10 Reasons Why You Should Start Incorporating Insects Into Your Diet.
It's 2019. A time where there's so much conflicting information out there about what we should be putting on our plates.
But don't worry if you're frustrated. We're making it simple for you, and giving you the solution...
Eating insects, or Entomophagy, is the hot topic of the moment. However, don't be concerned if you don't know much about it. We thought we'd help out by compiling a list of all of Entomophagy's fantastic benefits.
So without further ado, here are our top 10 reasons why you should be eating insects...
The UN have advocated insects as being a major sustainable food source in the future, as the environmental impact of consuming insects is significantly less than that of meat products.
Insect farming is 75% more sustainable than chicken farming, and also requires 50% less water and food than livestock to be reared - making it a real win for our planet.
Protein is the macronutrient everyone's talking about these days, and rightfully so! Getting the right amount of protein is vital for all our bodily functions. Insects contain incredibly high levels of protein, on a level comparable with beef and milk.
100g of mealworms contains 55g of protein, a significant amount considering 100g of steak only contains 26g.
It's not just protein that makes insects so great. They also contain essential fatty acids, micronutrients, minerals, vitamins and fibre.
If you're looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, they are a wonderful option, as they contain high levels of antioxidants, low carbohydrates, and are sugar free!
4. World Hunger
The UN's Food and Agricultural organisation have estimated that over 2 billion people do NOT have access to safe, regular, nutritious food, and 820 million people suffer from daily hunger.
These are incredibly alarming statistics, and even graver considering the world's population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. Insects are a great solution to feeding people both now & in the future, due to their rapid growth, ease of farming, and their exceptional nutritional content.
5. Less GHG (Greenhouse Gases) Emissions
With the current crisis surrounding climate change, we need to be doing all we can to lessen our carbon footprint.
In a 2010 study, it was discovered that five different insect species were much more climate-friendly than traditional livestock. One pound of mealworm protein had a greenhouse gas footprint 1% as large as a pound of beef.
Insects are delicious, and are often considered a delicacy. Mealworms, for example, have a super mild/nutty flavour, and can be used in a wide variety of cooking. Crickets on the other hand, taste like crispy chicken, or bacon.
Look no further than the iconic scene in Disney's The Lion King, where Timon exclaims in delight as he munches on some bugs - "tastes like chicken." The next one, he describes as "pecans, with a very pleasant crunch."
Well Timon, we couldn't have said it better ourself. Hakuna Matata indeed.
There are 2000 species of edible insects in the world, and some regions even have 300 species alone. Insects also are also rapid breeders, meaning they are an incredibly efficient food solution.
Each female darkling beetle lays up to 500 eggs in her lifetime - now that's a lot of mealworms!
8. High Feed Conversion
Because insects are cold-blooded, they have a high feed conversion efficiency, which is essentially an animal's capacity to convert food into greater body mass.
So, crickets only need 2 kilograms of feed for every 1kg of body weight gain. On the other hand, cattle require 8 kg of feed for 1kg of body weight gain.
9. Land Use
Livestock currently takes up 80% of all agricultural land, yet only produces 18% of the world's calories. Cattle farming is completely land inefficient - 1kg of beef requires 255 square metres of land. Only 15 square metres is necessary to produce 1kg of crickets.
Insects can also be farmed vertically, which means they take up considerably less space!
10. You already do!
According to The Scientific American, we all eat on average between 1-2 pounds of insects annually - but we are completely unaware of it!
Foods ranging from peanut butter, to canned tomatoes, and even chocolate all contain insect fragments. The FDA's guidelines dictate a 500g jar of peanut butter is allowed to contain 136 insect parts before it's considered contaminated.
Now go and make yourself a tasty, insect-based meal - You won't regret it!
by Erin Banks