India’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns of a global famine in 50 years, and scientists have begun to experiment with an alternative source of protein: insects.

“We are now doing a lot of work on edible insects,” says Arup Kumar Hazarika, a professor at Cotton College in Guwahati who has just concluded an initial study on the insect diet of the Bodo tribe in Assam. “We are studying aspects like the chemical composition, micro and macronutrients, the kinds of insects eaten. We have also done a comparative analysis of all these species.”

FAO is taking this very seriously. In a 2013 report, FAO presents insects as a viable replacement for meat in the event of a food shortage over the next century because of their high nutritional value that can match that of other, more commonly consumed kinds of meat.

The report identifies parts of India as being among…

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