This Feb. 20, 2008 photo provided by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows insects for sale at a market in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The U.N. has new weapons to fight hunger, boost nutrition and reduce pollution, and they might be crawling or flying near you right now: edible insects. The Food and Agriculture Organization on Monday, May 13, 2013, hailed the likes of grasshoppers, ants and other members of the insect world as an underutilized food for people, livestock and pets. A 200-page report, released at a news conference at the U.N. agency's Rome headquarters, says 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diets with insects, which are high in protein and minerals, and have environmental benefits. (AP Photo/Arnold Van Huis, FAO, ho)
BANGKOK (AP) — Researchers say Thailand is showing the world how to respond to the global food crisis: by raising bugs for eating.
The United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization released a study and handbook Tuesday on what they call 'six-legged livestock' — edible bugs and worms that can help meet global food demand that is expected to grow 60 percent by 2050. The agency says they provide a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
The study was conducted in Thailand, where insects including crickets, grasshoppers and bamboo worms have long been a part of diets, especially in rural areas.
Entomologist Yupa Hanboonsong says about 200 insect species are eaten in Thailand. Cricket farming alone is already a $30 million industry there, but only a few other species have been commercially marketed.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.