Although most people in Europe and the US might find it repulsive, eating crickets and grasshoppers is a common snack in some parts of Asia and Africa. In addition to being nutrient-dense, they are also less damaging to the environment.

Grasshoppers are a nutritious, high-protein snack. As per Leonard Alfonce, an entomology researcher at the Sokoine University of Tanzania, they significantly contribute to improving nutrition, food security, and employment in East Africa. Moreover, insect farming should be done year-round. As explained by Alfonce, in Uganda, the trade in edible grasshoppers provides a source of income. Insects are generally high in vitamins and amino acids. The benefits of sustainability are the next. Because it uses a lot less water, energy, and land than conventional farming, insect farming leaves a significantly smaller carbon footprint. Half of the meat consumed worldwide could be replaced by mealworms and crickets, reducing the need for farmland by a third and freeing up 1,680 million hectares.

Insects might not completely replace meat, but as specified by Bill Broadbent, president of Entosense, a US company on a mission to make edible insects part of Americans’ daily diets, they do represent a significant alternative protein source in a world that is likely to struggle with food shortage in the years to come as the global population continues to increase.