Why do we not eat insects?
A report released by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization states that there are more than 1,900 edible insect species on Earth, with around 2 billion people already eating many of these with the UK, USA and Europe being the main countries not regularly including these knowingly (See Where they are eaten) in our diet. Why??
Can we blame Disney and other media companies for producing cartoons where they are given cute faces, sing song and save the day?
Is it down to the fact that we are brought up being told that they are dirty, a pest and should be exterminated with insecticides either in the home or in Big Agriculture?
Insect uses/ products
The following is an example of how insect products are more commonly used
Honey, Propolis, Bee pollen – From bees and probably the most well-known of the insect products available.
Shellac – A resin from the female Lac bug, found on trees in India and Thailand and used as a food glaze and in coloured wood finishes.
Silk – A natural protein fibre mainly from the silk moth caterpillars.
Cochineal – Used as a red fabric and food colorant from the female scale insect
Where they are eaten
Below is a small example of places around the world where insects are eaten and dishes they can be found in
Mexico – Gusanos (maguey worms) in bottles of Mescal, Jumiles (Stink bugs), Chicatanas (Giant winged ants), Chapulines (Grasshoppers)
Japan – Hachi-no-ko (boiled wasp lavae), Sangi (fried silk moth pupae), Semi (fried cicada), Inago (fried grasshopper)
China/ Thailand – Numerous insects are eaten in these areas but a selection are Scorpions, bee larvae, fried silkworms and water bugs.
Australia – Witchetty grubs are probably the most well-known but the aborigines also used to eat moths and honey-pot ants
Brazil – Fried or chocolate coated Icas (Queen ants)
Ghana – Fried, roasted termites or termite flour.
Although they are not regularly included whole in the western diet, we do consume insect fragments more often than we might be aware of. The following are from the USDA report on allowable levels in food:
Broccoli, Frozen – Average of 60 or more aphids and/or thrips and/or mites per 100 grams
Ground Paprika – Average of more than 75 insect fragments per 25 grams
Chocolate and Chocolate Liquor – Average is 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams when 6 100-gram subsamples are examined OR Any 1 subsample contains 90 or more insect fragments
Macaroni and Noodle Products – Average of 225 insect fragments or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples
We sell a range of pasta which include cricket four, packs of whole crickets which can be eaten as they are either as they are or you can coat them in chocolate or if you like the idea of trying your own thing why not try a bag of our cricket flour (organic also available) and try some of the ideas that we have on our recipe page or just use it as a partial flour substitute.