Insects for lunch

Yunnan Insect Biotechnologies. Remember that name. It is a Chinese industry that will save the world from famine. You can visit the factory in Kunyang, the suburb of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province. As a welcome dish wou will receive bamboo worms, if you’r lucky. Also on the menu: dried scorpions, dried larvae, protein powder extracted from insect skeletons and lots of whole insects. Insects are, according to the FAO (the UN agriculture and food organisation) the best alternative for meat and fish in developing countries, especially in Asia and Africa. Insects contain lots of minerals and proteins, ingredients often missing in poor people’s diet. According to specialists in China and elsewhere, to enhance the immune system there is only one answer: the fly. The factory’s owner, Li Jinsui, predicts that he will produce ten tons of healthy fly larvae every day by 2015, good for animal and human consuption. He admits that larvae on a plate are still repulsive, even in China where people are used to eat almost anything that moves, has moved, or, in the case of larvae, will move. Mr. Li believes that hungry people can easily be educated and he even proposes a list of simple recipes. One is a quiche with fly larvae à la crème. More is to be found in ‘Insectes commestibles’, by S. Much (Editions Plume de carotte, coll. Terra curiosa, 2012, 160p, € 19.90).
It’s all about culture: if we can eat snails and shrimps, why not scorpions, criquets and grasshoppers? Let’s see how hungry we must get in Europe to start our lunch with sautèed termites.

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