Food and Culture: New Dishes on the Eco-Menu

Perhaps it won’t be necessary to eat insects for breakfast to save the environment after all…

Beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, scorpions and spiders: these insects make up part of the daily diet of nearly two billion people and, according to a United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organisation report, help fight hunger, create jobs as well as safeguarding the environment and water resources. The UN hopes that an insect-based diet – which is high in protein, vitamins, fibre and mineral salts – could spill beyond Asian and African borders to become a global food trend. But there is one minor problem. Throughout most of the West, the idea of insects as victuals evokes disgust and, in extreme cases, horror.

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