Bugs are food of the future, UN says

May 13, 2013
A picture taken on August 30, 2012 shows a stag beetle, in Saint Philbert sur Risle, northwestern France. Beetles, caterpillars and wasps could supplement the diets of billions of people globally and help feed livestock, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation says, calling for more investment in edible insect farming.

Beetles, caterpillars and wasps could supplement the diets of billions of people globally and help feed livestock, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Monday, calling for more investment in edible insect farming.

"One of the many ways to address food and feed insecurity is through insect farming," the report said, pointing out that insects were "nutritious, with high protein, fat and mineral contents".

"Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly, and they have high growth and feed conversion rates and a low ," it said.

But the authors admitted that "consumer disgust remains one of the largest barriers to the adoption of insects as viable sources of protein in many Western countries".

It suggested that the food industry could help in "raising the status of insects" by including them in new recipes and putting them on .

The report also called for better regulation and mechanisation for using insects as feed—an industry that at present "cannot compete" with traditional sources of feed.

"The use of insects on a large scale as a is technically feasible, and established companies in various parts of the world are already leading the way," it added.

Explore further: Cuban, US scientists bond over big sharks

Related Stories

Insects use plant like a telephone

Apr 23, 2008

Dutch ecologist Roxina Soler and her colleagues have discovered that subterranean and aboveground herbivorous insects can communicate with each other by using plants as telephones. Subterranean insects issue chemical warning ...

River regulation influences land-living animals

Feb 28, 2013

Forest-living insects and spiders become less abundant and birds are adversely affected along regulated rivers. Three different studies by ecologists at Umeå University show that river regulation has a negative effect also ...

Recommended for you

Cuban, US scientists bond over big sharks

Jul 03, 2015

Somewhere in the North Atlantic right now, a longfin mako shark—a cousin of the storied great white—is cruising around, oblivious to the yellow satellite tag on its dorsal fin.

Research shows 'mulch fungus' causes turfgrass disease

Jul 02, 2015

Inadvertently continuing a line of study they conducted about 15 years ago, a team of Penn State researchers recently discovered the causal agent for an emerging turfgrass disease affecting golf courses around ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.