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United Nations: Eating insects is good for health, can create job opportunities

Eating insects
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(NaturalNews) Would you like some strawberries with that stinkbug? How about a little quinoa with that cricket?

The United Nations has a list of edible bugs on Earth -- over 1,900 to be exact -- in a released report that they hope will generate less of a "yuck" factor and more of an interest in the flavorful variety of insects, many of which are loaded with protein and minerals. (1)

While eating insects is a common practice in many cultures, it has yet to be the go-to appetizer of choice for most of us dining with friends. In fact, the topic is enough to make some people develop a queasy stomach at the mere thought.

Still, the United Nations wants to increase awareness about the many benefits of eating the likes of termites, one of which is that such a diet can potentially make strides against world hunger. (2)

The argument that insect-eating is good for people and the environment

The report suggests not only that many edible insects pack a nutritional punch (small grasshoppers, for example, rank close to lean ground beef when it comes to protein content, but that consumption of them means less reliance on all that's entailed in raising livestock for food. (1)

In other words, eating moths instead of swatting or ignoring them is not only healthy but good for the environment. Additionally, being more receptive to the concept of entomophagy, or the consumption of insects as food, also means less use of insecticides to rid such "pests" as well as having the potential to create more jobs pertaining to farming and gathering insects. (1)

The report, titled "Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security," says, "Edible insects are undeniably rich sources of iron and their inclusion in the daily diet could improve iron status and help prevent anaemia in developing countries." (2)

The report also states that vitamins "essential for stimulating metabolic processes and enhancing immune system functions are present in most edible insects" and that consumption of them could also be helpful in the event of emergency relief situations. (2)

Insect eating in the U.S. may be making more strides than people think

On board with eating insects is Wendy Lu McGill, a bug-eating advocate who says that the key to getting Americans in tune with the habit has to do with clever marketing. (3) She attends many festivals in Denver where she sells such foods. Many products are bars made by a company called "Exo," standing for "exoskeleton."

"Crickets have as much calcium as milk," McGill said. "And then, environmentally, they're a lot more sustainable than chickens and particularly cows and pigs."

Others are following suit, considering renaming locusts as "sky prawns" or cleverly naming a bag of cricket chips "Chirps." (3)

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://news.nationalgeographic.com

(2) http://www.fao.org [PDF]

(3) http://www.npr.org

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle

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