Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What's for Dinner? Grasshoppers!

Eat more insects, say scientists. Insects are a big part of the diet of the local populace in some countries in South East Asia - as I am elsewhere in the world. Grasshoppers, wasps, locusts, crickets and dragonflies. The mental image of the Australian Aborigines eating the fat white worms will stay with me forever! And now scientists are urging everyone else to add insects to their diets.

Eating insects such as wasps and grasshoppers has health benefits and should be encouraged in the Western diet, scientists have said. The bugs are rich in protein and some minerals and are lower in cholesterol than beef or pork. Research carried out at the National Autonomous University of Mexico found that 1,700 species are eaten in at least 113 countries across the world, usually as a substitute for meat.

Grasshoppers have 20 grams of protein and just 6 g of fat per 100g while fire ants have 13.9g of protein and 3.5g of fat. Crickets are sources of iron, zinc and calcium. Eating insects also keep puts less strain on the environment because cultivating insects requires forest to be preserved rather than felled. David George Gordon, a Seattle-based naturalist and author, says: "Insects are the most valuable, underused and delicious animals in the world. "Maybe we in the West are the weirdos." (Telegraph)

No comments: