Insects can be a population's biggest nightmare. Last month in Madagascar, giant swarms of locusts were seen crossing one of the country's national routes, destroying rice and corn crops on their way, and leaving the locals in fear of starvation.
But if the Malagasy people have sworn to eradicate the two-winged creatures, in other parts of the world insects are very much sought after as an essential ingredient to a delicious meal. Imagine having an aperitif of delicate worms from Netherlands, followed by a main course of grasshoppers from Cameroon and for desert, an insect cookie from London…
SOUNDBITE 1 Steve Abada (man) Insect consumer (Cameroon-French, 10 secs)
"I eat insects like this because they provide nutrition, they nourish the body, they are not too fatty but have lots of good ingredients. If you eat these all the time, you will rarely get sick. "
In fact, a recent study by the Food and Agriculture Organization says that insects could and should become the food of the future.
SOUNDBITE 2 Eva Mueller (woman), Director of Forest Economics at the FAO (English, 19 sec):
"Edible insects are beneficial in a variety of ways. They are very nutritious, they have high contents of protein and minerals, they are abundant, they are easy to reproduce. And they are already being eaten by more than 2 billion people world wide and that's one third of the world's population."
According to the organization, it's a lot easier and better for the environment to breed insects rather than cattle or sheep. Not only do their require less feeding, but their eggs can also be used for other types of farming. For instance, this factory in South Africa has created the first industrial farming operations for flies. By combining flies' eggs and waste products, they make a type of fishmeal which can be used as animal feed.
SOUNDBITE 3 Jason J Drew (man), Founder of Agri Protein (English, 27 sec):
"At the moment, a third of all the fish we take out of our sea's is used in industrial agriculture, instead of taking that natural resource, we can take our waste, recycle those nutrients and make an entirely sustainable source of protein, that can feed our chickens, feed our fish and leave the fish in the sea to be consumed by humans and the nearly one billion people that are coastel fishermen that depend on those fish resources."
Whether it is to preserve the environment, have an healthier diet or feed our animals, it seems like these little creatures are about to become a big part of our lives.
SOURCE: AFPTV (ACCESS ALL) AND FAO (NO RESALE FOR NON EDITORIAL PURPOSES)
SAKARAHA, MADAGASCAR, APRIL 2013, SOURCE: AFPTV
- VAR swarm of locusts flying across road, tourists looking on
Wageningen & Deurne, Netherlands, JAN 12-13 2011 (SOURCE: AFPTV)
-VAR of people eating worms
SOUDBITE 1 (SOURCE: FAO - NO RESALE FOR NON EDITORIAL PURPOSES)
ROME, ITALY, MAY 13 2013, SOURCE:AFPTV
- VAR of the FAO
DZENG, CAMEROON, MAY 11, 2013
SOURCE: FAO - NO RESALE FOR NON-EDITORIAL PURPOSES
-VAR of insects
- CU a plate of grasshoppers
-CU of a little boy eating grasshoppers
-CU Old lady eating grasshoppers
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, MAY 11, 2013, SOURCE: AFPTV
-VAR of the farm
-VAR of insects