Stink bugs, silkworms, dragonflies, tawny mole crickets, and red ants. To those afforded the luxury of daily meals, these insects are of little significance. But to the people of Nagaland, these bugs are nutritious sources of food sold in local markets to help alleviate hunger.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released a 200-page report highlighting the benefits of Naga’s insect consumption. The report notes that insects are often full of more protein and nutrients than either fish or meat. The insects can address malnourishment and provide food security, the report also states.
Farmers collect the bugs from forests and rice paddies. Both bees and larvae are expensive commodities in the local markets. The U.N. suggests frying the insects and preparing them in recipes, as they shouldn’t be consumed raw.
Nagaland isn’t alone in their bug consumption. According to the U.N., 1,400 insect species are consumed in almost 90 countries across the globe.
Numerous estimates suggest that 9 billion people will inhabit the earth by 2050. As more and more consumers are added to the planet, resources will have to be used more carefully. Nagaland highlights an effective way of utilizing all resources available. This is one unusual yet effective way of combatting poverty and world hunger.
– William Norris
Sources: The Morung Express, SI Live
Photo: The Morung Express