Insects could help tackle hunger

According to UN specialists, edible insects provide lots of protein and minerals, and are not fattening

Our planet now has just over seven billion people living on it. Of these, about one billion people suffer from starvation and malnutrition. By 2050 the world will have a population of about nine billion people and the problem of hunger may get worse. UN specialists believe the solution to the problem may be found in nature. There are hundreds of billions of insects that live on our planet. Some scientists believe there are about 200 million insets for every person. In a report published on May 13, the UN says that eating insects could be a powerful weapon in the battle against hunger worldwide. The UN believes that countries should invest more in the breeding of insects on a large scale. There are about one and a half million species of insects worldwide. Of this total, about 1,900 are edible. This food is on the menu for two billion people, mainly in Africa and Asia. The most commonly eaten species are grasshoppers, beetles, ants, crickets, caterpillars, and bees. The specialists say insects provide lots of protein and minerals, and are not fattening. Besides being eaten by people, insects can also be used as animal feed.

                        How about eating ants?

 In Western countries, this foodstuff is eaten by very few people. In Brazil, the great majority of the population feels repulsed just to think about chewing insects, even if they are fried and well seasoned. However, in the Northeast and in several cities in the interior of the country, there are people who eat toasted içá, mixed with farofa. Also known as tanajura, içá is a species of ant. The writer Monteiro Lobato (1882-1948) was a big fan of this food.

Foto – D-Kucharski K- Kucharska / Shutterstock

Vocabulary
1 to tackle – combater / enfrentar
2 hunger – fome
3 edible – comestível
4 not fattening – não engorda
5 starvation – “fome extrema”
6 breeding – criação
7 grasshopper – gafanhoto
8 beetle – besouro
9 ant – formiga
10 cricket – grilo
11 caterpillar – lagarta
12 bee – abelha
13 to chew – mastigar
14 toasted – torrada (o)

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