Re: “Villagers use YouTube clips to catch edible insects in Nakhon Ratchasima”, Around Thailand, February 13.
I surprised that residents of Muang Tee in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Non Sung district have learned to use YouTube clips of sounds made of mole crickets. The recorded sound of the edible insect (locally called “maeng kachon” or “maeng gee chon”) makes the actual insects fall to the ground so they can be caught and sold.
The traditional method of seeking mole crickets is by letting water into the paddy field or other low-lying areas where they live and treading on the mud until they emerge. They are either cooked for local consumption or sold as street food.
It looks like villagers’ way of life may be in line with a global trend described as “food of the future” in a cover story in Science Illustrated magazine last October. It revealed that edible insects are a great source of protein, a substitute for meat protein. Meat production also utilises an enormous amount of resources when you consider animal feed, farm area lost, water lost in producing animal feed and methane produced (a greenhouse gas) compared to rearing insects.
Experts warn there will be a shortage of meat by 2050.
Raising edible insects is becoming increasingly popular in the West. Crickets can be turned into a type of flour that can be used in making pasta and cookies and is also friendly to the ecosystem.
This trend may suggest that Thai villagers and entrepreneurs could raise edible insects and produce a global food source that is high in protein, safe and tasty.