Having travelled around much of South East Asia and large swathes of Africa, I have tasted a whole variety of insects, such as locust on a stick and fried beetles and spiders. So when the UN says more people should eat insects in order to reduce world hunger, I can see where they are coming from. However, the problem I have is that these delicacies are not that palatable to western stomachs. Given the choice I would rather eat mince than caterpillars.
One way to stop hunger is to better inform individuals on the amount of food they buy. For example in a report last year the Natural Resources Defence Council said Americans threw away 40% of their food, equating to $165 billion a year. It is not only the US because the each household in the UK throws on average 6.5 kg of unwanted food each week.
On top of this consumer wastage we can also had on retailer wastage as well. Up to 30% of vegetable crops are wasted because they do not meet the high standards of supermarkets. But I say this is again the consumer being too finicky about the standard and look of its food, forcing the supermarkets to have the same high standards or risk wasting food and profits.
Insects will not find their way onto supermarket shelves and will therefore not impact on western cuisine. What does need to change is consumers expectations of their food. As in fashion, we don’t have perfect bodies so we shouldn’t need perfect food. Finally consumers also need to learn to plan and use their food efficiently. Only buy what you need and recycle left over’s into new dishes.