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Do Now #30: Making a Meal of Mealworms

| May 5, 2012 | 0 Comments
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A plate full of edible insects, including bee larvae, grasshoppers and a waterbug native to Thailand. Image courtesy of Sevda Eris/QUEST.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

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Do Now

Would you consider eating insects? What if food resources were scarce?

Introduction

Ask your friends or neighbors what they think about insects and you’ll probably hear that they’re gross or a nuisance or even scary. But tasty? Not a likely response. Eating insects is not something you see everyday in the Bay Area, or even the U.S., however in four out of five nations insects are a source of food and protein. There are 1.1 million known species of insects and 1,700 of these are eaten by cultures around the world.

Entomophagy, or the consumption of insects by humans, is not new. Insects are great source of protein and have been eaten by people for thousands of years. A serving of insects has as much or more protein than the same amount of ground beef or pork and about half the fat. They are also much less resource intensive than livestock. Producing one pound of insects only requires 1/1000 the amount of water as it takes to produce one pound of beef. With a growing world population and a changing climate, insects may be the meals of our future.

Resource

KQED QUEST segment Edible Insects: Finger Lickin’ Grub
A plate of roasted crickets, pan-fried bee larvae or caramelized meal worms would be tough to swallow for most, but not for a few Bay Area residents who are encouraging people to open their minds and mouths to edible insects. Learn why they think edible insects are a smarter alternative to more traditional kinds of meat.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


More Resources

Eat It: The Argument for Entomophagy – Original post in 2011
This Bug Bytes podcast, from Solpugid Productions and Texas A&M University’s Department of Entomology, discusses the main reason people “aren’t cool with bugs as food” and showcases some of the people working to change their minds.

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Category: 6 -12 Science, Do Now, Do Now: Science

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About the Author ()

Andrea is the Science Education Manager for KQED. She joined KQED in 2007 to coordinate education and outreach for the public television series Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures. Between working on Ocean Adventures and joining the QUEST team, she developed the educational resources for the 4-hour documentary Saving the Bay. Andrea graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Environmental Science and earned her M.A. in Teaching and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of San Francisco. Before arriving at KQED, she taught, developed, and managed marine science and environmental education programs in Aspen, Catalina Island and the Bay Area.