The process of feeding from edible bugs for nourishment has been practised by humans for thousands of years. Every time you go on holiday to an exotic country there are market stalls selling weird insects for you to taste. While Entomophagy, eating bugs, may be rare in the developed world, it could also be the key so solving third world hunger.
In 2014 a warehouse in Youngstown, Ohio established the first ever official bug farm for human consumption. There have been farms like these in the past for pet feeds, but the regulations on these are far less strict.
The Big Cricket Farm feeds crickets on a diet of organic chicken feed and produce a snack crisp known as Cricket Chirps. They are made from bug flour from mashed up crickets. They are safe for human consumption and could lead the way in developing food for future generations.
While we are fine in developed countries for food, having cattle, pig and chicken farms all over our countries, this isn’t viable for many poorer countries. It takes 10 kg of cattle feed to produce just 1 kg of beef. This doesn’t even take into account all of the land needed to grow the feed and keep the cows, or the costs of killing and breeding them.
Studies have found that in comparison, it only takes 1.5 kg of chicken feed to produce 1kg of cricket meat. That is a very drastic difference in the ratio of feed needed to meat produced and so would be much more possible for under developed countries to create farms like this.
Insects are also very rich in proteins our bodies cannot produce on their own, Locusts alone have twice the iron inside them by weight than cattle do. By grinding bugs to make flours we can begin to create protein rich nutrition snacks to help feed starving people all over the world.