The world population is expected to reach 11 billion people by the end of the century. That’s a lot of people to feed, particularly since climate change is affecting agriculture crops and food supplies around the world. This leads us to consider what the alternatives are to today’s most popular protein sources of beef, pork, and chicken? Stumped? Try insects.
You read that right – insects are a sustainable source of protein and food. More than 2 billion people around the world already eat bugs in countries such as Mexico, Thailand, China, and more. Insects are healthier than meat, containing more protein, cheap to raise and produce, and insects are a sustainable food source. Yet, insects are just not on most of our radar for nutrition and diet.
A campaign for The Economist is trying to change consumers’ perceptions about insects as nutrition (and gain new readers) by offering Londoners free ice cream in several delicious buggy flavors: Surry Berry (elderberry and raspberry mixed with insect bits), Choc Hopper (grasshopper, strawberries, swirls, mixed with meal-worms), and Nutritious Neapolitan (includes “mixed critters”). The purpose is to expose readers to the real world, in real time, by creating a experience that takes consumers outside of their usual comfort zone.
Sounds yummy to us!
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss sustainability issues related to feeding a growing population.
- Show the Economist video: https://youtu.be/euTBQOrpOmM
- Discuss cultural differences and preferences for foods. Divide students into teams and have team select a country to research about foods.
- In teams, have each team develop a marketing campaign for selling ice cream containing bugs in the U.S.
Source: Ad Age Daily, The Economist