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Oddly Enough

Insects: an alternative to meat

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 01:45

May 14 - Edible insects are being promoted by the United Nations as a low-fat and high-protein food for humans, a new U.N. report says. Sharon Reich reports.

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One bag of larvae please! In some parts of the world, these little critters, which come from the palm weevil beetle are the snack of choice. SOUNDBITE: Insect consumer, Steve Abada, saying (French): "They nourish the body, they are not too fatty but have lots of good ingredients. if you eat these all the time, you will rarely get sick." Now, a new report by the United Nations says eating insects like the beetle could be the answer to fighting world hunger. Insects contain the same amount of protein and minerals as other meats and healthy fats that doctors recommend as part of a balanced diet. They're also great for local economies. In the forests around the village of Dzeng, it's grasshopper season and women are busy collecting the jumpy insects, which they will sell at market. While they have been doing this for many years, population growth and forest fires have led to some species becoming virtually extinct. Afton Halloran works with the Edible Insects program run by the U.N. She says insect breeding and conservation is vital to boosting global food security. SOUNDBITE: Afton Halloran, Consultant for the Edible Insects program run by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, saying (English): "Farming insects has a huge global potential for both animal feed and food production. We are already seeing producers creating animal feed from insects and research. And development is occurring around the world in order incorporate insects into menus and processed foods. Although it is unrealistic to see families in the West eating insects for their Sunday lunch within the next decade, the potential of insects is huge and we hope that slowly but surely this potential will be realized." Authors of the new report say barriers to enjoying insect dishes are psychological - in a blind test carried out by researchers, nine out of 10 people preferred meatballs made from meat and mealworms to those made entirely of meat.

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Insects: an alternative to meat

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 01:45