Food fight: Marcel Dicke

Entomologist Marcel Dicke promotes the idea that instead of mammals, we should be eating insects.

From the Series

Marcel Dicke is head of the entomology laboratory at Wageningen University in The Netherlands. In 2007 he received the NWO-Spinoza award, also known as the Dutch Nobel prize. He promotes the idea that instead of mammals, we should be eating insects:

Why we eat shrimps but not insects is an interesting question only for those living in Europe and North America. Shrimps and lobster are considered a delicacy in these continents. Locusts are a delicacy to many in Africa and Asia. Locusts have six legs and live on land; shrimps have 10 legs and live in water. Both are arthropods.

A locust is nutritionally highly comparable to beef, containing high levels of proteins, the right fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. In contrast to the large amount of feed needed to produce a pound of beef (10 to 1), it takes only a fraction of feed to produce a pound of locusts (10 to 8).

In fact, there is no reason whatsoever why we should not eat locusts. In Australia some people recognise this and call locusts “sky shrimps”. In fact, locusts are one of 1 800 insect species that are eaten as a delicacy somewhere on the globe.

More on Design Thinking