In terms of sheer biomass, the earth’s insects dwarf the combined weight of all human beings. Imagine then, if insects were a source of nutritious food. Well, in many cultures, they are.

PhotoThat might be a lot to swallow. But get past the gag reflex and consider the benefits.

While the meat industry depends on antibiotics and fossil fuels, and sometimes deforestation for crops and pasture, edible insects like crickets, mealworms, and waxworms are low-impact and can be farmed indoors.

Martin: “Insects require far, far fewer resources in order to raise the same amount of usable protein as things like beef, pork and chicken. They require hundreds of times less space. They require tens of times less food. Thousands of times less water. They don’t need big, wide-open pastures. Basically everything that’s a problem with livestock farming is the inverse when it comes to insect farming.”

That’s Daniella Martin, author of Edible, a book on the subject. She says insects are very nutritious, and that if you can just get past the stigma, they’re often delicious.

Insect-based edibles, such as cricket flour and energy bars, are already abuzz in the U.S. food industry. So if you’re daring, fly out and try some!

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo source: Edible, by Daniella Martin

More Resources
Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security
Has Meat Met Its Match?
Your Post-Workout Protein Shake Should Be Loaded With Insects
Getting Insects Past the Ick Factor, Into Mass Food Production

Jan O'Brien was assistant editor and website manager at Yale Climate Connections from 2007-2022. She brought more than three decades of experience in environmental publishing and policy research and more...