Nutrition

Why You Should Be Eating Insects

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bugs

Image:Youtube

Why You Should Be Eating Insects

The idea of biting into the crunchy shell of a grasshopper might sound unappealing to you. You might even argue that you would never eat a bug. Never. Not in a million years.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but you probably ate a few this morning. The presence of bugs is a pretty universal thing in food preparation. In fact, the FDA sets a limit on the percentage of bug parts any food can have. Peanut butter can have 30 parts per 100 grams and apple juice is permitted to have a certain amount of fruit fly eggs or larvae.

If that strikes you as disgusting, just remember that you’ve almost certainly eaten bugs before and not noticed, which means obviously it’s not that gross. And in fact, it might be the food of the future since there are a lot of benefits to eating insects instead of traditional livestock. For starters, eating insects provides a lot more nutrients per gram than eating livestock animals.

bugs

Image:nature/pinterest

In addition, it takes a lot less food to feed insects until they reach the point where they can be harvested than an animal like a cow. While a cow produces one kg of meat for every 8 kgs of feed, grasshoppers can produce 1 kg of meat for 2 kg of feed.

That reduction in grain necessary to feed livestock would really help the environment and wouldn’t require as many resources to produce and transport. Not to mention that it takes a lot less space to raise crickets than beef.

In addition, herds of livestock produce a lot of methane, which is a significant factor in global warming.

The use of bugs as food might even be a solution to global hunger as it allows populations without the resources to produce large amounts of traditional livestock meat to get their required protein. In fact, there are many cultures where eating insects isn’t a strange thing.

Eating insects like silk worms and beetle larvae is actually pretty common in most of South East Asia, and grasshoppers are considered a delicacy in certain parts of Mexico. Here’s a photo of some eggs prepared with grasshopper in the state of Oaxaca.

grasshoppers

Image:Wikipedia

Tell me you wouldn’t give that a try.

In the U.S., many companies are breeding crickets with the aim of turning them into powdered protein. Companies like Chapul offer a wide variety of energy bars and cricket protein powder that can add a boost of nutrition to nearly any food while still hiding the fact that you’re eating crickets.

So give bugs a chance. Eating insects just might save the planet one day.

Wyatt is a writer and your friend. You can follow him on Twitter @WyattRedd.