Most people would not consider the thought of eating insects as very appetizing. Some may even consider it to be repulsive. However, the truth is there are a number of benefits to adding bugs to your diet.
They’re Super Nutritious
A cricket is comprised of more than 60 percent protein. The protein content of beef is about 50 percent. The protein present in insects is also high quality and contains a wide range of amino acids. Eating bugs will also provide you with a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals. Add to this mix the low-fat content, and it is easy to see why bugs are considered a super nutritious food.
They’re More Sustainable Than Meat
Insects do not need the space that is necessary to raise animals that are used as meat sources. They are also much easier to feed and can thrive in a variety of environments. All these factors make insect farming a much more sustainable source of protein than the farming of livestock. One study suggests that cattle farming is responsible for nearly 15 percent of the greenhouse admissions that take place across the globe. Insect farming produces 80 times less methane than cattle farming and is 20 times as efficient. Insect farming is also better for the environment because it takes only two pounds of feed to produce a pound of consumable meat. Comparatively, it takes eight pounds of feed to produce one pound of meat when raising cattle.
Lots of Variety
More than 2,100 insect varieties are safe for consumption. This makes for unlimited options for preparing food using bugs. Although cockroaches are a common household pest in the US, don’t start collecting them out of your kitchen cupboards—they must be raised and prepared correctly to be edible.
There are many countries where eating insects is popular. Mexico is perhaps the place where bug eating is most popular. Popular food items in Mexico include chocolate-covered locusts, candy-covered worms, and buttered ant eggs. A popular Brazilian dish involves taking the wings off ants and frying them. They also like to dip the ants in chocolate. Termites are popular in Ghana and insects make up approximately 60 percent of the protein that is present in the diets of Africans living in rural areas. Fried bugs are available in bars in Thailand and are served with libations. In China, roasted bee larvae and fried silkworm moth larvae are popular with diners.
Insects are popular sources of food for many people throughout the world. Though many people may not find the thought of eating bugs particularly appetizing, there are a number of great reasons to add them to your diet. So why not give them a try?
Part of a healthy diet is making sure you get enough nutrients in all the important nutritional categories. Check out this other article on the benefits of superfoods!