Can Insects Help with Food Shortage in the World?
As the number of humans increase, we will have to look for new sources of food. In some cultures, insects have been consumed for thousand of years, and many countries in the world such as China, Thailand, South America and Africa use insects as a delicacy and for snacks because they are tasty and nutritious, high in protein, and low in carbohydrates.
One of the advantages with insects is their abundance and that they can be found everywhere. Many insects are high in protein and vitamins. E.g. “Caterpillars called mopane worms in southern Africa can consist of as much as 65 % proteins. Also a 100g portion of bee larvae contains a prodigious 12,000 units of vitamin A and 68,000 units of vitamin D”.
In Asia they eat insects for medical purposes since they believe caterpillars consists of potent medical compounds. Since insects are rich in nutritious substances such as proteins, vitamins and sometimes medical effect they consumed as various forms of diets.
However there are disadvantages as well. Insects are usually very small and therefore hard to find and catch. Another drawback is that they can be poisonous to humans although sometimes the toxins are destroyed by cooking also they may taste bad when digested raw.
Mexicans eat deep-fried grasshoppers. Japanese love wasp cookies. Leafcutter ants are considered a delicacy in Colombia, as are some caterpillars in South Africa. And in Thailand people cook everything from water beetles to bamboo worms. Even though eating insects has often been dismissed as a cultural eccentricity, it might soon become one of the answers to pressing global problems like hunger and environmental destruction.
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