Insects as Food

In a recent video produced for TED-Ed by Emma Bryce called, “Should we eat bugs?” the topic of eating insects for food is main the focus.  Historically, our ancestors have been eating insects as food for centuries.  Eating insects as food was probably learned from other animals and then incorporated into our own diets.  The practice of using insects as food became a staple in our diets as it provided a new food source that could be gathered.

In the past, cultures from Greece and Rome viewed insects as food as a type of luxury food or snack.  However, the video explains how this isn’t the same today in our modern western culture.

Eating Insects Today

The “Should we eat bugs?” video talks about the history of how we began to eat bugs, and the theory that as a people, we began to move away from eating insects when we began to farm and urbanize as a civilization.  The new source of harvested crops were then at odds with insects, and people began to view them as pests that attacked this new food source being cultivated.

However, in today’s culture there are still over 2000 insects that are being eaten worldwide.  Eating insects is common practice in areas such as Cambodia, Southern Africa, Mexico, and more. They all use insects as food either whole, or in a form of ground cricket flour.  The insects as a whole or in a type of cricket flours are able to provide a healthy alternative to supplement their meals.  Why should we use insects as food?  Insects are great sources of nutrients with 80% protein by weight, and they have energy rich fat and micronutrients and minerals.  Eating insects also provides more iron than beef, and provides a great source of iron to combat iron deficiency in people around the around the world.  Furthermore, using insects as food, we are able to raise an alternative food source or cricket flour that uses less space, and has a reduced environmental impact than compared to other protein sources such as chicken, pigs, and beef.