Edible Insects: Where Land Conservation and Protein Meet

Edible Insects: Where Land Conservation and Protein Meet

Brian Fisher

June 9, 02020

At the intersection of climate change, biodiversity loss, and food scarcity lies an unexpected and abundant resource: insects. Brian Fisher has spent three decades documenting biodiversity in Madagascar, a nation off East Africa that's estimated to contain 5% of the world's total plant and animal life. Across the island, harsh economic realities force local people to choose between preserving their unique ecological heritage and clearing the landscape to make way for sustenance farming. To address the twin issues of malnutrition and habitat loss, Fisher with the California Academy of Sciences founded a Malagasy-based organization that manufactures protein-packed cricket powder. The edible insects alleviate pressure on endangered habitat while supplementing local diets, providing a model that can be replicated in other food-stressed areas around the world. Fisher is an unparalleled storyteller with updates from the cutting edge of conservation science—and the future of food.

Dr. Brian Fisher is curator of entomology at the California Academy of Sciences and a world-renowned ant expert. Nicknamed the "Ant Man," Fisher has spent three decades documenting the island of Madagascar's beautiful biodiversity. Along the way, he's discovered over 1,000 new ant species. As he witnessed the biodiversity crisis unfold in Madagascar, Fisher began researching traditional insect-eating practices.

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