News / Health

Insects Can Fill Gap in Diets, UN Says

A Thai woman sells fried bugs at a market in Chiang Mai province, Thailand.
A Thai woman sells fried bugs at a market in Chiang Mai province, Thailand.
VOA News
A new study by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says insects could be used in the fight against hunger and to increase food security.

A report released Monday says that forest insects form part of the traditional diet for some two billion people worldwide and are a readily available source of nutritious and protein-rich food.

Some of the most widely consumed insects include beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps and ants. The food agency report says insects are rich in protein, good fats, iron and other minerals.

Watch related video about insect consumption

Related video about insect consumptioni
May 13, 2013 7:52 PM
A new study by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says insects could be used in the fight against hunger and to increase food security.

The report cites the "disgust factor" as being a large reason as to why eating insects is rare in Western countries, an effect that trickles down to much of the world. It also  suggests chefs can help raise the status of insects by incorporating them into recipes and menus.

Insects produce a fraction of emissions such as methane, ammonia and greenhouse gases compared to other animals, according to the FAO.  It adds that on average, insects use just two kilograms of feed to produce one kilogram of meat, compared to cattle which require eight kilograms of feed to produce the same amount.

The food agency also pointed out that in addition to food, insect gathering and farming can also offer employment and income generation for people and businesses.

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Comment Sorting
by: nonameman from: orbit
May 13, 2013 6:48 PM
I was wondering what all that smelly stuff was coming down from sky. Man, I am glad they did such a good job fixing that leak in the space station. Now, can they fix the leak in my toilet too? Thank you.

by: annaymous from: location-location-locatio
May 13, 2013 6:43 PM
Well, If insect are rich in proteins, then it must produce more ammonia and methane, cause the end result of protein digestion is ammonia and other nitrogen base compound.
2nd - I like to suggest to this reporter to eat some insects to prove his point.

by: ucjb
May 13, 2013 4:20 PM
"A new study by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says insects could be used in the fight against hunger and to increase food security."
Why did they need to "study" this? Eating bugs has been a staple of human diets for centuries.

by: Henry from: nj
May 13, 2013 4:20 PM
Thats ok I think I'll just stick to cattle!If the FDA wants to feed me bugs,I'll find a way to fire them!

by: durel wiley from: Port Angeles Wa.
May 13, 2013 4:19 PM
Soylent green!!!!!!! It's.........................COCKROACHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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