Yes kids, that’s “eating insects.”  One of my favorite moments when Joseph was about seven or eight years old was when I brought home an excellent book from the library entitled Man Eating Bugs, that documented many-legged cuisine around the world.  Getting an “awwwwwww mommmmm!” from a boy that age on that kind of topic?  You know you are truly investigating SCIENCE!

Now a group of students at McGill have gone big on social entrepreneurship with localvore focused entomophagy.

They sidestepped a problem that the United Nations INFOODS project at MIT found when they were researching how to solve world hunger through food aid back in the 70s and 80s — that humans are picky eaters and even when starving won’t know how to prepare and eat, and may even refuse strange foods.

So drop-shipping millet into a rice farming area, or beans into a wheat-farming area, may not be effective.  INFOODS’ proposed solution, as I remember it, was to ship aid into appropriate coastal areas, and then incrementally ship local staples one territory inland, as though one were playing a giant RISK game with food staple crops.

Heh.  One of the great joys of running a support center at MIT was learning everyone’s research and passions!

Although, I’ll note none of the older research is even listed or linked on the modern web site — sigh — so much of this stuff gets lost in time, effectively.  My hope is that this research has become “accepted wisdom” rather than lost research.   A huge problem with academia and specialization.

Today, these young entrepreneurs at McGill, perhaps without even knowing about this research explicitly, started with the idea of feeding everyone crickets — probably the world’s favorite crunchy six-plus legged meal.

But then they realized that they would find better acceptance and probably better ecological and agricultural juju if they went with local crops already in smaller scale production.  They are now piloting grasshoppers in Oaxaca (try saying that ten times fast!) to make a sort of “power flour” to supplement tortillas and anything else you can imagine with protein and iron and all things entomologically nom.

And just got seven figures in money to back up “six legs, good!”

I wish them huge success with their tiny herds!


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