Are you feeling hungry? Or worse, are you bored of eating the same old mundane food? Well, adventurous ones, simply go to your backyard, catch a juicy grasshopper and eat it all up. At this point, I can imagine the kind of thoughts that may be running through your mind. Is this writer crazy? Or better yet, how can a person eat a gross bug?
I can understand where the shock is coming from but eating insects is not a new phenomenon. Insects have been eaten as a part of cultures since times ago, and in some countries, it is even considered to be national cuisine, prepared in delectable, epicurean recipes. While you may find it a bit off-putting, eating insects actually does come with a host of health benefits. This practice of eating insects is known as entomophagy.
Insect Eating Facts!
According to a report that was put forth in 2013 by FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organisation), approximately 2 billion people all over the world include insects in their diet. Beetles are the most common type of edible insects followed by bees, grasshoppers, wasps, ants, crickets, and locusts. Additionally, it is rather significant to note that more than 2000 species of insects are considered to be edible.
In many parts of the world, entomophagy happens to be a common practice. For instance, Australia, China, New Zealand, Thailand, and some developing countries in Central and South America have adopted insects in their food. If you think about it, their taste buds are in love with the bugs. However, the western world seems not to be a big fan of eating bugs at any time of day. In a particular study that was published in an insect journal back in 2015, 72% of Americans said that they cannot digest the idea of eating insects.
Also, the FAO report indicated that in many western countries, people have a negative view on entomophagy; most people look at it with disgust and think of it as a primitive behaviour.
Insect Eating Benefits
As much as some people might not love the idea of turning this practice into reality, it does have some impressive benefits. Below are some useful facts that should help you understand how good it is for your body.
Eating bugs could stop obesity
Insects tend to come with high nutritional values. Most of them are rich in iron, calcium, protein, and healthy fats. They also have low levels of carbohydrates. These power-packed nutrients have made some researchers suggest that entomophagy can be an excellent way to avoid obesity and diseases that come with it.
Entomophagy can help prevent malnutrition
Not only does this practice prevent obesity, but it can also prevent malnutrition which is common in most developing countries. Lack of protein and nutrients is widespread in disadvantaged societies, thus affecting the populace’s overall health as a result.
Insects can be an easy source of food
Since insects are everywhere, practicing entomophagy is not hard at all, plus there are tons of companies these days with bug bars, cricket protein powder and more. Eating insects can provide a great source of protein and healthy fats, while being accessible and cheap at the same time. This practice can mostly benefit middle and low-income societal groups. But any person can benefit from it; whether they are high, middle, and low-income earners.
Entomophagy can help create more room for urban development
Over 30% of the globe’s surface would be reclaimed from livestock industries. Therefore, this would allow urban growth and expansion for the ever-growing population in the world.
Insect eating helps the environment
Approximately, 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions on earth could be stopped. This result can be invaluable to the environment in the long run.
Thus entomophagy is a practice that should be embraced by our cultures. It has a high possibility of building and boosting our economy in a great way. In October 2015, the United Kingdom launched its first insect restaurant, called the Grub Kitchen, that serves many delights like smoked chipotle cricket, and olive goat and black ant cheese. The restaurant has now become popular in the UK, in turn creating a notion that entomophagy can one day be an accepted delight in most western cultures. Do not completely disregard this idea but instead, give it a shot. You might find that it isn’t as bad as you might think.
For those ‘Mericans that love baseball, it’s even showing up at the ballpark…and repeatedly selling out.
BIO: Bree; is the cricket crunching chief editor, nut butter fanatic, and keen superfood lover at ProteinPromo.com. After looking into more sustainable sources of Protein, she discovered Entomophagy and wants to spread the word to everyone who’ll listen – which is why you’re reading this!
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