Soon the disappearance of insects ?
On January 31st, the scientific journal Biological Conservation published a synthesis of 73 scientific studies showing an unprecedented decline in insect populations. Their numbers are declining year by year at a frightening rate. According to this study, 1% of the species disappears each year and the following year must be added 1% additional. Which means that in 50 years half of the insect species will have disappeared, and in 100 years … the totality … Francisco Sanchez-Bayo and Kris Wyckhuys, universities of Sydney and Queensland, the two coordinators of the synthesis, declare that the proportion of insect species in decline is 2 times higher than that of vertebrates, which does not bode well when we know that many other animals such as sparrows, hedgehogs, reptiles or amphibians have their diet consisting mainly of insects.
Is the intensive agriculture responsible ?
The use of systemic insecticides is, of course, harmful to insect populations. Farmers wanting to get rid of a pest come to vitrify any form of life without distinction. Neonicotinoids are the main cause of mortality among bees, for example. Banned in France since 2018 (except derogation), they nevertheless persist in the soil and are very difficult to degrade. Other human activities also harm insects such as urbanization and deforestation. Habitat destruction has an equally detrimental effect on the survival and reproduction of many species, especially the most fragile ones. The health of biodiversity therefore seems closely linked to the health of our insect friends.
And entomophagy in all this ?
At present around 2000 species of insects are listed as edible. With tastes, textures, colors and a wide variety of compositions, they are the foods of choice to tickle our taste buds. According to the Catalog of Life project there are 5 million species just for insects and only 1 million of them have been registered. Of all the species still unknown, would there not be some with flavors still unsuspected? With the disappearance of more and more rapid insects it’s a whole range of biodiversity but also taste pleasures that disappear.