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Bugging Out!

I’ve recently read a few disturbing articles. The first was courtesy of The Washington Post in March when I learned spiders are literally everywhere. If that’s not enough, they have such a voracious appetite that they could eat all of humanity in a year and still be hungry. Major hee-bee-jeebies, thanks.

Then I came across something from the Smithsonian telling me that insects are the most diverse group of species on planet, and that they probably have the largest biomass of terrestrial animals. It’s estimated that at any given time there are 10 quintillion individual insects alive. Yes, quintillion, with 18 zeros. There are lots and lots of facts and figures and studies about this, but basically, for each human being alive, there are more than 200 million insects. What is your fear factor registering at right now?

Last week, my husband decided to goad me with an Axios article on how Eating insects could save the planet. According to the article, researchers at the University of Edinburgh looked at traditional cattle and chicken production compared to lab grown meat, tofu, and insects. Turns out insects and tofu are best in terms of land use, greenhouse gas emission reductions from livestock production, the use of harvested crops, and the amount of energy used to process. They say if half the animal products were replaced with insects, it’s estimated we would free up 1,680 million hectacres of land, or landmass 70 times the size of the UK.

Eating insects is common all over the world, but not so much in the US. Anybody planning on ordering cricket protein? I’m starting to think it’s eat or be eaten!

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Natalie Terrill