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Could Crickets Solve the World's Malnutrition Problem?

March 30, 2013, 9:00 AM
Cricket_bug

What's the Latest Development?

A team of students at McGill University, Montreal, are putting forth a plan meant to facilitate the production of edible insects on an industrial scale. "The idea is to distribute cricket-producing kits to the world's slums as a way of improving diets, and giving people more income. Families would eat what they needed, while selling the rest for processing into flour, and other products." Zev Thompson, one of the students, said: "We're proposing a factory to grind cricket-flour with corn, wheat or rice, whatever is local, and then creating very normal looking food that has an additional boost to it."

What's the Big Idea?

While crickets aren't typically found at the dinner table in Western households, the tiny insects, along with cicadas, approach standard fare in other countries. High in protein, low in fat, and rich in iron and omega-3, bugs like grasshoppers and cicadas are vital staplesa crunchier, and more sustainable, alternative to beef, pork, and lamb. "I wonder if crickets today are what sushi was 20 or 30 years ago—a weird exotic thing that breaks into the mainstream," said Thomson. "Some people are vegetarian for ecological reasons, but they are not opposed to eating insects. So, we might find an interesting niche here as well."

Read it at Scientific American

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

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