Would you eat crickets? For many people living in North America the knee-jerk reaction to human entomophagy, the act of humans eating insects, is a resounding "No!". However, the stigma towards eating bugs may erode as the buzz surrounding insects' nutritional and environmental benefits creeps its way into popular consciousness.
In the past year alone, several organizations and studies have heralded these little critters as the "future of food" and stories of forward-thinking food start-ups with bugs on the brain have gained traction from media the world over. But why, you may ask, is this even a topic of conversation? Is there really a need for a game-changer in the food industry? Simply put, the answer is yes.
The over 1 billion chronically hungry people worldwide at this moment fuels this sense of urgency. With a boost in crop productions largely out of the question due to land scarcity and the increasing unpredictability of weather patterns, we must look to more sustainable and economically viable food resources. A report published last year by United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) titled Edible Insects: Future prospects for food and feed security begins with this alarming call to arms:
“...by 2050 the world will host 9 billion people. To accommodate this number, current food production will need to almost double....To meet the food and nutrition challenges of today and tomorrow, what we eat and how we produce it needs to be re-evaluated. Inefficiencies need to be rectified and food waste reduced."
That's where bugs come in.
Next, how bug production can change the world...