Saturday, June 7, 2008

Eating Bugs

One of the lead stories on today was a link to piece on why we should eat insects. It seems that eating bugs would go a long way to help solving the world food shortage. Sound totally disgusting? In 113 countries, eating bugs, scientifically known as "entomophagy", is common practice. In Mexico, some 1500 different species of bugs are served at restaurants, especially high-end restaurants.

Bugs, pound for pound, are more nutritious than meat, fish, and poultry. They contain a high proportion of protein and a fair amount of minerals. Beside the fact that insects are a good nutritional source, raising insects is far cheaper and more efficient to feed compared to feeding pigs and cattle (food conversion efficiency is 20 times better than that of beef).

It does seem quite gross to me, although I have tried fried grasshoppers once, and they were actually quite tasty. And, as this article points out, bugs may seem unpleasant because of the exoskeleton, appendages, and weird eyes, but humans, in general, have no problem eating crustaceans, which have these same characteristics and are thus the ocean-equivalent of insects. And, crustaceans eat trash and dead things from the bottom of the sea, while most insects feed on leaves and plants.

Convinced yet? Ok, maybe not yet. But, please watch this video clip from one of my favorite shows, Man vs. Wild. It's a two minute clip, but you must watch to the 2nd half of this clip where the crazy Bear Grylls eats a gigantic rhino beetle larva (he eats two in a him eat the 2nd, larger one).


Will said...

This vaguely reminds me of watching Family Feud recently with Owen. The question in the speed round was 'name something you might see floating in the ocean/water.' The top two answers given were 'dead fish' and 'trash.' I guess I'm glad they didn't say 'bodies.'

Jeanette said...

Wonder Woman would say bodies...