Understanding the traditional uses of insects and recognising the value of different species is central to our work. By working with local communities, Bugs for Life aims to both preserve traditional knowledge that is being lost and enhance understanding about the value of insects. Collaborations with the International institute of Agriculture and local NGOs also allow us to answer fundamental questions about the nutritional value of specific insects that are eaten regionally.
Promoting the value of insects in Benin is central to the aims of Bugs for Life. Working in local schools and community groups, our team deliver interactive workshops on a range of topics, including understanding the nutritional value of insects and exploring the potential for insect farms. By working directly with children and adults that collect insects, we also aim to exchange knowledge directly with the communities.
In between our project work in Benin, our team can be found flying the flag for entomophagy across the UK. Interacting with the public is a central aim of Bugs for Life. Be it speaking at major science festivals, running stalls at cultural gatherings or creating independent events to teach the public about the world of edible insects, we hope to raise awareness about the role that entomophagy can play in the future of food.
We have just launched a new initiative in the Atakora region of Benin, an impoverished area where over 50% of children are chronically malnourished.
This project aims to spread knowledge of the nutritional benefits of insects through educational sessions at local schools and hospitals, as well as piloting insect farms that will build on local knowledge and traditions to give the population easy access to a healthy, stable and environmentally sustainable source of protein.
Any donation, no matter how small, will be massively appreciated. As we are such a small organisation, we have very few running costs and all of the money we raise goes to combatting malnutrition where this work is needed most, and helping the children of Benin to get a better start in life.
Check out our Indidgogo site for the fantastic perks of becoming a Bugs for Life supporter.
There are more than 7 billion people on planet Earth, with more arriving every day. Put another way, there are more people alive today than there have ever lived at one time, By 2050, that number will have risen to 9 billion, who will all have needs that make demands upon our increasingly fragile ecosystems
Food demand is expected to rise by around 50% in the next 20 years, but land for producing it is becoming increasingly scarce. Currently, over 70% of agricultural land - an area as large as the Americas - is used up farming livestock for human consumption. In addition, the costs of rearing, transporting and processing these food sources are taken into account, the enormous financial and environmental inefficiency of traditional farming methods becomes clear.
Furthermore, not all 7 billion of us get an equal share. Unaffordability, regional scarcity and lack of food security due to unfavourable socio-economic conditions mean that many people around the world often go without.
So what can be done?
Bugs For Life proposes an alternative to traditional livestock farming that is:
~ environmentally secure
Insects have formed part of the traditional diets of many cultures across the world for thousands of years, from the honeypot ants of the Aboriginal Australians to the delicious fried grasshoppers found in the cuisine of East Asia.
Edible insects provide a safe, tasty and reliable protein source and have many key advantages over traditional livestock. They produce minimal greenhouse gas emissions, require much less food and space, have a rapid breeding cycle and can be established with very little capital outlay or husbandry required.
In the coming years, food security and environmental changes will pose increasing challenges for the human race. Bugs for Life aims to find solutions to these problems not only for the here and now, but for the world we will inhabit in the future.