SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 14 June 2021, Monday | النسخة العربية

Humans will have to eat maggots to avoid malnutrition, scientists claim

A new report has indicated that humankind will have to eat maggots and other bizarre “superfoods” in order to avoid malnutrition, the Mail said.

British researchers say traditionally-eaten plant-source foods, like fruits and vegetables, barley and maize and animal-source foods, like eggs, fish and meat are “innately exposed to various acute and chronic stresses”.

Such stresses include disease and pests, in addition to environmental changes brought on by human-driven climate change.

The researchers say the solution lies in farming maggots (insect larvae) of the black soldier fly, house fly and mealworm beetle, at a mass scale for human consumption.

It is well-known that insects are full of nutrients, protein, potassium, magnesium and three times more fatty acids than omega-3 in salmon.

They’re already being sold in some supermarkets as a niche snack – but the scientists, from the University of Cambridge, say we’ll have to increase production to “mitigate global malnutrition”, one of the largest humanitarian crises.

The researchers believe maggots, and other future foods like kelp, can be more easily grown as distributed among isolated communities in remote areas with limited access to animal and plant-based foods.

“Our current food system is vulnerable,” said lead author Dr Asaf Tzachor at the Center for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) at the University of Cambridge. “It’s exposed to a litany of risks – floods and frosts, droughts and dry spells, pathogens and parasites – which marginal improvements in productivity won’t change.”

“To future-proof our food supply we need to integrate completely new ways of farming into the current system,’ Dr Tzachor said, adding that the sooner we make the transition to future foods, the safer our diets will be and the more lives we will be able to salvage from the tight grip of malnutrition.