,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva upon the release of the report. “Wild animals and insects are often the main protein source for people in forest areas, while leaves, seeds, mushrooms, honey and fruits provide minerals and vitamins, thus ensuring a nutritious diet.”

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