According to a report of the United Nations, by the end of the century, human population will reach 10 billion. This increasing population is leading shortage of food. But the solution is already at hand – start eating Insects. It is suggested that insects might come up with a unique solution for the problem of food shortage in the near future. A research by University of Edinburg and Rural College of Scotland says that if people start eating insects, one-third of the cultivated land would be free from the pressure of producing food. Are insects a good substitute, inquires Deepali Agrahari for the2is:
Dr. Smita Singh, a Lucknow-based nutritionist says that insects can be eaten but not of all species. Edible insects no doubt have health benefits but only when they are bred in a controlled environment. Chicken and mutton are high in protein but consuming it over the limit might lead to fat accumulation. Whereas edible insects contain iron, sodium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, etc; which help in fighting pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
According to Dr. Azam Khan, there are some insects which are edible, for example – ants. They contain high amount of protein and they taste sweet. Cockroaches taste like mushroom and they are high in protein and less in fat. The larva of yellow mill worm contains Vitamin b12. Crickets contain vitamins and butterflies have protein in them. Red larva contains Vitamin E. They are good sources of essential nutrients.
Dr. Abhishek Verma, Dietician says that some insects play a vital role in maintaining the ecosystem and they cannot be eaten. In the case of the grasshopper, if it is eaten without taking out its legs, it might lead to the problem of blockage. People who are allergic to seafood might also be allergic to insects. They will be beneficial to us only if we know what the insects have eaten and where do they live.
According to a report by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Insects are a valuable source of protein and minerals. It says that insects are the food of future. They are an environment-friendly food source.
- People of Central African country Gabon consider beetle larvae and grilled termites as delicacies. The are 10% of animal protein consumed.
- People in north-eastern states of India consume termites, grasshoppers, snails, water bugs etc. These are considered as delicacies.
- Australia has restaurants which serve roasted crickets.
- Chinese have been eating insects for thousand years.
Some Edible Insects
Ants- Sweet and nutty
Cockroaches- Mushroom flavor
Water Insects- Tastes like fish
Milibugs- Tastes like potato
For more information: http://www.zmescience.com/science/news-science/insects-not-meat/