Importance of entomophagy in Madagascar

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 4:30 PM
Portland Ballroom 253 (Oregon Convention Center)
Maminirina Randrianandrasana , Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
May R. Berenbaum , Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Global food security is currently a main concern.  Finding an alternative strategy such as incorporating insects in the diet because of their nutritional values and affordability to compensate any shortage of food could be an option. Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects,  have long been part of culinary traditions in many countries such as Madagascar.  In order to evaluate the current importance of entomophagy in Madagascar despite cultural changes mainly related to urban life,  we conducted a survey from  April to June 2013  in five rural sites.  We found that still 96.8 % of  the 438 representatives of households  have consumed non-crustacean arthropods at least in one period of their life. Two to eight species in average were recorded in each informant's diet. Entomophagy in these areas is mainly opportunistic, seasonal and traditional. The informants eat insects because their ancestors did. Only 41% of them were willing to incorporate new edible insects in their diet.  The results of this study are necessary for an effort to promote rearing of edible insects at a marketable level so that insects will be yearly-round available thus improving food security and also offering an alternative income to farmers.