Nagaland Citizens Utilize Unusual Food Source

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


NASA recently invested $125,000 in a project aimed to solve the challenges of supplying food in space missions. The project would astronauts to create their own food in space by utilizing 3D printers.

Just as a paper printer shapes ink to form letters, a 3D printer uses different materials to create a 3D object. To produce food for its astronauts in space, NASA is looking to print edible materials with 3D printers, including powdered forms of carbohydrates, proteins, and other nutrients. 3D printers could be beneficial for long space voyages because powdered substances could last up to 30 years.

While NASA may be looking to use 3D food printers for space travel, there is great potential for the use of 3D printers here on Earth, namely to end world hunger. With the long shelf life of food produce by 3D printers, the concern of food being wasted due to spoilage disappears. The powdered forms of the nutrients are also easier to transport because they exist in a more compact state.

The nutrients used in a 3D printer can also be retrieved from unconventional sources. For instance, insects could be used as a source of protein, which the UN has noted recently as a way to fight world hunger. Insects are rich in protein, emit less greenhouse gases than livestock, and are easy to harvest. Whether or not insects are used as the protein source of printed foods, the 3D printer could allow for better transportation and longevity of nutrients, which would help considerably in the fight to end world hunger.

– Jordan Kline

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,National Geographic,Time Magazine
Photo: Wikipedia