It feels good to help, and it’s so awesome to know that people actually WANT to help. The challenge for most of us it to figure out where and how we can be helpful. At times it’s overwhelming and you just wonder if anything you do really makes that much of a difference. As Rumi so eloquently put it – “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”
What on earth does this have to do with crickets? Well, I’m so glad you asked. While digging around learning about the nutritional values of bugs, I began to learn more about global food issues and specifically food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined by the UN FAO as the “situation when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life.
Did you know that according to the UN there are over 800 million people currently considered “chronically undernourished”? That is simply NOT ok. We can help solve for this.
According to a report by the United Nations regarding Sustainable Development Goals, “A profound change of the global food and agriculture system is needed if we are to nourish the 821 million people who are hungry today and the additional 2 billion people expected to be undernourished by 2050. Investments in agriculture are crucial to increasing the capacity for agricultural productivity and sustainable food production systems are necessary to help alleviate the perils of hunger.”
The UN is calling for a “profound change of the global food and agriculture system”. Based on everything I’ve read and all that I’m beginning to learn about bug consumption my mission has become very clear. Provide and promote insects as a healthy viable alternative for protein in a way that inspires people to actually want to eat it.
Currently, I’m focusing on crickets but I’m fully in support of learning about the benefits of other insects as well. Crickets require very little to raise, a fraction of the water, food or land required by livestock. They are 100% usable, no waste, no harmful gases, no need for refrigeration or expensive storage, they cost less to ship, and they provide MORE protein and nutrients than livestock. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The more I research the more excited I become! In rural third world countries where farming and agriculture are becoming scarce and job opportunities even more scarce, raising crickets could be a very viable solution.
The UN has set a global target as part of the Sustainable Development Goals to “End Hunger by 2030”. Unfortunately, we are currently far from reaching this goal, but I believe WE CAN if we make some significant changes. It’s going to require innovative thinking, collaboration and a massive effort to start harvesting (or farming) more crickets. I also think it’s going to take some serious educating on WHY we should consider eating insects and some ingenuity in creating crave-able foods based on bugs. Most of us Americans currently cringe a the idea, but I believe we are only a few years away from seeing them on the shelves at the local market.
This is very exciting stuff!!! Simply by redefining what we eat, we can make a big impact in so many positive ways.
Back to that drop in the water analogy, WE are more than just a drop We are the ocean. We can make significant improvements if we can come together and focus on all of the amazing opportunities there are to help solve for this.
Food needs to be tasty. I agree 100%! In fact, it’s probably going to come out of my mouth in every post that I write because it’s as important to me as how globally beneficial it is. If it’s not tasty, most people will not eat it. They may try it once because they really do want to help and they want to make good choices, but then they will resort to their old ways (I know I would anyway). So once again we are here in this same place, yes we want to help. We would even consider trying crickets, but how can we eat them? Where can we find them?
My closing thoughts; We need to work together to find ways to create food sources with bugs that are actually crave-able. Providing tasty food solutions utilizing crickets (or other bugs) as a clean and powerful source of protein and nutrients will help keep people healthy. Food that requires very little space, water or grain or waste will keep our planet healthy. Food that requires less maintenance and less money to raise will keep our economy healthy. More food means we have more to share, meaning we can help get the food to those who are in need. Are you reading this? Are you getting as excited as I am? Let’s do this!