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Patrick Murphy

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Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future

In many cultures eating insects is more than a delicacy – it’s a food staple. However, the use of bugs as a mainstream ingredient is a foreign idea in the developed world. As the human population continues to grow, we have to think about how to feed people. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has shown interest in using insects as an alternative food source. Due to their high concentration of the eight essential amino acids, vitamin B12, riboflavin, vitamin A, amazingly efficient converters that leave a much smaller environmental impact on the planet than cattle.

Once technologies are developed to produce insect-based food ingredients they can be incorporated into numerous food products. They would make great protein substitutes as any food additives to cereal, snack bars, or traditional meals. The high nutritional value, probiotic potential, and affordable price are just a few reasons why many Asian and Latin restaurants already offer insects on their menu.

Rethinking the urban farm and how to deal with the upcoming need to increase food supplies, Claire Lemarchand is planning a series of cricket farms to be placed throughout cities, that go beyond just growing bugs. Crickets are bred in cylindrical units surrounding a light source, to optimize yield, and are fed fresh food waste from the market and surrounding restaurants. While at night, the cricket farming units double as an urban lighting system.

Is urban bug farming a valid food source strategy? What other ideas could be implemented into our food supply networks? Or, could push the boundaries of urban farming and sustainable food sources to better prepare for future food demands?

Why Insects Should Be in Your Diet By Aaron T. Dossey

The Cricket Bigger Than Beef By Claire Lemarchand


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    Jun 4 2013: Although I can never accept or attempt to eat bugs, we have to admit that insects contain high proteins and can be delicious snacks in different cultures. In China, most people do not eat insects as normal food but some minorities or small towns have insects as their snacks. And insects food begin to flow into big city snack markets these years. For instance, you can try it in Beijing Donghuamen Night market. There are many creepy crawlers food on sell. http://www.followmefoodie.com/2012/10/beijing-china-eating-bugs-spiders-centipedes-on-donghuamen-night-market/

    However, why such delicious and nutrient food is not as popular as pork or beef? I think there are several reasons. First, many people feel scare and disgusting about it. Although it has died, many people still feel afraid to put it into mouth. Secondly, many people think it may contain some infectious diseases. Like flies and mosquitos, insects are always as tools of transporting infectious diseases. People who pay attention to food hygiene do not want to eat insects. Thirdly, some insects are detrimental to vegetations, so cultivation of them is not a good idea.

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