Most people from North America and Europe have an aversion to eating insects. It’s called Entomophagy and it is some countries main source of protein. Countries such as Thailand, Ghana, Mexico and China eat insects on a daily basis as a cheap, renewable, low-fat form of protein. In the United States, we boycott companies because we find out that artificial red coloring comes from beetle shells. Then we turn around and our current food sources aren’t sustainable. If you want an inexpensive, sustainable source of protein, insects should be the first thing that come to mind.Nutrition: Insects are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Here some examples of protein levels of various insects per 100 grams. All of these insects provide excellent calcium and iron as well.
Crickets – 12.9 (g)
Grasshoppers – 20.6 (g)
Red ant – 13.9 (g)
Termite – 14.2 (g)
Caterpillar – 6.7 (g)
If you are going to build a farm and grow your own food, you usually need some acreage, barns, food for livestock, etc. What if you could grow all your own protein for a fraction of that? Insects need far less room. They require half or less of the food intake of common livestock. They produce a much smaller amount of waste than a farm full of cattle. Raising insects as a source of protein, vitamins and minerals is going to be the easiest way for most people to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
The folks over at Bitty Foods are creating a whole new food industry making delicious, high protein snacks using cricket flour. They say the only difficulty of creating a market in the US is the fact that eating insects is “taboo”. One of the great things about food made from cricket flour is that you don’t have to jump right into eating whole insects. You can make dishes with just the cricket flour and get the benefits without the mental block that comes from eating a whole bug. They have a graph on their website that displays the amount of water usage to raise various forms of protein. For every 2,500 gallons of water used to raise cattle, crickets use just 1 gallon.
What To Eat:
80% of the world’s nations eat insects and the list of what they consume is extensive. Ants, crickets, grasshoppers, worms, beetles, spiders, scorpions, the list goes on and on. I don’t recommend going out and gulping down a scorpion, there is some care that should be taken when eating insects. The general rules are:
-Stay away from brightly colored insects. Earthtone insects are widely known to be safe.
-Stay away from insects that stink.
-Stay away from hairy insects.
-Stay away from insects that eat poisonous plants.
– Cook all insects before eating them.
Billions of people all over the world eat insects and if you are going to rely on them for protein over a long course of time, it couldn’t hurt to get a cookbook. You can find cookbooks with recipes for cooking insects on Amazon. Pick one up and try a couple out. Or you can buy some of the prepackage insect snacks below. Don’t be afraid, go for it!