Insects are often considered a nuisance to human beings and mere pests for crops and animals. Yet this is far from the truth. Insects provide food at low environmental cost, contribute positively to livelihoods, and play a fundamental role in nature. However, these benefits are largely unknown to the public. Contrary to popular belief, insects are not merely “famine foods” eaten in times of food scarcity or when purchasing and harvesting “conventional foods” becomes difficult; many people around the world eat insects out of choice, largely because of the palatability of the insects and their established place in local food cultures.
Arnold van Huis, Joost Van Itterbeeck, Harmke Klunder, Esther Mertens, Afton Halloran,Giulia Muir, and Paul Vantomme
Study prepared by FAO Regional Office for Africa, October 2012
The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement is an unprecedented, multi-stakeholder global effort to improve maternal and child nutrition. Both the 2008 Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition and SUN Framework for Action underscore the importance of both nutrition-specific and nutritionsensitive interventions. Thanks to a large evidence base, nutrition-specific interventions are well-defined. They include treating acute malnutrition, increasing micronutrient intake, and promoting exclusive breastfeeding, addressing the immediate causes of undernutrition. Nutrition-sensitive development addresses the underlying factors that contribute to malnutrition— including hunger, poverty, gender inequality, and poor access to safe water and health services—by integrating nutrition actions into other sectors.2 Unlike nutrition-specific interventions, nutrition-sensitive development lacks a common definition, which is needed for aligning efforts and measuring impact. More research and documentation of proven approaches to integrating nutrition- sensitive actions into multisectoral programs will build the evidence base. This policy brief seeks to contribute to a wider conversation that we hope will lead to some consensus.