What are the benefits of eating a grasshopper?

An academic is investigating the potential of edible insects, like grasshoppers and locusts, to see if they can help tackle the world food crisis.

There are more than 2,000 different species of edible insect. They can provide an alternative source of food due to their high levels of protein and other nutrients.

Once they are dried they can keep for up to a year.

Liliane Binego, a researcher at Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, has interviewed and observed more than 200 people in Niger and Uganda.

They make their livelihoods from edible insects to understand more about how the creatures are reared, farmed, distributed and sold in Africa.

She has also looked at the challenges in the edible insect industry, including that many of the insects are seasonal and that the harvesting of them results in high energy costs, because so many lights are needed to attract them to one particular place for collection.

She says that in the long term an efficient and cost-effective way of wild harvesting and rearing the creatures has to be developed.

But she admits that one of the key hurdles to overcome is changing people’s attitudes towards eating these insects. Liliane said:

Liliane will talk about her research at an event at Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience's Ryton headquarters on Thursday, 11th January.