UN: Eating More Bugs Could Fight World Hunger

UN Eating More Bugs Could Fight World HungerEating more insects could help fight world hunger, according to a new UN report. The report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution.

‘Consumer disgust’

It notes than over 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects. However it admits that “consumer disgust” remains a large barrier in many Western countries.

“Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly, and they have high growth and feed conversion rates and a low environmental footprint,” according to the report.


‘Food supplement’

The authors point out that insects are nutritious, with high protein, fat and mineral content. They are “particularly important as a food supplement for undernourished children”. Insects are also “extremely efficient” in converting feed into edible meat. Crickets, for example, need 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein, according to the report. Most insects are are likely to produce fewer environmentally harmful greenhouse gases than other livestock.

Insects are regularly eaten by many of the world’s population, but the thought may seem shocking to many Westerners.

Have you eaten insects as delicacies? Would you be willing to include them in your daily diet?

Source: BBC News

Image: Ecofren F&B Community

Chagas Tropical Disease — The New AIDS?

Chagas, a tropical disease spread by insects, is causing some fresh concern following an editorial—published earlier this week in a medical journal—that called it “the new AIDS of the Americas.” More than 8 million people have been infected by Chagas, most of them in Latin and Central America. But more than 300,000 live in the United States.

The editorial, published by the Public Library of Science’s Neglected Tropical Diseases, said the spread of the disease is reminiscent of the early years of HIV. Both diseases disproportionately affect people living in poverty, both are chronic conditions requiring prolonged, expensive treatment, and as with patients in the first two decades of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, “most patients with Chagas disease do not have access to health care facilities.” Unlike HIV, Chagas is not a sexually-transmitted disease; it’s “caused by parasites transmitted to humans by blood-sucking insects,” as the New York Times put it.


“It likes to bite you on the face,” CNN reported. “It’s called the kissing bug. When it ingests your blood, it excretes the parasite at the same time. When you wake up and scratch the itch, the parasite moves into the wound and you’re infected.”

Chagas, also known as American trypanosomiasis, kills about 20,000 people per year, the journal said. And while just 20 percent of those infected with Chagas develop a life-threatening form of the disease, Chagas is “hard or impossible to cure,” the Times reports.

“The problem is once the heart symptoms start, which is the most dreaded complication—the Chagas cardiomyopathy—the medicines no longer work very well,” Dr. Peter Hotez, a researcher at Baylor College of Medicine and one of the editorial’s authors, told CNN. “Problem No. 2: the medicines are extremely toxic.”

What do you think should the American government do to curb the spread of this disease? Share your opinions with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The New York Times