Yes, Those Are Crickets On The Menu
The practice of entomophagy is gaining steam
You, my friend, are living through a food revolution. In labs across the world, researchers are growing meat from just a handful of animal cells or engineering striking imitations of meat, including an entirely plant-based burger that bleeds. Human eaters are also starting to appreciate a rich protein source crawling around right under our noses: crickets. People have eaten bugs for millennia, but the Western world forgot that until recently. Companies are now racing to turn crickets into the (lucrative) future of food.
One group of researchers and conservationists, though, thinks it can also use edible insects to save endangered mammals. They’ve spent the past few years developing a program to encourage the people of Madagascar—who have historically consumed insects—to re-embrace bugs as a source of protein. That in turn could relieve pressure on endangered lemurs, which hunters target for bushmeat. The goal is to build facilities to raise and process crickets into a powder, which would create a reliable source of nutrition and jobs for a growing and often undernourished population, all the while saving one of the most iconic primates on Earth.
Madagascar is an island under constant environmental siege. Just 10 percent of its forests remain, which alone has imperiled the critically endangered red-ruffed lemur and six other vulnerable or endangered lemur species. Many inhabitants of remote villages rely on the primates as food, venturing into the jungle to hunt them, putting the species in even more danger.
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