While some cultures eat a variety of bugs as part of their daily diets, bug-based cuisine isn’t a worldwide phenomenon. That could change with the introduction of bug-based proteins. There’s an environmental argument to eating crickets rather than chickens: Raising and consuming insects produces significantly less greenhouse gasses, doesn’t require extensive land and water, and inflicts less long-term damage to the planet. Bugs are good sources of protein, fatty acids and fiber, and they have been an important part of the diet of cultures around the world. Previously, cultivating insects had been limited to a small, experimental group of startups. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $1.45 million in research grants for bug proteins in the past few years. The North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture (NACIA) says the market could top $1 billion by 2023.
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