“Ah, if only bugs were edible…”
Said no one at aXcelerate, ever. As a software company, we’re not usually squeamish about bugs—the technological type, at least. We don’t like them, but they’re manageable. But the other kind? The creepy-crawly, multi-legged kind? Yeah, no thanks.
Apparently, though, Australians should expect to see more bug-a-licious options on the menu soon, if the United Nations is to be believed. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) branch of the UN has compiled a report to show Westerners why they should be more open-minded toward insects as a viable option for food and feed security. After all, an estimated 2 billion people worldwide are proud insect eaters already—1/3 of the world’s population!
Entomophagy: the practice of eating insects.
FAO claims bug-eating can be promoted for health, environmental, and economic/social reasons. “Health” because insects have been found to be nutritious alternatives to chicken, pork, beef, and even fish! Bug-haters are missing out on a readily available, saturated source of protein, vitamins, fibre, and a high mineral content. Research has shown that when compared to the iron content in beef (6 mg per 100 g), bugs like locusts and grasshoppers can offer anywhere between 8 and 20 mg.
For bug recipes and advice, just ask Daniella Martin, host of the insect cooking show Girl Meets Bug and specialty blogger for The Huffington Post. Through her travels, personal experience and connections, she has gathered a list of palatable “pests,” which can be viewed here. She especially recommends wax worms, bees, wasps, and fried bamboo worms… but beetles, caterpillars, ants, grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, cicadas, termites, dragonflies, and flies are also commonly consumed.
“Things like crickets and grasshoppers will be ground down and used as an ingredient in things like burgers… They will become popular when we get away from the word ‘insects’ and use something like ‘mini-livestock.'” – Morgaine Gaye (food futurologist)
However, if you’re still not too keen on chomping some cicadas, don’t worry: you’re not the only one. FAO acknowledges that bugs may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and they expect a lot of opposition towards the proposal. But they do have a dream that one day we will live in a world where bugs will be judged not by the number of legs they possess, or by the flimsy wings on their backs, or by the greenish-goopish colour of their blood… but by their nutritious content. Their delicious, nutritious content.
Yeah, about that. We’ll pass.
For more information about this topic (and proof that we’re not making this up), check out the links below!