Everyone loves to eat healthy… but have you considered that bugs might be the next health food craze?
The UN says insects might be worth adding to the food chain. With the population expected to hit nine billion very soon and crop yields seeing a steady decline, it’s time to start looking into alternative food sources, and healthier ones, too.
Of course, the report doesn’t suggest that you simply head out and start eating earthworms for dinner. Rather, it argues that we should consider insects as both a way to feed ourselves and feed the livestock that we raise for food.
Doing so, as the UN points out, may very well wind up being a lot better for our bodies and for the planet.
Bugs Over Burgers?
It’s no secret that the United States is in the middle of what many have called the “obesity epidemic.” It’s true: obesity and diabetes are rising in the United States at rates that are higher than ever before.
Many argue that it’s the proliferation and popularity of the “fast food diet” that has helped to usher in this precarious health situation.
Whatever the cause, it’s become more and more clear that we all need to eat healthier. One possible solution? Adding some delicious crawling critters to your diet!
Think that sounds horrible? Think again. Bugs are a delicacy in many countries around the world. For example, crickets are a tasty treat enjoyed by many in Africa and Latin America. In Europe, they’re also considered a special treat; they just haven’t really caught on in the US.
A (Surprisingly) Healthy Alternative
Why insects? Well, for one thing, because they’re all over the place. They’re also insanely healthy. Think about it. About eight pounds of materials are needed to produce one pound of edible meat from livestock.
For bugs, only two pounds of feed are needed to produce one pound of edible food. What’s even better is that the materials needed to raise crickets are readily available.
Your average fast-food chicken sandwich is made from animals that are loaded with artificial chemicals like Prozac (to keep them calm) and arsenic (to make the meat nice and plump). Do you really want to be putting harmful ingredients into your body?
Crickets, on the other hand, are incredibly high in protein, breed incredibly fast, and consume waste materials that we’d otherwise have to spend money cleaning up.
With all the advantages of an insect diet, why hasn’t it caught on?
Well, Psychology Today points out that marketers will have their work cut out for them making bugs palatable in America:
“[Marketers should] convince [the] public that eating crickets and other insects is salubrious, public spirited, cost effective, ecologically sensitive, culinarily adventurous, waste loss positive, global climate change negative, deliriously nutritious, fun to eat, and a direct aid to American foreign policy.”
Doesn’t that just make you want to dive into a heaping helping of delicious crickets?
If it doesn’t, it should at least make you think about the possibility of insects being used as feed for animals. Whether people start dining on them, or we begin taking advantage of their presence to raise our livestock, it’s looking like insects might become part of a relatively normal diet sometime soon.
Do you have any crazy eating habits that are surprisingly nutritious? Let us know in the comments.