I have often joked that if food gets scarce, we may have to resort to eating caterpillars and now there are serious scientists saying the same thing!
Eating insects may not seem appetizing, but John Coupland, PhD, CFS, Professor of Food Science at Penn State University and spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), says insects are a sustainable alternative protein source with nutritional benefits that can’t be ignored.
- High in protein— A cricket is 65 percent protein whereas beef is about 50 percent.
- High in other nutrients— Insect protein contains a good range of amino acids and they also contain vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- Low in fat— Many insect species have less than 5 grams of fat per serving.
- Good for the environment— Insect farming can be a more sustainable practice because insects don’t need much space, can live under all sorts of conditions and easy to feed.
- Can be eaten a variety of ways— Insects can be pan-fried, boiled, sautéed, roasted, or baked with a bit of oil and salt. They can also be made into flour and used for bars, breads, crackers, and cookies.
- Abundant— Some parts of the world have over 300 species of insects. Something for everyone!
- Taste great— People describe the taste of insects as nutty with a similar flavor to shrimp and chicken. Grasshoppers, ant eggs, and wasps are considered a delicacy in several countries.