Eating the right insects can provide nutrition and may be good for the planet

By Genaro C. Armas

The idea of ​​biting an insect or biting a cricket may be a little squeaky.

Don’t crush your ideas until you give them an idea for this food.

About 2 billion people around the world are already eating insect To supplement their diet, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This habit is known as insect food. According to the United Nations, consuming the right creatures can address the pressing issue of food security, which is expected to increase the world’s population to 9.8 billion by 2050. Insects can provide nutrients that include high protein, fat and minerals.

But it’s not just about food shortages. According to FAO, insects are a staple of the diet in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America and are consumed for their taste. For example, mopane larvae are considered a delicacy in southern Africa, while Tsumugiari eggs are a treat in parts of Southeast Asia.

In Western culture, the habit of eating insects has become a little more prevalent in the last decade or so, especially since the publication of FAO’s groundbreaking 2013 report, which attracted the attention of a new audience, said entomology. Professor Sujaya Lao said. University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. This report partially links insect consumption with larger social issues such as food sustainability, safety and environmental impact.

“One of the many ways to tackle food and feed safety is by raising insects. Insects are ubiquitous, breed quickly, have high growth and feed conversion ratios throughout their life cycle, and are low. We have an environmental footprint, “says FAO. An information guide based on their reports.

Over 1,900 in the world Insect species Considered edible, beetles are the most common, followed by caterpillars, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, locusts, and crickets. Insect-appearing dishes are already becoming more and more popular, as they appear in trendy restaurants nationwide.

Famous chef José Andre’s Mexico City-style restaurant in Washington, DC offers tacos with chapulines and grasshoppers. The best-selling concession item at the Seattle Mariners home of Major League Baseball is a 4-ounce toasted grasshopper with a delicious chili lime salt seasoning. New York City’s popular East Village restaurant offers salted black ants, guacamole, and, as you might expect, ground ants.

In addition to novelty, insects can also provide healthy nutrition to the heart.

January 2021 study Critical Review in Food Science and Nutrition Insects as food may have “high superior health benefits” due to high levels of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, fiber, essential amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants Said there is. Lao pointed to crickets as a source of protein through the muscle-bound hind legs used for jumping.

Crickets and some other bugs can occur vertically, Rao said. This means that they can be grown in layers in climate-controlled facilities, offering the potential to operate all year round and leaving less environmental footprint than livestock farms. A company in London, Ontario is building what is known as a state-of-the-art facility that will become the world’s largest cricket farm.

Some products on the consumer market have bugs such as cricket powder and cricket protein bars.

“Eating insects is not common in Western countries because of the long stigma,” Lao said. However, “Using insects as an ingredient is one of the strategies, such as adding cricket powder to cookies. There is no negative image, so more people will be happy to try it.”

Rao is the author of the 2020 study. Insect science journal inside that University student We participated in a taste test survey of cricket powder brownies to evaluate their attitude toward edible insects.

Students had a taste cricket Studies have shown that flour brownies, rather than flour brownies, were unable to consistently distinguish between brownie types. They ranked the environmental and nutritional benefits associated with insect foods as well as taste factors and showed that they may purchase insect products in the future.

“It’s better to have something made by my grandmother so that it looks like what I’m used to at home,” Lao said.

Insect proteins have great potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of European consumers

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Quote: Eating proper insects can provide nutrition, obtained from on October 22, 2021 May be good for the planet (October 22, 2021)

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Eating the right insects can provide nutrition and may be good for the planet

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