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JLx Wed, Apr-21-21 14:34

A neglected protein-rich 'superfood'
Insects are a nutrition-dense source of protein embraced by much of the world. Why are some of us so squeamish about eating them?

The idea of biting into a burger made from crushed crickets or mixing mealworms into your fried rice may take a little getting used to. But even if the thought of eating insects turns your stomach now, bugs could and some researchers say should form an important part of our diet.

While the West might be unusually squeamish about insects, people have been eating them for thousands of years, and in many parts of the world the practice is commonplace. Around 2,000 insect species are eaten worldwide in countries across Asia, South America and Africa. In Thailand, heaped trays of crisp deep-fried grasshoppers are sold at markets and in Japan wasp larvae eaten live are a delicacy.

We're in the middle of a biodiversity mass extinction, we're in the middle of a climate crisis, and yet we somehow need to feed a growing population at the same time Sarah Beynon
Yet in Europe, just 10% of people would be willing to replace meat with insects, according to a survey by the European Consumer Organisation. To some, this unwillingness to eat insects is a missed opportunity.

"Insects are a really important missing piece of the food system," says Virginia Emery, chief executive of Beta Hatch, a US start-up that creates livestock feed out of mealworms. "[They] are definitely a superfood. Super nutrient dense, just a whole lot of nutrition in a really small package."

Because of this, farmed insects could help tackle two of the world's biggest problems at once: food insecurity and the climate crisis.

Agriculture is the biggest driver of global biodiversity loss and a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Rearing livestock accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)....

Pretty interesting article but I admit to being one of those squeamish people. I know you can get "cricket flour" on Amazon but I was never tempted. And I'm sorry I clicked on the video for even a few seconds. Or that I took a closer look at the pic of that cake. :lol:

Bob-a-rama Wed, Apr-21-21 18:53

I'd have to be really, really hungry and there would have to be nothing else to eat. :D

Kristine Thu, Apr-22-21 02:15


Like Bob, I'd have to be starving, or be absolutely riddled with sudden severe allergies to other protein sources.

Perhaps it's because of the low demand, but cricket flour is pretty expensive. I saw it at the Superstore here in Canada, and it was about $14.00 for a 4-oz package. The pea protein I bought recently was only $3.15 for 4 oz. A giant bucket of whey protein is $30 or less.

Honest question: would vegans eat this? I'm guessing not, if they won't eat honey.

WereBear Thu, Apr-22-21 04:33

Originally Posted by Kristine
Honest question: would vegans eat this? I'm guessing not, if they won't eat honey.

I'm guessing not. They get ridiculous... until it touches motor vehicles and their cell phone, (hardly anything in the modern world managed to be of solely vegetable origin) and suddenly there's a collective agreement to shut up about that.

If we had grown up with "grubs good!" and we were hungry, I'm sure it would be a different story. But if they would come out with some kind of protein powder, I would give it a try. It's not like I'm looking at it with all the legs and everything :lol:

Bob-a-rama Thu, Apr-22-21 19:05

I understand the Mezo-Americans included insects in their diets before the Europeans "civilized" them.

And I think if you are a motorcycle rider and don't wear a helmet, you eventually eat a few ;)

Ms Arielle Thu, Apr-22-21 20:01

Love the cricket chips. My boys enjoyed them, too.

khrussva Fri, Apr-23-21 10:35

If someone started producing some sort of dehydrated, ground protein powder from farmed bugs or worms and the nutrition profile looked good, then I'd consider giving it a try. The truth is that most all of us eat little bits of insects & worms all the time. We are just unaware that we are eating them when they are blended into our regular food. Insect/worm based protein powder can be hidden, too.

Ms Arielle Fri, Apr-23-21 14:37

Lol, all grains are allowed a maximum % of insect parts. a lower % for humans and a higher % in animal feed.

JLx Fri, Apr-23-21 14:54

Oops, just realized I forgot to include the link:

Those BBC Future articles are often quite interesting. I don't think I will be around for this particular "future" development becoming mainstream, however.

Bob-a-rama Fri, Apr-23-21 15:33

We grind our own coffee because ground coffee can contain 10% roach parts and poo.

We eat very little ultra-processed foods. 90% or so is like it came from the farm or slaughterhouse. Much of that organic to keep the pesticide contamination at a minimum.

But I'm sure what we do eat has been contaminated by the little buggers. I doubt that it has hurt us any.

I'm a very picky eater in general, so trying new foods is not an adventure for me.


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