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The Food Show: A look at locusts

The Story

For over nine months, ravenous swarms of locusts have been devastating parts of India and Africa, and the United Nations warns that even larger plagues of the parasites are likely. Jim Wright provides this 1978 update on the potential for such plagues and how the world community is trying to stop them before they start.

Medium: Radio
Program: The Food Show
Broadcast Date: Oct. 1, 1978
Host: Jim Wright
Duration: 2:30
Photo: Shibuya-Ku/Flickr Creative Commons

Did You know?

• The Rocky Mountain locust was once among the most prolific species on record. An 1874 swarm that descended upon North and South Dakota was estimated to be 513,000 square kilometers in size and contain 12 trillion locusts. Despite its great numbers, that species is now extinct.

• The locust is the only kosher invertebrate.


• Regional wars throughout Africa and the Middle East made combating locust swarms even more difficult in 1978. Somalia and Ethiopia fought a bitter territorial war over the disputed Ogaden region in 1977-78 and Rhodesia remained embroiled in a 14-year war that led to its rebirth as Zimbabwe in 1979.


• The worst locust outbreak on record occurred in and around Palestine in 1915. Swarms of locusts stripped the area of vegetation, causing 40,000 deaths and untold numbers to leave the region.




Other Natural Disasters more