Should you really start eating insects?

Earlier this month, the UN released a paper touting the nutritional and environmental benefits of insects. The paper caused quite a stir in the media, with a mix of fascination, head-nodding, and not a little revulsion. But why is the UN advocating entomophagy? Why aren’t we eating bugs already? And should you really dip your tongue in the waters of insect cuisine?

The report, “Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security,” came out of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization. It should be noted that this isn’t a report just about eating insects, a common practice in most of the world; it’s also about cultivating insects for human and livestock consumption, which is a much more recent practice, one that many entomophagy advocates believe has great potential for world nutrition, the environment, and the development of rural economies. Incidentally, if you’re into this sort of thing, I recommend reading the report in its entirety. It’s surprisingly accessible and filled with fascinating modern and historical anecdotes of insect eating from all over the world.

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