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The United States has its fair share of citizens who live in poverty. Even though the US is a fully developed country, many individuals and families struggle to put food on their tables. No matter how developed a country may be, poverty seems to be an inevitable challenge that some citizens are forced to face. Although food may be difficult to afford for some people living in the US and other developed countries, at least impoverished citizens are not forced to venture outside in order to capture insects for sustenance. The abundance of food in most western nations allows for in-need families to obtain food from a variety of inexpensive sources. Of course, this is not the case everywhere. For example, many citizens of the African country of Uganda have no choice but to feed solely on termites in order to obtain essential nutrients.

Many people likely assume that feeding on termites would not be a problem for Ugandans since termites are considered to be a normal food source in the country. While termites may be accepted as a legitimate food source in most African countries, the citizens of Uganda are only consuming termites as a consequence of failed crops. No matter how acceptable termites may be in some cultures, nobody wants to survive on a diet consisting only of termites.

Residents of Amuria in Uganda are getting sick of eating termites. A recent drought has destroyed crops, leaving residents to rely on termites in order to survive. The situation is so bad that Mr Robert Okitoi, the Amuria District council chairperson, is pushing the national government to declare a state of emergency in response to the mass hunger experienced by many residents of Amuria. According to Okitoi, “The situation is bad, people are now eating termites.” Some starved residents of Uganda have even crossed the border into Kenya in order to obtain food by earning a refugee status.

Since termites are considered a food source in Uganda, many families are simply harvesting termites in response to the hunger crisis. One mother of a family of seven collects termites from grass near her home every morning. The termites are what is keeping her, and many other families alive. Currently the amount of starving citizens has reached seven million in Uganda. And the abundance of termites are keeping many people alive in areas that have been affected by drought. Without termites, many families in Uganda may have succumbed to starvation.

Do you think that Americans would be resourceful enough to eat termites in response to a mass food shortage?

 

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