Have you heard of ‘Entomophagy‘.
Entomophagy is the human consumption of insects and arachnids as food. This includes insect eggs, larvae, pupae, and mature adults.
Before you say disgusting, read these facts :
Two billion people worldwide eat insects
There are more than 1,900 edible insect species on Earth
Insects are packed with protein, fiber, good fats, and vital minerals
According to Anthropologist Julie Lesnik the ingestion of insects could promote brain growth
Yellow jacket wasp larvae are popular in Japan, Cicadas are treasured in Malawi, and Weaver ants are devoured in Thailand.
Why there is a need to eat INSECTS
The world population is steadily growing, with each year, adding up another 70 million people. If growth continues this way, by 2050 the population would reach a whopping 9 billion. Feeding all these hungry mouths is going to be a debilitating task and agriculture, livestock and ocean products would not be able to meet the needs. So next option available is to include INSECTS into diet. U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has been urging all nations to encourage Insect diet to tide over food shortage.
Truth is ….You have been eating Insects, though unknowingly
It is estimated that we eat, on average, 140,000 ‘bug bits’ every year
You might be surprised to find out that you have been eating insects as part of your regular meal.
- Canned fruit juices are allowed up to 1 maggot per 250 ml
- Curry powder is allowed up to 100 insect fragments per 25 grams
- Chopped dates are allowed up to 10 whole dead insects
What’s so good about insects?
There are several good reasons that make Insects future food choice
- Insects are extremely plentiful and are found in nearly all environments
- Insects are very efficient at converting feed into protein
- Insects have a low risk of transferring diseases to humans, unlike pork and poultry
- They are High in nutrients such as calcium, iron, B vitamins, selenium and zinc
- Insects are rich in essential amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids
- To grow Insects we require significantly less land and water
- Insects produces only a fraction of greenhouse gases such as methane and ammonia when compared with other livestock
- Gathering and farming insects can offer employment and cash income, either at the household level or in larger, industrial-scale operations
Globally, the most commonly consumed insects are beetles , caterpillars and bees, wasps and ants. Following these are grasshoppers, locusts and crickets, cicadas, leafhoppers, planthoppers, scale insects and true bugs, termites and dragonflies.
Countries that eat Insects
- People from China snack on a wide variety of insects, from water bugs boiled, roasted bee larvae to fried silkworm moth larvae
- Fried bugs are commonly served with beer in Thailand
- In Mexico one could find Chocolate-covered locusts and candy-covered worms. Worms even make their way into a popular type of Oaxacan alcohol called mezcal.
- In Brazil, queen ants, are a favorite snack