Traditional insect bioprospecting As human food and medicine

The wisdom that indigenous people have regarding bioprospecting is embedded in their belief system and their culture. Food insects play an important role in the new insect focus. Ants, bees, termites, caterpillars, water bugs, beetle larvae, flies, crickets, katydids, cicadas, and dragonfly nymphs are among a long list of edible insects that provide nutrition for the people of Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, and the Far East. Insects represent an important food source for a wide variety of other animal species. By weight, termites, grasshoppers, caterpillars, weevils, houseflies and spiders are better sources of protein than beef, chicken, pork or lamb. The traditional healers use Insects as medicine. Chemicals produced by insects against self defense can be used for antibacterial and anticancer drugs. The nutritional and economic value of edible insects is often neglected and we should further encourage their collection and commercialization, given the benefits to the environment and human health. It is an interesting concept, managing pest insects by developing them into a sought after delicacy.

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