As part of its drive for global so-called “sustainability,” the United Nations has a new suggestion for the people of the world: Eat bugs instead of burgers. The controversial recommendations come from a new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization touting the supposed benefits of “edible insects” and the role they might play in future “food security” — assuming the bugs are farmed in a “sustainable” way, of course. The latest UN document also outlines propaganda campaigns to persuade Westerners and shows how expanding the international regulatory regime can help bugs-as-food proponents achieve their vision.
According to the controversial 200-page study, dubbed “Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security,” bugs are actually nutritious and environmentally friendly. The UN also claims it is “urgent” for people to start understanding that. “Insects as food and feed emerge as an especially relevant issue in the twenty-first century due to the rising cost of animal protein, food and feed insecurity, environmental pressures, population growth and increasing demand for protein among the middle classes,” the report claims, citing an array of real and imagined problems.
As such, according to the UN study, “alternative solutions” to conventional livestock and feed sources “urgently need to be found.” The consumption of insects — formally known as “entomophagy” — “therefore contributes positively to the environment and to health and livelihoods,” the UN FAO said in its report. It claimed, among other things, that there are numerous “environmental benefits” to rearing insects for food — especially if the bugs are fed human and animal waste. Among the potential benefits: reduced “greenhouse gases” that the UN blames for non-existent global warming, and fewer resources needed to produce insect-based food.
Plus, as the UN and legions of its functionaries point out in the document, press releases, and other efforts to promote the eating of insects, people in some cultures already eat bugs. “Insects are often consumed whole but can also be processed into granular or paste forms,” the report notes, adding that new ways of enjoying bugs are also in the pipeline. There are, however, numerous obstacles to convincing the world to consume creepy crawlers instead of beef and chicken.
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Photo of fried chapulines (grasshoppers) for sale in Mexico City, Mexico