Like it or not, we all eat insects and bugs. Insects are very common in all of our processed food. Many of us know this by now, but we try not to think about it. If it makes you feel any better, the insects you eat are actually healthy for you. If you compare a cricket with beef, the cricket has less than half the calories. In addition, the cricket only has one third of the fat as beef with no hormones or additives. Ironically, the insects in your food are oftentimes healthier than your food.
According to the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University, we already consume insects on a daily basis. The United States Department of Agriculture has grading standards based on spoilage and insect infestation. The U.S. No. 1 grade is considered to be the least contaminated with insects. Wheat is considered to be No. 1 grade if only 1% of the wheat is bugs and insects. Have you ever seen those little black specks in your bread and wondered what it is? In sesame seeds they are allowed to be 5% bugs and insects and still be the highest quality grade. If you drink coffee, did you know that 10% of coffee beans is actually bugs and insects? Ketchup normally has 30 fruit fly eggs for every 100 grams. There is a healthy portion of bugs and insects in all of our canned foods and fresh fruit as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating eating bugs and insects necessarily. But the truth is we all eat bugs and insects on a regular basis. I am actually a vegan and I do not like the idea of eating any living thing. But there are times when it just makes sense to eat them. Today, I read on the BBC about a poor town in Nigeria that has locusts come in and eat their crops every year. For some people this would be devastating and they could starve. But after careful consideration this town decided there solution would be to eat all the locusts. They are now calling them desert shrimp and eat them deep-fried in vegetable oil regularly. In actuality, they are probably eating food that is much more healthy than many western countries.
According to the University of Ohio, the United States and Europe do not eat insects and bugs as commonly as other parts of the world. Yet they say many insects actually taste as good if not better than animals. In addition, insects and bugs require less land and food than cows and pigs do. Lastly, they are a better source of protein and contain less fat. So if you really want to stay healthy be sure to eat all your insects!