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Bugs on the Menu:

Embracing Ethnic Entomophagy in the Modern World

The use of insects to complete a meal is not unheard of. In several parts of the world, insects have been traditionally consumed as food. From Southeast Asian countries to Mexico and Ghana, from Indian states to The Netherlands, several culinary techniques are used to bring out the delicacy in these bugs.

For centuries in the Northeast of India, Odisha and parts of Uttar Pradesh, they have been part of traditional cuisines, and are integral to the history of food as we experience it.

Several forms of edible insects, ranging from crickets and locusts to beetles and cockroaches, make their way into food. Female leafcutter ants are popular in Columbia as protein sources, worms are part of a Mexican brew ‘mezcal’, for instance. Entomophagy provides a sustainable food source while delivering essential nutrients required for the functioning of the body.


The Nature’s Eye presents a webinar on Ethnic Entomophagy to offer a glimpse of the possibilities entomophagy brings to the community.



Femi E Benny is a PhD scholar currently associated with the Insect Biosystematics and Conservation Laboratory at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). Her research interests span the fields of ethnography, sustainable food systems, entomophagy, and insect taxonomy with a specific focus on bees and wasps. With a deep-rooted passion for the order Hymenoptera, Femi has dedicated her doctoral research to exploring the fascinating world of edible bees, wasps and ants. Her work focuses on unravelling the cultural, nutritional, and environmental dimensions of entomophagy. As an ardent advocate for sustainable food systems, she examines the potential of edible insects to address pressing global food challenges.

Beyond her scholarly pursuits, she is a passionate advocate for raising awareness about the ecological importance of bees and wasps and promoting their conservation. Her work not only showcases the remarkable diversity and significance of these insects but also emphasizes their cultural relevance in various societies. Apart from this, she actively collaborates with industry partners, and local communities to promote the adoption of insect rearing practices. By bridging the gap between scientific research and practical application, she envisions a future where nutritionally and economically superior insects play a significant role in addressing global food challenges.



  • Introduction - History and significance of entomophagy.

  • Insects as a sustainable Food Source - How entomophagy may help build sustainable food systems.

  • Nutritional Benefits - Health benefits and nutritional value of edible insects.

  • Cultural Diversity - Various communities and their insect-eating traditions.

  • Culinary Delights - Popular delicacies and their recipes.

  • Overcoming Barriers - Addressing biases and misconceptions.

  • Challenges and Opportunities - Barriers and possibilities to promote ethnic entomophagy in modern society.

  • Farming and Harvesting Insects - Exploring the trends and potential of insect farming and harvesting.

  • Safety and Regulations - Understanding measures, regulations and guidelines for entomophagy.

  • Future of Entomophagy - Predicting future trends, innovations and possibilities in ethnic entomophagy.


  • Date: 9th June 2023

  • Time: 6:00 PM onwards

  • Platform: Zoom

  • Mode: Online

  • Certificates will be given on completion of assignments/ activities

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