At age 18, Prima Yontrarak already has a plan — she wants to be a researcher, a path down which she has already started.
Last year, one of her studies was selected by local publishing house Nanmeebooks to be turned into a book.
Prima’s book, Edible Insects And Other Natural Sources Of Nutrients, focuses on the nutritional value of edible bugs, as well as their life cycles and cultivation.
“The [human] population keeps increasing. Eating insects is a solution that can probably tackle the issue of food scarcity as they are widely available in many countries,” explains Prima, a 12th-grade student at Harrow International School, adding that insects are rich in protein and low in fat. Certain kinds of the insects such as cicadas, alates and locusts contain a larger proportion of proteins and fibre than meat.
Her interest in conducting research on edible bugs traces back to community service activities in which her school took part years ago. “Curiosity took hold of me as I started questioning why certain children were healthy when they were poor,” she recalls. “So I interviewed them and they said they often ate insects.”