Nowadays is not as hard to find edible insects. Of course, they might not be available in your local grocery store, but a quick online search will help you in finding all the insects you might want to eat. Crickets, grasshoppers, June beetles, giant waterbugs and mealworms are some of the more popular choices of edible insects. You can order them dried, or in a form of a bar.
Eating bugs and insects for lunch may sound as a strange and disgusting idea for some people. Yet, we have to remember than is some countries they are regular fixtures in the everyday diet, supplying a great amount of protein.
Moreover, given the current trend in the population rise and the inefficiency of our food production capabilities, we may find ourselves in a situation to seek out alternative sources of protein sooner than we hope.
At this moment, we mainly rely on farming animals for food. However, as chicken, pigs and cows also need feeding at some point this is bound to become unsustainable once the population reaches a certain number.
Insects and bugs may provide an ethical solution for finding a sustainable protein source.
They require little food and space for farming. In fact, the production of one pound of beef meat requires over 1.000 pounds of feed. As a comparison, one pound of insects would take just around 100 pounds of feed.
Nutritional value of Insects and Bugs
Before turning to insects and bugs, something that I don’t think anyone of you is happy to do, we have to ask ourselves several questions.
Are they really a good source of nutrients? What varieties should we include? And how do they taste?
The last one seems to be crucial when it comes to accepting them in our diet. Even if they prove nutritious and healthy, they’ll have to also fight the prejudice of the western world, which may not be willing to readily accept them.
Yet, considering that many counties in the world – China, Brazil, Thailand – have adopted insects and bugs into their cousin, you’d have to assume that their taste is at least worth something.
Given a chance and time we may find them completely normal as well. And having in mind their nutrition values, that might be a good idea. In fact, it turns out that insects are abounding in proteins, packing more than any other protein source per gram.
If you are interested in the exact numbers, take a look at this table:
|Protein (per 100g)
Compare these numbers with the following protein sources:
|Protein (per 100g)
As we can see from the numbers, they are certainly worth a try. As a matter of fact, in addition to providing you with proteins, they also are rich in vitamins in minerals.
This is mainly due to the fact that you can eat the insects whole and raw. This is not the case with animal food sources, where we only eat the meat and leave out the bones, which are in fact full of minerals. With insects and bugs nothing is wasted. In addition, their count of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is far above that of salmon, for example.
If you still can’t get around the idea of eating bugs raw (and we don’t blame you for that), there are other ways for their consumption.
One of the most acceptable is probably consuming them as flour. Yes, there is insect flour on the market, and at this moment you can choose between mealworm and cricket flour. Mixed with other ingredients, they can be used for preparing meals.
If you are not that much into cooking with insects, you can also consume them as bars. The following products use insects for protein source and are available at the market.
Zoic bars use mealworm as protein source, and are handmade with 100% natural ingredients.
In addition to mealworms, they also contain coconut flour, cacao, cashew and dates, making them perfect post-workout snacks.
Their taste is fairly agreeable, but you mind find them bland if you are used to bars that contain artificial sweeteners.
If, on the other hand, you are an adherent to the paleo diet, they might be the perfect choice.
Zoic bars can be ordered online from their website at £10.90 for four bars.
Cricket flour is the main ingredient of these energy bars, and they are available in three flavours: raspberry and cacao; coffee and vanilla; and cacao and peanut.
Their protein content is lower than that of the Zoic bars, and because of that are not as suitable for post-workout bars, but can be consumed as snacks. In addition, you may find their sweeter taste more agreeable.
Crobar energy bars can also be ordered online at their website at a price of £26.99 for a box of 12.
Crobars are also produced with all-natural ingredients and are safe to consume.