According to a report in 2013 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), around 2 billion people around the world eat insects as part of a traditional diet known as entomophagi. Beetles are the most commonly consumed insects, followed by caterpillars, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, and crickets. Overall, in this world there are more than 1,900 insect species that can be consumed. Entomophagi is commonly practiced in various parts of the world, including China, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and some areas in the center and south of America. To find out the benefits of eating insects for human health, let's take a look at the following!
Benefits of eating insects
1. Insects fight obesity
Insects are considered very nutritious, even the majority of them are rich in protein, healthy fats, iron, and calcium, and low in carbohydrates. Even the authors of the FAO report claim that insects are the same or even more nutritious than the meat we normally consume, such as beef.
For example, in 100 grams of crickets it contains about 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of fat, and 5.1 grams of carbohydrates. Meanwhile, 100 grams of beef contains more protein, which is around 23.5 grams, and it is also much higher in fat, which is around 21.2 grams.
The low fat content of insects has caused some researchers, such as those involved in the FAO report, to suggest entophomagi which might be an effective way to combat obesity and related diseases. In 2014, the Daily Mail reported that there was one person from the United States who changed his Western diet by eating insects. At first he thought a bowl of crispy cricket was a nut, and he claimed that eating insects helped him lose weight.
2. A powerful insect against malnutrition
The benefits of eating insects or entomophagi do not stop only at weight loss. The United Nations says that eating insects can help fight malnutrition which is widely widespread in developing countries. According to UNICEF, throughout the world, almost all deaths of children under five are due to malnutrition, with most deaths occurring in Asia and Africa.
Poor nutrition, which is usually caused by lack of food availability and inability to digest food, can increase the risk of life-threatening diseases. Moreover, malnutrition in the first 1000 days of a human being will inhibit growth and damage cognitive function. As well as being a good source of healthy fats and protein, insects are also everywhere, which means that this will be very beneficial, especially for low and middle income countries where malnutrition is very common.
FAO explains, "Because of nutritional composition, accessibility, simple maintenance techniques, and rapid growth rates, insects can offer cheap and efficient opportunities to fight nutritional anxiety by providing emergency food, and improving traditional food and livelihood quality among weak people. "
3. Environmentally friendly insects
Insects only need a little water to grow, and because they are cold blooded, they are more efficient at turning food into protein. Insects also produce far less emissions than traditional livestock, and they don't need a lot of land to grow. Many insects can consume agricultural waste, which indirectly helps to clean the environment.
Many people have eaten insects without knowing it
The Defect Levels Handbook of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States shows that, when it comes to food, it doesn't hurt to add a little insect. The organization states that there is chocolate containing 100 grams of chocolate and 60 grams of insect fragments in six chocolate samples, while in jam, there are 30 grams of insect fragments in 100 grams of jam.
Researchers claim that eating insects is safer than eating meat. Insects have a much lower risk of infecting humans with zoonotic diseases from livestock, although it has been suggested that insects must be cooked before they are consumed to destroy harmful pathogens in their bodies.
- Various Benefits of Earthworms for Health
- 4 Benefits of Being Vegetarian (Plus Cheap Festive Vegetarian Recipes)
- Various Benefits and Risks of Doing Acupuncture