Climate Change Could Put Grasshoppers, Crickets, Worms on Menu

Aug 12, 2022

Insects for Dinner?

For many, it's gross to watch Timon and Pumbaa teach the future Lion King how to snack on insects. In a few years, though, many of us may join them. 

The edible insects market is a growth field. The industry is worth less than $1 billion, but that's just for now. In June, a company estimated the industry will grow nearly tenfold by 2030.

More people are starting to see the value of insects as a protein source. Insect farming also doesn't harm the environment. That’s unlike cattle farming, which produces a lot of methane. There's also more demand for bug protein in animal feed.

“The smell of the grasshoppers always reminds me of Christmas,” Pascal Kwesiga, a Ugandan journalist, wrote for the BBC. “At Christmas, I would often choose to eat grasshoppers over beef as I preferred the taste.”

Kwesiga also praised how eco-friendly it is to farm the insects. Studies back him up. A study found that those who eat a diet of “novel and future foods” could have an environmental impact 80% smaller than most European omnivores. The diet includes insects.

Another study found that replacing 50% of the meat eaten around the world with insects could free up a third of the world’s farmland. That’s 4.6 billion acres, about 69 times the size of the United Kingdom.

But making the switch could make swarms of humans antsy.  

Photo from Reuters.

Based on the infographic, crickets supply more protein per serving size than _______. (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. beef
b. grasshoppers
c. salmon
d. A and C
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