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For many Americans, the prospect of chomping down on insects may seem downright icky; however, this practice, known asentomophagyor insectivory, is common in many tropical and developing countries. In fact, certain species of insects, like the palm weevil, a type of beetle, are considered a delicacy in other parts of the world, such as Asia, Africa, and South America.
There’s no logical reason that Americans should reflexively eschew insects. In reality, insects aren’t that much different from crustaceans, or shellfish, which people eat every day. Insects and shellfish are botharthropods. Additionally, people who are allergic to crawfish, lobster, crab, and other shellfish may also be allergic to insects, a point that not only demonstrates how similar the composition of insects and crustaceans really is but also serves as a probable warning to people who are allergic to shellfish to avoid eating insects, too.
Second, harvesting insects is a lot more environmentally friendly than raising livestock. Specifically, livestock are responsible for 14 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions produced worldwide thus making a major contribution to global warming, which could be reduced if more people ate bugs instead of meat.
Third, worldwide requirements of protein are expected to more than double in developing countries by 2050. Many citizens of developing countries can’t afford meat but could afford insects.
Fourth, insect harvesting creates economic opportunities for the people who do it in developing countries. Most of these people are women living in rural communities.
Video: Everything you Need to Know About Eating Insects
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