WEEK

Bugs to the rescue of the world

insect

Currently edible insects are treated as a novelty, non-traditional food across the EU. This kind of food is very exotic to majority of Europeans. Insects can be bought in several EU countries, for example in Belgium, Switzerland or in the Netherlands. As it turns out, the only problem that stops Western world from eating insects is culture. Bugs are considered disgusting and people avoid them at best. Eating is unthinkable. Although in many other countries similar reactions are evoked by Polish traditional food – blood sausage or pork liver.

What if Western world started eating bugs?

Fashion for eating meat spread across the world. The effect is that even in places, where insects were always a traditional food, people have turned to meat. What if Western world added bugs to its menu just as it did with sushi? What if Western countries created trend of eating insects and the rest of the world would follow and consume insects more willingly, treating bugs as a part of theirs diet? What would happen, if world succeeded in bringing about such a huge shift?

Bugs are considered to be a solution i.a. for world hunger. Latest researches shows that amount of food is not what causes world hunger. During last 25 years humankind has increased food production by 30 percent. Thus the problem lies not in a scarcity of food but, among other things, in its wasting and prices. Poor people simply can’t afford food and maintain balanced diet. Hence insects may be answer to those problems. Bugs may be raised even at home and they don’t need any expertise. Most importantly, edible insects can treat nutrients deficiencies caused by lack of iron or zinc. Therefore bugs could play a major role in fighting the malnutrition.

As is well known, malnutrition is associated with unbalanced diet. Moreover, it has been stated that nutrient deficiencies cause multiple diseases. If Western world set a good example and promoted eating insects, it would contribute to improve living standards of millions of people across the world. Bearing in mind that although more than two billion people have insects in theirs menu, bugs don’t play as important role as they could.

Edible insects market is also an area of activity for startups. They are determined to promote bugs as food. Many firms are established in this market, for example one of them produces containers for insects. There is also a firm – Aspire, which is developing rearing technologies and its mission is to scale and promote insects’ production, in developing countries as well.
Because it appears to be much better for the world when investing in new technologies is combined with social responsibility and sustainability.