Because edible insects are not considered by the national government as a "really" important food resource, they are not included in the laws for environmental regulation or included in international agreements on Biodiversity Conservation. Currently, these species are only considered to be susceptible of collection and/or sale for institutional or amateur scientific collections and some species can be sold for exorbitant prices for jewelry, arts and crafts, etc. Concerns regarding their harvest for use as food is not taken into account and should be established. We suggest that the following actions should be taken:
a. The development of "Edible Insects Exploitation and Trading Norms and Legislation" to avoid extensive depredation of these organisms and to remove the gap between the knowledge of the resources and their exploitation [25
b. The development of "reserve zones" to be protected and to prohibit collections within these zones in order to preserve the germ plasm of the alimentary ethnoentomobiodiversity, and to prevent the erosion of the genetic pool of these insects;
c. The formation of a co-operative society as a means of mercantile production to regulate exploitation and avoid participation of middlemen;
d. Organization of academic courses, with the participation of Biology Departments of several diverse institutions and the schools in the area, at a town, state or capital level, and with the cooperation of specialists of different resources through educational courses (Entomology, Ecosystems, Ecology, Sampling Methods, etc.), information courses (about the resources), and training courses (about sampling, hosts, population dynamic, parasites, recognizing the status of the species, etc.);
e. Creation of a trust with donations from altruistic Institutions, whose subsidy has been authorized by the state government;
f. Synthesis of information on the most outstanding resources in terms of exploitation, and proper means of handling, protecting, and preserving insect species. Specifically, this would describe how to cultivate the most desired species and would implement prototypes;
g. Diffusion of information with objective talks on local radio stations, and through comic style flyers with allusive drawings, printed in local languages;
h. Promoting the importance of implementing maintenance cultivation techniques to scholars from multiple institutions within their area of expertise and for the most desirable species;
i. Increasing the insects "protocultivation" discussed in the paper. For omnivorous "escamoles", the number of individuals could be increased, by increasing food resources along their paths or close to their nests to preserve the species. The number of nests per unit area could also be increased, establishing new natural foundations [26
], or carrying out the culture placed on their spot [27
]. After exploitation, proper care should be provided to the nests by replacing part of the nest opening (the trabeculae) [17
], adding dry Opuntia
fleshy leaves, covering it with a big handful of fresh weed, large stones, mud and finally camouflaging it.
The technique we implemented with the white agave worm in a 10 m2
area we obtained 199 larvae [28
]. According to our experiences in working with the red agave worm, after removing the stem with the lips of the agave and collecting the red worm, immediately restoring the same plant allows 79% of agave plants to survive. It is necessary to reestablish parcels to grow agave plants. To preserve the axayacatl, the prehispanic technique culture must be taught to all the inhabitants living closer to water ponds ("jaqueyes
") and lagoons. To preserve the black wasp, simple shelters with wooden planks could be built and placed as a two-sided roof. These could be placed in homes and neighboring areas to let the wasps grow until they mature [29
j. Formal controlled introduction of these species into the markets with public advertisements and open exposure.
These steps require effort, but could be implemented progressively.
] stated that "the commercialization of one species, is the way to achieve its preservation" since obtaining an economic gratification causes the harvesters to take an interest in preserving the resource for the acquired benefit.
People living in Tulancalco and in most towns in this and other States of the country, can be classified as poor farmers with an income that rarely exceeds $1,000.00 per year ($90.00 USD). These farmers work under a monetary deficit, with high auto consumption rates, and who make their living as employers or from small business [31
]. This farming economy takes place in small scale production units where production relationships without a salary predominate. Thus, there are no possibilities for accumulating capital and their purpose is not to maximize a profit but to guarantee their subsistence [32
These people who are agricultural day-laborers, proletariats without enough land, get poorer and poorer and lack all the nutritional support that the edible insects can provide. The capitalist sector grows richer by the marketing these edible species through middlemen who sell products to the industry and/or to restaurant owners.
The Center of Agricultural Investigations of Mexico has demonstrated that 84% of all the Agricultural property of the country is classified as common public land. This land ownership is classified as infra-sustainable or sub-familiar and it is small in size, and does not generate jobs or sufficient income to satisfy the minimum needs of a farmers' family. Farmers therefore have to look for jobs to survive since the production units are based on family work with no salary.
Additionally, the ecosystems in which these peasants live, (xerophytic bushes), are generally mountainous arid forest areas and/or unproductive mountainous areas. For this reason, edible insects and other resources of the area constitute products of crucial importance in their life, so the survival and abundance of these resources are essential to the harvesters' lives.
Apiculture is part of the farming activity of this area, and it has become a highly productive industry. Exporting bee products has allowed the country to obtain more than 35 millions of dollars per year, according to the Agriculture Ministry of México [33
]. In this case, not only the honey is used, but the brood and in some populations the adults are also consumed. This is a model of what an agro-industry of other edible insect species could be. This type of farming should not only be taken as an alternative for economic wellbeing for the land and cattle land sectors, but also as a nutritional alternative at the service of the people. Edible insects can provide a source of high nutritional value, which have components that are missing in the daily diet of the people inhabiting these areas and which are highly digestible [3
The development of these cultures should keep the technical and social aspects of the issue in mind; without a fair social policy, harvesting of these resources could increase the current crisis in the fields.
The capitalist marketing of soy-beans produced such an increase in the price of this resource, and consequently, the local people needing protein did not have the economic capacity for their consumption. This meant that many people could not even to afford to buy enough food to ensure the minimum calories or proteins required for their diet. Adequate food for the poor would be possible by rationally taking advantage of the natural resources provided by edible insects. Protein provided by edible insects would not only decrease social problems, but would also help Mexicans to have a more active participation in the economy and in national policies.