I ate an ant and I liked it. Apologies, Katy Perry, but this is important. I tried ants because, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock production takes up nearly one-third of the Earth’s entire landmass. And the animals themselves generate nearly 20% of the world’s greenhouse emissions. That’s more than all the cars, trains, boats and planes put together. In the search for a sustainable protein, it’s sink or swim time. Fortunately, 2 billion of our planet’s 8 billion inhabitants indulge in a wondrously diverse protein source. Predominantly in Africa and Asia, people eat more than 1, 900 edible insect species as part of their normal diet. The most common nibble is beetles, followed by caterpillars in second place, with hymenoptera (bees, ants and wasps) in third. And don’t worry, there’s always a seasonal item on the bug menu. In Thailand, for example, that means tortoise beetles (bitterly crunchy) in This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 50 Field Notes A new nature column. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Learn Lenience We were all young once. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Pay it Forward How to be a mentor. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Be Accountable On youth and responsibility. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Think Back A reexamination of nostalgia. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Grow Up In praise of aging.