The world Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) needs to consider alternative measures to controlling migratory locusts which are invading most parts of Africa, middle East and Asia. It wasn’t amusing to watch FAO officials struggle to explain on local TV the kind of pesticides to be sprayed by governments, when and where to spray in order to kill the insects without destroying natural habitation and the environment yet they are edible and highly nutritious.
In African folklore especially amongst the luhya of Kenya in East Africa, there are legends whose stories are weaved around locusts. They grew strong and powerful after being raised on locust diets 70-100 years ago. What remains for the current generations to identify with are names like ‘Wasiche for men and’ Nasiche’ for women (meaning those born during the locust invasion). This means that if FAO pushes most governments to spray and kill the locusts with insecticides, the current generation will be denied an opportunity to taste the sweetness of an invasion that’s been passed on for generations and fail to raise its present time legends.
From a religious and cultural angle which guides what a society eats and what not to eat the Bible allows the consumption of locusts and records John the baptist as having eaten locusts and wild honey in the wilderness/desert. The Prophet Muhammad and his army is recorded to have eaten wild locusts during his military raids. The Jewish Torah also allows the consumption of certain types of locusts.
The current invasion by these insects might just be a God send opportunity for governments, multinationals, and entrepreneurs to find ways of capturing, processing, adding value and preserving the edible locusts to supplement world diets for eons. As the world suffers from cases of protein deficiency, FAO fights to poison and destroy a humongous source and supplements. Its high time policy changes were effected by FAO to harvest from the invasion and convert a “looming world food crisis” into a “world food solution”. Stop spraying the locusts with insecticides and capture them for food.