Insect Farming As New Food Source?

Insects have been a source of protein for thousands of years. Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects as food, may be a new source to feed people in the future.

Insects and other related invertebrates have served as a food source for people for tens of thousands of years, all over the planet. Today insect eating is rare in the developed world, but insects remain a popular food in many developing regions of Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.

However, obtaining food in the future may be hard, considering the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization prediction of nine billion people by 2050 and agricultural land in short supply for traditional crops.

"We have to eat less meat or find an alternative," said [Wageningen University entomologist Marcel] Dicke, who claims to sit down to a family meal of insects on a regular basis. Bugs are high in protein, low in fat and efficient to cultivate -- 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of feed yields six to eight kilograms of insect meat compared to one kilogram of beef, states the university's research.