Can Krill End World Hunger?

December 16, 2011

Last month, the U.N. issued an alarming report predicting worldwide starvation by the year 2050 if we don’t drastically change how and what we eat. A growing number of activists, environmentalists, and even chefs think they have a solution: eating farther down the food chain. And what’s at the very bottom, at least in the ocean? Krill.

Despite krill’s potential benefits, hunger experts also see major obstacles for relying on it as a significant human food source. Eating krill "makes sense nutritionally," said Marie-Sophie Whitney, senior nutrition adviser at the humanitarian group Action Against Hunger. "There is indeed a need to look for food that would be less costly from the energetic point of view, and that is easy to grow and abundant."

And yet, "the idea of krill does not make much sense for the biologist inside me," she said, not only because of the potential dangers posed by overfishing, but also because "the people who are the most vulnerable nutritionally are also the ones who have the hardest time accepting new foods."