Before fast food, farms, or even wild game, insects fed prehistoric hunter-gatherers all over the world. While westerners have never embraced the practice, entomophagy is still practiced in Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America by millions of people in traditional societies, where food markets are stocked with commercially-raised water beetles and bamboo worms–bugs, as part of a well balanced meal.
Now, Willie Nelson has offered his support, recognizing that bug farming could be a far greener way for people to get their protein than eating chickens, cows or pigs. With the global livestock sector responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions and grain prices reaching record highs, cheap, environmentally low-impact insects could be the food of the future.
“Bugs are everywhere,” said Nelson, “In every country. You don’t need much room to grow them. It takes far less water to raise a third of a pound of grasshoppers(150 grams) than the staggering 869 gal. needed to produce the same amount of beef. Since bugs are cold-blooded invertebrates, more of what they consume goes to building edible body parts, whereas pigs and other warm-blooded vertebrates need to consume a lot of calories just to keep their body temperature steady.”
Nelson is working with local test kitchens, with hope to launch a new “Bugs are food, too” campaign at Farm Aid 2012.
Read more: http://www.time.com