I recently read an article in the paper about a new report from the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization that says we should be eating bugs more often than the few to none we eat now.
Yeah. That was my reaction too. It turns out that 80% of the world’s nations actually eat bugs! There are an estimated 78 edible aquatic beetle species and an estimated 80 edible caterpillar species. Who knew?!
So what other kinds of bugs do people around the world eat?
- 31% eat beetles
- 18% eat caterpillars
- 14% eat bees/wasps/ants
- 13% eat crickets and grasshoppers
- 10% eat cicadas and other leafhoppers
- 3% eat termites
- 3% eat dragonflies
- 2% eat flies
- 6% eat other bugs
What makes bugs a good food choice?
- Bugs are healthy and nutritious alternatives to chicken, beef, pork and fish.
- Many bugs are rich in protein, calcium, iron and fats.
- Insects can be raised virtually anywhere and in both urban and rural environments. Insect harvesting is also more environmentally friendly than raising livestock when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and land-clearing.
Compared to a 100g serving of beef (25.6g of protein), a giant water beetle has 19.8g and a large grasshopper has 20g of protein.
Compared to a 100g serving of chicken breast (15mg of calcium), a cricket has 75.8mg of calcium, while a red ant has 48g of calcium. Wow!
I can assure you that no matter how abundant bugs may be around my house, or how good of a food they might be, I cannot see myself putting any bugs on my plate in the near (or distant) future. Just the thought gives me the creeps (pun intended)!
Do you eat bugs? Would you?