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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
(http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/34172/title/Why-Insects-Should-Be-in-Your-Diet/)

The Cricket Bigger Than Beef By Claire Lemarchand
(http://www.yankodesign.com/2012/02/27/superbugs-bugs-with-powers/)

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    Jun 5 2013: I think this idea is interesting. If we just consider about the nutrition if people eat insect, it is a very fantastic and useful idea to provide a valid food source strategy. But I have a question here, can everyone accept eat insect? Personally, even though I know there are a lot of benefit to eat some insects which contain various nutrition and amino acid, I don't want to eat them unless there are no other food can eat. I think in order to absorb the nutrition from the insect, we can analysis the specific content of them and use some other technology to mimic the content in a real food way such as " food drink". We can also feed chicken, pig or cattle by insect, and then we may absorb all nutrition from meat and insect when we eat meat. But there also have some problems.First, chicken or pig can digest the insect, and the nutrition may transfer into other kind of materials in their bodies. When people eat meat, we may not absrob the nutrition which we want to get. Secondly, if we foster more chicken and pig, the biodiversity may be destoried, because people change the natural food of animals, and they may have some unpredictable mutation in future. We need do more research about this topic.

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