The Creepy, Crawly Miracle Food

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“Insects are high in protein, B vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc, and they’re low in fat. Insects are easier to raise than livestock, and they produce less waste. Insects are abundant. Of all the known animal species, 80% walk on six legs; over 1,000 edible species have been identified. And the taste? It’s often described as ‘nutty.’”

At the WSJ, a pair of entomology professors from the Netherlands make the case for adding insects to your diet. Not only are bugs much cheaper to produce than meat, insects produce far less waste and less greenhouse gas emissions than cows, pigs, or chickens.

If the idea of insects for dinner grosses you out, prepare to vomit into your hand—because you’re probably regularly ingesting some creepy crawlies without knowing it. The profs write:

The average person consumes about a pound of insects per year, mostly mixed into other foods. In the U.S., most processed foods contain small amounts of insects, within limits set by the Food and Drug Administration. For chocolate, the FDA limit is 60 insect fragments per 100 grams.

The professors speculate that within a decade or so, most omnivores could be dining on insects—and that we’ll all look back and think how silly it was to have avoided eating insects for so long.

Perhaps one day, if reading that last sentence in the quote above, we’ll be as likely to think mmm … chocolate as to react with the Homer-like thought mmm … insect fragments.

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