What Do We Eat: Bugs for Life

Insects are eaten in around 80% of the world’s nations, and are enjoyed by over 2 billion people on a regular basis. The UN advocates insects as a sustainable protein source for the expanding global population. Humans can eat 1,909 different species of insects and they are highly nutritious. Low in fat and rich in vitamins and minerals, a cooked grasshopper contains twice as much protein as a cooked chicken.

Eating insects also has environmental benefits. They require less energy to farm and can be cultivated at a much higher density than conventional livestock.

So why don’t we eat insects in the UK? It might be partly to do with our climate, as it is too cold to produce enough wild insects to form a substantial part of our diet. This could be why we have never considered them a food source. Yet many find the idea disgusting simply due to their physical appearance. However, insects are already in some of our food products. For example, red food colouring E120 (or carmine) is made from crushed beetles.

Would you eat insects? Why do you think we have such a problem with the idea in the UK? Please leave a comment below and join the discussion!

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