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Sierra Daily

Feb 24, 2011

To Save the Planet, Eat a Bug?

MA11-Cover If you’ve read Sierra’s two current features ("Endangered? Who Cares?" and "Interview with a Bug-Eater") and still aren’t convinced that the strangest-looking bugs are worth saving for their own sake and/or for eating, try this: Consuming them may be a fine way to address climate change.

According to a report in livescience.com, researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands compared the greenhouse gas emissions from five species of insects (mealworms, house crickets, migratory locusts, sun beetles, and Argentine cockroaches) with those of cattle and pigs. The envelope, please: “The insects generally produced less methane, nitrous oxide, and ammonia both per unit of body mass and per unit of mass gained than pigs or cattle.”  As entomologist Dennis Oonincx told livescience, “It proves the hypothesis that insects can be a more efficient source [of protein], and I definitely believe there is a future for edible insects. It may not be as the animal as such but regarding protein extraction there is a lot to be learned and a lot to be gained.”

And you think your Prius shows people that you care?

--Reed McManus

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