Eat insects — fight climate change

Focus on food, grasshopper

Now here’s an interesting suggestion, and perhaps not as bizarre as it might sound at first glance.

In SciDev.net, Benjamin Kolb reports on the push to farm insects instead of cows and other large mammals as an alternative source of protein-rich food that could help mitigate hunger in poor countries while also fighting climate change.

Kolb cites Dutch researchers who say:

Compared to cattle, weight for weight, insects emitted 80 times less methane — a gas with 25 times more impact on global temperature levels than carbon dioxide.

And crickets produced 8–12 times less ammonia than pigs.

According to the study’s lead author, Dennis Oonincx, an entomologist from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, 80 per cent of the world’s population eats insects, particularly in the developing world.

And for those put off by the idea that we should consider incorporating into our diets more beetles, locusts and crickets, consider the lobster. It’s really just an extra large, and very tasty, insect.

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About Author

Editor Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom-at-humanosphere.org, follow him on Twitter @tompaulson and/or send a comment below.

  • Klem

    I’m sure there are billions of third world people all over the world who would be happy to eat insects manufactured and farmed by American Ag-corporations, while Americans themselves eat porterhouse steaks. This sounds like a really great idea.

  • Jonathan

    Plant based diets produce the most health for the individual and for the planet. Protein is an easy nutrient to obtain. Plant sources are completely adequate. Animal products as food destroy health.