A new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization suggests a novel food source to help feed the world's growing population: bugs.
According to the BBC, while many westerners may balk at the idea of eating insects, the study's European authors point out in their preface that creepy-crawlies of various types are considered delicacies in other parts of the world: They estimate that insects regularly appear in at least two billion people's diets.
"Contrary to popular belief, insects are not merely “famine foods” eaten in times of food scarcity or when purchasing and harvesting “conventional foods” becomes difficult; many people around the world eat insects out of choice, largely because of the palatability of the insects and their established place in local food cultures.
Besides just shifting attitudes towards eating bugs, the study's authors note that significant regulatory challenges still remain before insects start appearing on restaurant menus. Most developed countries lack clear legal guidelines governing the use of bugs as food.