Insects as Human Food

Huis, Arnold van


Arthropods were an important food source for early hominids. They still are in tropical countries, where about 2000 species are consumed as a sustainable source of food, contributing to food security. Most species are harvested from nature depending on the season, and only some are semidomesticated or farmed. Throughout history local people have developed an intricate knowledge about these species which is reflected by the way how arthropods are harvested and prepared as food. Whether or not some arthropod species are eaten depends not only on taste and nutritional value but also on customs, ethnic preferences, or prohibitions. Its promotion deserves more attention both from national governments and development agencies.