Over 1 900 species of insects are now considered edible. Insects such as crickets or grasshoppers are protein-rich and healthy. More than two billion people now regularly consume insects, with the Food and Agriculture Organisation claiming that there are 140 countries in which beetles, caterpillars and grasshoppers end up in the cooking pot. Insects offer an alternative to meat and a variation in diet. They have not made it onto the menu in Europe so far, although there are restaurants in the Netherlands that specialise in insects, nor are they yet approved as food by the European Union.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation believes that this will soon change and that insects will become a key constituent of our diet. This would be beneficial to the environment: according to one study, eight kilos of food are required to produce one kilo of beef in the rearing process up to slaughter. For a kilo of insects, roughly only two kilos of food are needed. In addition, insects reproduce quickly and need little energy for breeding.