The Simple Solution to Solving World Hunger- Insects

Jade Whitney – Period 1, Honorbound

Many of the global issues in the world seem impossible to fix overnight, one of them being world hunger; however, it’s possible to tackle world hunger quicker than the average person would expect. Insects; high in protein, produce quickly, accessible to everyone, and they come with environmental benefits. Of course this is not the most desired diet, but if it’s many of the population’s last chance this would be the key to starvation. The author of Naked Economics, Charles Wheelan, said that, “30 percent of young children in Malawi are malnourished; more than two of every ten children will die before they reach their fifth birthday.”[1] Wheelan emphasizes that “2 billion people live on less than $2 a day,”[2] and that very same number of people, 1/3 of the world, has already supplemented their diet with insects.

According the UN, “Insects contain ‘good fats’, they can be rich in calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc, and are a source of fiber.”[3] They’re ”extremely efficient” in converting feed into edible meat because insects are cold-blooded. “On average, they can convert 4.4 pounds of feed 2.2 pounds of insect mass. In comparison, cattle require 17.6 pounds of feed to produce 2.2 pounds of meat,” according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).[4] Finally, according to the Borgen Project, “Insects may also be better for farming than pigs and cows. Not only are insects easier to raise, but they also require less water, feed on waste materials, and produce less greenhouse gasses than cows and pigs. Insect farming could even provide income-generating opportunities for people in rural areas, which ultimately could decrease poverty and end world hunger.”[5]

World hunger is an issue that will continue through generations, but consuming insects could change the future economically (creating new jobs), serve as healthier approach to the environment (“Most insects are likely to produce fewer environmentally harmful greenhouse gases, and also feed on human and food waste, compost and animal slurry, with the products being used for agricultural feed, the agency said.”[6]), and solve malnutrition in an easy and accessible way. Most people cannot get over the squeamishness of their own fears, but if there was a choice between life and death, bugs would be the number one answer.

[1] Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010), 295.

[2] Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010), 295.

[3] CBS News. “U.N. agency urges eating insects to fight world hunger, malnutrition.” May 13, 2013. Accessed March 27, 2017. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/un-agency-urges-eating-insects-to-fight-world-hunger-malnutrition/

[4] CBS News. “U.N. agency urges eating insects to fight world hunger, malnutrition.” May 13, 2013. Accessed March 27, 2017. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/un-agency-urges-eating-insects-to-fight-world-hunger-malnutrition/

[5] Borgen Project. “How Insects May Solve World Hunger.” September 1, 2015. Accessed March 27, 2016. https://borgenproject.org/insects-may-solve-world-hunger/s

[6] CBS News. “U.N. agency urges eating insects to fight world hunger, malnutrition.” May 13, 2013. Accessed March 27, 2017. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/un-agency-urges-eating-insects-to-fight-world-hunger-malnutrition/

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