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UN says eating insects good for health, environment

ROME — The latest weapon in the United Nations’ fight against hunger, global warming, and pollution might be flying by right now. Edible insects are being promoted as a low-fat, high-protein food for people, pets, and livestock.

The United Nations cites appetizing benefits: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and livestock pollution, creating jobs in developing countries, and feeding millions of hungry people.

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An estimated two billion people eat insects, largely in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization said.

Scientists who have studied the nutritional value of insects have found that red ants, small grasshoppers, and some water beetles pack enough protein to rank with lean ground beef, while having less fat per gram. Edible insects also provide fiber and contain useful minerals.

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