The Case for Eating Insects-The Benefits and Drawbacks
It’s easy to understand why most people have a hard time getting over their aversion to insects as food. After all, many of us have been taught since childhood to think of them as something to be squashed or exterminated. But with the world’s population continuing to grow, and the demand for food rising, the idea of eating insects is gaining more traction. This is because insects are a highly sustainable source of nutrients and protein, and could play a major role in helping to feed a growing global population.
Indeed, entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) has been practiced for centuries in many parts of the world, and is gaining traction in the Western world. But before you get too excited about the prospect of tucking into a plate of bugs, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of consuming insects.
There are a number of potential benefits of eating insects. Here are some of the most notable:
1. High Protein Content: Insects are high in protein, nutrient-dense, and low in fat. For example, 100g of cricket protein contains about 21g of protein, while beef contains about 19g per 100g.
2. Sustainable Source of Food: Insects are highly sustainable sources of food. This is because they require far less energy and resources to raise than traditional livestock such as cows, chickens, and pigs.
3. Environmentally Friendly: Insect farming is also much more environmentally friendly than traditional livestock farming. This is because insects produce significantly fewer greenhouse gases and require less land and water than traditional livestock.
4. Versatile: Insects are highly versatile, and can be prepared in a variety of ways. They can be eaten whole, or ground up into a powder that can be used in baking, or added to sauces and smoothies.
Of course, there are a few drawbacks to eating insects. Here are some of the most important ones to consider:
1. Potential Risk of Contamination: There is the potential risk of contamination with harmful bacteria and parasites when eating insects. This is because they are often living in unsanitary environments, and are prone to carrying disease.
2. Not Widely Available: Unless you live in a part of the world where insects are considered a delicacy, it can be difficult to find insects to eat. In most places, they are not widely available in supermarkets or restaurants.
3. Unappealing to Many: For many people, the idea of eating insects is simply unappealing. It can be difficult to overcome the “yuck factor” and convince people to give them a try.
Overall, the case for eating insects is compelling. They are a highly sustainable source of protein, and have far fewer environmental impacts than traditional livestock. However, there are some risks and drawbacks to consider, such as the potential for contamination and the lack of widespread availability. Ultimately, the decision to eat insects is a personal one. If you’re interested in giving them a try, you should do your research and make sure you are prepared to handle the potential risks.