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Insects Believed to be a Sustainable Food Source

20 AUGUST 2009

German Studies Uncover Insects as Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Traditional Meat Protein Sources-

Food shortages are an unfortunate reality all over the world and growing to become an exacerbating concern in locations like Southeast Asia. The inhabitants of this region have had to endure perpetual meat price increases due to lack of supply and are turning now toward insects as a source of nourishment.

Insects Selling Stall Sighted at Songkhla Province
Deep Fried Insects Selling Stall sighted at Songkhla Province, Thailand

Entomophagy is the ritual of consuming insects as fare and is, in fact, performed throughout the globe – from Australia to Columbia. However, in countries like America the act is normally exhibited in reality television competitions as rather animalistic in nature. Seeing that insects currently resolve the issue of protein famine in deprived regions, various eateries are claiming that devouring these creatures is an environmentally friendly option to traditional meat consumed in North America.

German studies have uncovered that bugs actually convert as much as 44 percent of their food intake into body mass, far above the 14 percent conversion efficiency of cattle; with broiler chicken having almost half the conversion capabilities of a common house cricket. Although this is practiced heavily in other nations, specialists have given serious forewarnings that encourage North American inhabitants to avoid chomping creepy crawlers; asserting that herbicides and pesticides used to keep bugs off plants may brand them as too toxic for human consumption. As an example, a Mexican grasshopper treat – Chapulines – were reported to induce lead poisoning in California in 2003. Allergies to shellfish is also said to pertain to insect eaters, as most insects are physically comparable to shrimp and sea creatures alike.

So the question stands, are insects really a comparable food source to standard Western-consumed meat? The practice may not reach our continent as an accepted mainstay food constituent; however, the significance of insects being capable of proper protein sustenance may position the invertebrates as a practical alternative if food insufficiency does threaten urbanized regions.

 Source: Green Energy News

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