Filed under: Food + Health, Nature + Travel, Society + Media | Tags: eating bugs, eating insects, entomophagy, food, nutrition, protein
I like to eat bugs. Moths, meal worms, grasshoppers, if they were available at the market I’d eat them all the time. My introduction to entomophagy (eating bugs) started as a kid consuming suckers and chocolate covered insects from hot lix.
What determines if people eat insects or not? Primarily culture. Compared with the rest of the world, people in the United States are a cultural minority. Eating insects is a common practice and if developed commercially could help alleviate world-wide hunger and malnutrition.
So what makes a good edible insect? Abundance, lack of toxins, and high fat, protein or sugar contents are key to choosing which bugs to eat. Insects are very nutritious, some species provide over 70% of your daily protein per 100g serving (this is like eating a 1/5th lb burger). Commonly consumed bugs include butterflies, beetles, ants, bees, wasps, termites, crickets, grasshoppers and many others.
David Gracer is a big advocate for eating insects because they are an ecologically sound source of protein and other nutrients. Insects require significantly less land and resources than cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens or other vertebrates. If you have the opportunity, consider adding insects to your diet, not only will you get tons of protein, minerals, vitamins and amino acids, you’ll be helping the environment as well.
Image credit: from the book Man Eating Insects