The United Nations is encouraging the consumption of insects. Kelsey Nowakowski (NG Sep 2014) explains why:
As incomes rise in developing countries, so too does the demand for meat. But raising livestock uses a lot of resources. Eating insects–already common in many tropical countries–could be an alternative. Beetles and crickets, for example, are packed with nutrients and provide protein at a low environmental cost.
The principal obstacle to the consumption of insects is their bad reputation.
Palatability poses a problem. “People have an emotional response to bugs–it’s the yuck factor,” says Arnold van Huis of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. To disguise their form, insects can be processed into powders and pastes. What’s next? Protein-rich “bug flours” that are part flour and part ground insect will likely be in markets soon.
In Uganda, where I spend a month or two every year, a pound of grasshoppers costs 40 percent more than a pound of beef.