Sunday, September 19, 2010

Didn't Your Mother Ever Tell You to "Eat Your Insects"?

Figure 2: Fried wasp larvae and pupae,
Ruili, Yunnan (Courtesy Feng Ying)
"Eat your insects", what certainly sounds gross, could turn out to be a wise advise. In a recently published eBook Durst et al. (Durst. 2010) write about the nutritional value of insects from various parts of the world.
The practice of eating insects goes back thousands of years and has been documented in nearly every part of the world. In modern times, however, consumption of insects has declined in many societies and is sometimes ridiculed as old-fashioned and unhealthy. Yet, it would be prudent to carefully consider the value of customary knowledge before discarding it too readily. Scientific analysis confirms, for example, the exceptional nutritional benefits of many forest insects, and studies point to the potential to produce insects for food with far fewer negative environmental impacts than for many mainstream foods consumed today.
Before you close your web-browser in disgust, have a look at the following table
Table 3: Protein content of common insects on a dry weight basis
>50% protein for almost all vermin! Still questioning whether you should eat the next best yellow mealworm from your kitchen? Probably, you are no real body builder, then ;-)