First News
Volume:7, Number:34
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Around The World 4

Can Crunchy Caterpillars Help Tackle Malnutrition?

With acute malnutrition affecting more than 10 percent of people in Burkina Faso, an innovative startup is mass-producing dried shea caterpillars high in protein. Caterpillars are made up of more than 60 percent protein and they are among the most nutritious foods available in the country. According to the World Food Program, acute malnutrition in Burkina Faso stands at 10.4 percent. Poor harvests, caused by drought, mean there is a lack of food and diverse nutrients in the country. Hence the bid to industrialize the production of shea caterpillars, insects that feed on the leaves of shea trees. Traditionally eaten in many parts of Burkina Faso, caterpillars are now sold at markets throughout the country as a tasty treat. But no one had thought of industrializing their production until now. Kahitouo Hien thought of starting this business in 2011 while studying at the University of California, Berkeley. And he is now thinking of his next prototype: a cricket biscuit.

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