Cultural entomology and edible insect diversity in a wetland ecosystem: A case study from the Loushi pat basin, Manipur.
Since time immemorial the Meitei community in the wetland ecosystems of Manipur valleys have been harvesting and consuming the edible insects. This paper brings out the diversity of the edible insects, traditional harvesting techniques, local food culture and its sustainability in the multi-use ecosystem of Loushi Pat basin in South Manipur. A total of thirty nine insect species were identified to be belonging to nineteen families and seven orders out of which thirty one are found to be edible. The edible insects consumed and sold are non-farmed and harvested from the wetlands. Harvesting and sale of the edible insects are largely done by local landless women from the local community. Understanding entomophagy and related livelihoods of the Loushi pat basin provides insights on sustainability of local livelihoods, vulnerabilities, food culture and ecology of modified wetlands in the region.
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