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tippgerry
19th-August-2009, 12:59
Guardian 18-08-09


As with gingerbread men and gummy bears, the dilemma when served a
locust is whether to begin eating it head or legs first. I choose to
start with the six little legs (sometimes you need to fold them in a
bit because they tend to trail out of your mouth otherwise), then the
abdomen and finally (gulp) the head. Crunch, crunch, swallow. Think:
bbq prawns, but unshelled.

I'll be honest, deep-fried
locust is not the most delicious snack I've ever had. But on a long
road trip through Cambodia, it was cheap, filling and tasty enough
more than can be said for most motorway service station food (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/food) in Britain and less frightening than other menu options in the region. Goat-scrotum hotpot, anyone?

In south-east Asia, insects (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/insects)
are an important part of the daily diet for millions of people.
Crickets, cockroaches and other bugs and grubs are sold across the
region by roadside vendors and in smart restaurants. They are harvested
commercially and by home producers, providing vital income for
struggling farmers. Often, insects are the only source of income for
women earners, who rig polythene awnings above a fluorescent tube-light
to trap flying insects after dark.

Insects are plentiful,
multiply and grow to adulthood rapidly and require little food to
sustain them. They are the perfect source of protein. As countries in the west (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/21/britain-food-supplies) and developing world (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/17/asia-facing-food-crisis) wake up to the looming threat of food shortages (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/aug/13/reponse-malawi-africa-food-farming),
it's time that governments seriously considered an alternative source
of protein. Could insects provide food security for the coming
centuries?

Entomophagy (insect eating) is a growing
industry with more than 1,400 insect species being gobbled in 90
countries. In terms of how much food insects require per gram of
protein produced, they are twice as efficient as chickens and more than
six times as efficient as cows. One reason for this is that insects are
cold-blooded, so they don't need to eat food to keep warm.

Animal
feed is an important consideration as agricultural costs soaring across
the world, leaving millions of families unable to meet their basic rice
needs. Meat is an unheard of luxury for many in the developing world,
leading to protein deficiencies for populations across sub-Saharan
Africa, south Asia and Latin America.

The nutritional
benefits of insects and better ways of marketing them were probed
during an international conference last year in Chiang Mai, Thailand,
involving scientists from 15 different countries, but not enough
progress has been made since then. Researchers, governments and
international agencies such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (http://www.fao.org/)
need to look seriously at insect harvest and production to meet the
world's food needs both in the poor world and the rich west. This
doesn't necessarily mean a cockroach burger with grub fries, but it
could mean using insect protein to replace soya bean protein in
packaged foods. Insects are a far more environmentally sustainable
source of protein, because they can be harvested without destruction of
forests or food crops.

It's not the perfect food. People
allergic to some seafood are likely also to suffer insect allergies.
And insects exposed to pesticides retain high levels of toxins in their
bodies.

There is a niche market for insects; there are cookbooks, <a href="http://www.

McCloud
19th-August-2009, 13:05
Sounds like and ideal franchise oppertunity.


McClouds bug shack has a certain ring to it.

masterchief
19th-August-2009, 13:30
i've had chocolate covered grasshoppers before and they were quite nice.

Piggybui
19th-August-2009, 13:31
I had a chocolate mouse and it was splendicous