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Why termites, crickets and locusts might be the next big meal in Kenya

By Wambui Mbuthia | Oct 12th 2017 | 2 min read

Insects like termites, locusts and crickets will soon be gracing our buffets.

According to Africa Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Use of Insects as Food and Feeds (INSEFOODS), this is aimed at improving food security in Kenya and the East African Region.

The World Bank-funded project is looking to set up a centre at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. After accreditation, which is set to happen by next month, the centre is expected to devise ways of producing edible insects in large numbers without harming the environment.

Insefoods Centre Director, Adrian Mukhebi says that all is set in readiness to admit masters and PhD students in January. These students will advance research in the use of crickets as a high protein human food and the black soldier fly as fish feed.

Giving his views on the project, the university Vice Chancellor Stephen Agong said, ‘Poor information on their (edible insects) benefits has seen consumption fall over years and that’s why this centre is important in creating a repository of edible insects’.

This project aims at breaking the cultural attitude towards using insects as food to help alleviate poverty by boosting food security.

The benefits of edible insects according to Food and Agriculture Organisation are:

They are more nutritious than most meats consumed by human

Majority of them are rich in proteins, healthy fats, iron, calcium and are low in carbohydrates

They release fewer greenhouse gases than traditional livestock, making them eco-friendly

There are over 1,900 edible insect species in the world, hence assurance of food security

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