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Thinking for a cooler world

Gianna Gruen | Ideas

Eat (more) insects!

(CC BY SA 2.0 unnormalized)

Ever wondered what you could do to fight climate change, but never came up with a proper solution? A quiet common way is to switch to a vegetarian diet, as meat production accounts for about 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. If you can’t do without your daily portion of proteins (aka meat) – here might be a convenient idea: Eat more insects! This is not a suggestion of some weird person being anxious about animals with too many legs and wants them to go extinct. It’s a seriously meant proposal from the UN to feed the booming population all over the world.

If a simple recommendation is not good enough for you, but you need some convincing numbers- the New Scientist has put them down:

To produce 1 kilogram of beef, for example, you need 10 kg of feed, whereas 1 kg of crickets requires just 1.7 kg. What’s more, 80 per cent of a cricket is edible compared with just 40 per cent of a cow.

(CC BY NC 2.0: Peter Kelly)

In consequence, much less land would be needed to grow food for our food (as insects could even grow on kinds of waste) – we would get more food from the same amount of grain and would thereby cut pollution.

This kind of diet is already familiar in some parts of the world, yet the most consumed are beetles, ants and bees. In total 1,900 insects have been identified to be suitable for human diet.

But for lots of people it is quite unthinkable to take a bite. What’s your opinion: Is the argument of sustainability strong enough to change people’s minds?


May 19, 2013