The thought of eating bugs might make you cringe, but it’s something people all over the world have been doing for centuries. In fact, insects are a major source of protein for over 2 billion people. And as the world’s population continues to grow, there’s a growing interest in insect-eating as a sustainable and nutritious way to feed our planet.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 5 benefits of eating insects and give you some tips on getting started. So if you’re curious about this fascinating food trend, read on!
Bugs: The Superfood of the Future?
There are many reasons why you should consider eating bugs. Here are the top 5:
- Bugs are a good source of protein. Insects are a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids our bodies need. A study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that insects contain an average of 60% protein, higher than beef, chicken, or pork protein content. They are also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This makes them a great alternative to meat, which is often low in essential amino acids.
- Bugs are low in fat and calories. Insects are a very lean protein source, meaning they’re low in fat and calories. This makes them an excellent choice for people trying to lose weight or eat healthier.
- Bugs are high in nutrients. Insects are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re especially high in iron, zinc, and magnesium.
- Bugs are sustainable to farm. Insects are very efficient to farm, requiring less land, water, and feed than traditional livestock. A study by the University of Oxford found that raising insects for food produces ten times less greenhouse gas emissions than raising beef. This makes them a more sustainable choice for the environment.
- Bugs are delicious! Once you get over the initial “ick” factor, you’ll be surprised at how tasty insects can be. They can be cooked in various ways and have a nutty or shrimp-like flavor.
Eating Bugs Around the World
Eating bugs is not a new phenomenon. In fact, humans have eaten for centuries. Today, insects are eaten in many parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and South America.
In Asia, insects are a common ingredient in dishes. For example, in China, grasshoppers are often fried and served as a snack. In Thailand, crickets are added to stir-fries and soups. And in Japan, silkworms are often served in sushi.
In Africa, insects are a popular food source. For example, in Nigeria, termites are roasted and eaten as a snack. In Ghana, ants are ground into a powder and used as a seasoning. And in Cameroon, caterpillars are fried and served as a main course.
In South America, insects are also eaten but are not as common as in Asia or Africa. For example, in Peru, roasted beetles are a popular snack. And in Brazil, ants are sometimes added to salads.
The Best Bugs to Try for Beginners
If you’re new to eating insects, there are a few species that are a good place to start. These include:
Crickets: Crickets are a popular choice for beginners because they have a mild flavor and a crunchy texture. They can be roasted, fried, or even ground into flour.
Grasshoppers: Grasshoppers are another excellent option for beginners. They have a slightly stronger flavor than crickets but are still mild. They can be roasted, fried, or even made into soup.
Locusts: Locusts are a bit more intense in flavor than crickets or grasshoppers, but they’re still a good option for beginners. They can be cooked in several ways but are especially good when roasted.
Silkworms: Silkworms are a bit more delicate in flavor than other insects and have a slightly sweet taste. They’re a good choice for people who are looking for a milder insect to try.
Mealworms: Mealworms are a type of beetle larvae that are often eaten as a snack or added to other foods. They have a nutty or shrimp-like flavor and are a good protein, fiber, and vitamin source. They can be cooked in various ways, including roasted, fried, or ground into a powder.
Where to get edible bugs
Grocery stores: Some grocery stores, especially those in urban areas, are starting to carry edible insects. You can find crickets, mealworms, and other insects in the snack aisle or the health food section.
Health food stores: Health food stores are another good place to find edible insects. They often have a wider variety of insects than grocery stores, and they may also have insect-based products, such as insect protein powder or insect flour.
Online retailers: Several online retailers sell edible insects. You can find a wide variety of insects, as well as insect-based products, on these websites.
Restaurants: Many restaurants serve edible insects. These restaurants are often located in urban areas and may be part of a larger trend of serving sustainable and insect-based food.
If you’re looking for a specific type of insect, you can do a quick online search to find a retailer or restaurant that sells it.
So, there you have it. Insects are a sustainable, nutritious, and delicious food source. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your environmental impact, improve your health, and try something new, I encourage you to try insects. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy them!