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We've heard about tremendous amount of money losses even leading to famine due to crop destruction from locust infestation over and over again, but all these grasshoppers are a valuable protein, probably way more valuable than the destroyed crops. Although most people from many cultures won't eat such insects, these can be ground to flour and stored to be fed to omnivore livestock like pigs or sold for profit or exchanged for grains.

Is there edible energy in the insect swarms? Can this be made into livestock feed? If not, is the reason this isn't common practice biological or economical?

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    $\begingroup$ The problem, Nigel, is that crops can be stored for months, whereas locusts are a mostly perishable food. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Feb 6 '18 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think so. Dry proteins for commercial use can be stored for quite some time. Also after some research, it turns out that Meat and bone meal (MBM) has a shelf life of 12 months. Furthermore, there is a ton of consumable insects sold online vacuum-packed and cooked. And to top all this we live in a global economy where it won't matter anyway. $\endgroup$ – Nigel Feb 6 '18 at 9:07
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    $\begingroup$ You have made my point for me. What you propose is much costlier than harvesting wheat, which needs very little by way of processing after harvesting. :) A global economy might not be an inconvenience to you, but to the farmers whose crops are consumed by locusts, I imagine they could hardly care less about global economies. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Feb 7 '18 at 1:27
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Locusts have been harvested in Thailand and Australia they call them sky-prawns. They deep-fry them and consume them happily.

http://www.bugsfeed.com/locust

http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i3246e/i3246e.pdf

In Thailand Orthoptera or grasshoppers include Patanga succincta, Locusta migratoria, Acrida sp., Cyrtacanthacris tatarica and Oxya japonica japonica (Thunb.) (Hanboonsong et al. 2001; RaƩ anapan 2000). All of them are pests of economic crops such as maize and rice. Grasshopper species, parƟ cularly Patanga succincta and Locusta migratoria, used to be one of the major pests of maize and rice. Today they have become one of the most popular edible insects since they were introduced for human consumpƟ on by entomologists − a campaign to eat grasshoppers had been launched because control efforts had been unsuccessful. For example, in 1983 this was launched by local offi cials and villagers in Prachin Buri Province collected more than 10 tonnes for use as food (Lewvanich et al. 1999).*

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