Here are five reasons why you might want to think about eating bugs.
You might have seen cricket protein in different forms, such as flour, chips, bars, or even whole as a special treat. This trend has been slowly making its way into our culture, even though the practise of eating insects has been around since the 8th century BCE. The insects that are eaten the most around the world are beetles (31% of all insects eaten), caterpillars (18%), bees, wasps, and ants (14%), and grasshoppers, locusts, and crickets (5%). (13 percent consumed). With the world’s population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, insects that can be eaten can help meet the growing need for food. Here are five reasons why you might want to think about eating bugs.
Toby Amidor is the owner of Toby Amidor Nutrition and the best-selling author of Smart Meal Prep for Beginners, The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook, and The Greek Yogurt Kitchen.
Protein from insects is very good.
Insects from the order Orthoptera, which includes grasshoppers, crickets, and locusts, are especially high in protein, according to a 2013 article in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. These insects are a good alternative source of protein. Most insects that can be eaten have high-quality protein that has all of the essential amino acids.
Also, a 2017 article in Nutrition Review found that the protein content of edible insects ranges from 7 to 48 percent based on their fresh weight, which is similar to the protein content of shrimp (13–27 percent), tilapia (16–19 percent), and beef (13–19 percent) based on their free weight (19-26 percent).
Healthy fats can be found in bugs.
Even though the quality of the fat in insects varies by species and by what they eat (they are what they eat), insects can be a source of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. The long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are still most common in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, are unlikely to be found in large amounts in nuts and seeds.
Fiber can be found in bugs.
The outside shell of an insect is made of chitlin. This complex polysaccharide is a dietary fibre, which means that the body doesn’t digest it. Instead, it moves through the digestive system without being broken down.
Insects Provide Micronutrients
Insects have a lot of micronutrients like copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. They also have a lot of B vitamins like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and biotin. This was found in a 2013 article in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research that looked at 236 nutrients from insects. Plus, some of them have folic acid in them as well.
Bugs can live for a long time.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says that eating insects that can be eaten in the forest is linked to sustainable forest management and protection. Scientists have suggested that people eat insects as a way to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and deal with food shortages around the world.
Try out Bugs
If you’re willing to try bugs, here are a few brands you might want to try.
EXO Cricket Protein Bars are high in protein, have 10 grammes of protein, and don’t have gluten or dairy.
Cricket Bites are roasted crickets that come in roasted original and spicy cayenne pepper flavours, among others.
Mixed Bugs has grasshoppers, crickets, silk worms, and sago worms all together.
You can use ecoEat Cricket Flour to make pancakes, waffles, or any other baked good you like.