British Government Feeding African Kids Worms, Locusts, Flies

The children are fed the bugs as part of an experiment on nutrition and the impact of insects.

  • The British government is funding randomized trials that are pushing Africans to farm and eat insects in an effort to study the impact on humans.
  • The United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) is behind the study and is a subsidiary of the country’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
  • According to reports on the study, the investigation is taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe with a roughly $320,000 grant from the aid office.
  • Part of the trial included using mopane worms in porridge served to children in schools, and poor children ages 7-11 in the towns of Gwanda and Harare were fed a mixture made from caterpillars.
  • Researchers assert that caterpillars and worms are high in vitamins and minerals.
  • Researchers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are using roughly $55,000 in grant funds to “promote the production of insects for human food and their use in the manufacture of animal feeds.”
  • Caterpillars, migrating locusts, and black soldier flies are some of the insects that are being pushed for ingestion in the project, which will last from March to December and seems to be a reaction to water shortages caused by environmental stress brought on by livestock rearing.
  • Dr. Sarah Beynon is founder of the Bug Farm in Pembrokeshire and said the projects encourage people in the developed world to include insects in their diets.
  • Aside from aid for the developing world, it’s unclear what the implications of the study would be or if the addition of insects is being considered elsewhere.
  • However, even in Western nations, food security is growing more unstable as food processing plants are being destroyed.
  • American Faith reported earlier this month that 103 U.S. food manufacturing facilities have been destroyed just since President Joe Biden took office.
  • A recent study indicated that a “survey from the Food Industry Association (FMI), a trade organization that represents food retailers and wholesalers, found that 70% of retailers said supply chain disruptions are negatively impacting their business, up from 42% the year before.