All excerpts, reproduced in quotes below, were originally published by The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/to-save-the-world-eat-bugs/283970/
All the images of the original article have been substituted by other rights free images to avoid any copyright infringement.
If you think eating bugs is weird, you may be surprised to find out that about 2 Billion people worldwide eat bugs.
People who eat bugs know how nutritious they are, packed with protein, Omega 3 and other nutrients.
” Two billion people worldwide already eat 1,900 insect species. The United Nations hopes that one day Americans will, too. What would it take for that to happen?
The average American may have a hard time imagining adding crickets to a stir-fry, but Phil Torres, an entomologist credited with the discovery of several insect species and Al Jazeera America’s newest science correspondent, says he thinks it is only a matter of time before we get over the psychological “ick” factor. Or are forced to because of greater environmental concerns.
Two-billion people worldwide already eat 1,900 insect species as part of their diet according to research by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization done in partnership with Wageningen University in the Netherlands. As that leaves quite a bit of the world’s 7 billion people, eating insects has been offered as a sustainable solution to meet the protein demands of a growing population”.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization released a report last May entitled Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security. It advocates for the inclusion of insects in a daily diet, as an alternative to resource-intensive staples like beef, poultry, and fish.
Anticipating the obvious pushback, the report devoted a chapter to theories on why Americans may have a difficult time stomaching the idea of plopping a baked caterpillar in their mouth.
The Audubon Natural Institute in New Orleans offers an interactive dining experience in which the public can watch as chefs prepare insects, then sample at a bug buffet. It was here that Torres tried—and enjoyed—sautéed dragonflies. In the spring and summer time, traffic through the Audubon has them producing 10,000 bugs a week for patrons to consume according to Zack Lemann, an entomophagist at the Audubon Insectarium.
Hotlix, a California candy and snack manufacturer, offers insect lollipops, and an assortment of chocolate covered bugs. For the more athletically inclined, a Salt Lake City company, Chapul, makes cricket energy bars.
“I love seeing people in the emerging industry right now approaching it pragmatically—making cricket flour or protein bars,” Torres says.
“One-hundred grams of crickets has about 13 grams of protein and only 120 calories,” Torres explains. For comparison, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of chicken has 24 grams of protein, but 219 calories.
There are ethical arguments for eating insects, too, Torres says. “You can kill them humanely by slowly freezing them. They go to sleep. I’ve noticed when talking with vegetarians that some are open to eating insects. The issues they have with ethics and the environmental factors, you get rid of them with insects.”
To convince people to eat bugs, Torres suggests starting young. “Get kids to eat chocolate covered crickets,” he advises. “They get really excited by it. The kids love them. They taste good. Every once in a while you get a cricket leg in your tooth, that is a little weird. But cricket flour, I can see that being on an aisle in Whole Foods in the next 10 years. No reason why not, it’s super healthy. ”