Eating Bugs Good For Your Health

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Some scientists think the world would be better off if more people had an appetite for bugs.

They say crickets, caterpillars and grubs are high in protein and minerals, and could be an important food source during emergencies.

Eating bugs was the theme of a conference in Thailand that drew three dozen scientists from 15 countries.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates 1,400 species of insects and worms are eaten in almost 90 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. But the idea makes most Westerners squeamish.

An insect expert from the Netherlands says the West's bias is why aid agencies don't incorporate bugs into their mix.

A nutritionist with the U.N.'s World Food Program agrees insects can be a good dietary supplement. But she says most bugs are seasonal and have a short shelf life.

Experts say the challenge is organizing unregulated, small bug-food operations in many countries that can supplement what aid agencies provide.

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