Eco-Diversity of Edible Insects of Nigeria and Its Impact on Food Security
Inspite of the strong aversion shown to Entomophagy (consumption of edible insects) due to civilization, insects have played an important part in the history of human nutrition in Africa, Australia, Asia and the Americas. Hundreds of species have been used as human food. Globally, about 14 insect orders contain one or more species of edible insects. Africa is one of the leading continents that consume insects as food. In Africa, insects form part of the traditional diets of millions of people and are also used as feed for their farm animals. Nowadays, Entomophagy is a major entomological research interest with focus on its future prospect for food and feed security. Nigeria, the focus of this study is very rich in forest edible insects due to its marked ecological and climatic diversity. Some of the popular edible insects are grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetle grubs and adults, winged termites, bee, wasp and ant brood as well as winged ants, cicadas, and a variety of aquatic insects. Despite their importance as food, biodiversity and conservation efforts have focused mainly on other groups of animals, ignoring the vast world of insects. Therefore, there is a compelling need to collect data on the diversity and conservation of edible insects in Africa, and to make this information available to all interested parties. This study provides information on the list and distribution of these edible insects in Nigeria, their harvesting, processing and preservation techniques, their seasonality, nutritional value and the potential for expanding the market.
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Journal of Biology and Life Science ISSN 2157-6076
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