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Eating Insects

February 3, 2011

Eating insects might sound yucky, but doing so could cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.


Eat insects, save the world…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Beef and pork provide rich sources of protein for billions of people. But the animals add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Scientists at Wageningen University in Holland suggest an alternative: eat insects. Entomologist Dennis Oonincx measured the greenhouse gas emissions of five different species of insects and compared them to livestock.

DENNIS OONINCX (Wageningen University):
Insects produce much less greenhouse gases per kilogram of product. The worst insect is still better than the best pig, and all insects are better than beef cattle does.

He notes that insect consumption was once common in Western cultures, and still provides a significant source of protein around the globe. He says adding insect meals to commercially prepared foods may be one way to get past the “ick” factor. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.