Last week, the United Nations Food and Agriculture organisation suggested that edible insects could help secure the global food supply, fight world hunger, reduce greenhouse gases, and help save the environment.
We started wondering, which insects could we incorporate into our diet?
About two billion people around the world, mostly in tropical regions, already belong to cultures that traditionally consume insects. Insect-eating is even making its way into high-end dining.
We talked to Purdue University entomologist Tom Turpin and one of the report’s co-authors, Arnold van Huis, for insights into the best edible bugs.
Maguey worms are actually caterpillars that are considered a delicacy in parts of Mexico, and their little larvae are commonly found in bottles of mezcal.
Silkworms aren't just for making silk, they are also very tasty, according to the UN report. Apart from being a decent source of fat and protein, they also contain nutrients including calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins.
It may not look appetizing, but the termite is a common snack in Kenya, where they are made into crackers and muffins.
Wasp eggs are considered a delicacy in Japan. A two-pound wasp nest can fetch about $100, according to the UN FAO report.
The witchetty grub has been a favourite of Australian aboriginals, especially women and children. When raw, it is said to taste like almonds and when cooked, it — surprise, surprise — tastes like chicken.
Commonly eaten in their pupae form, cicadas are also a popular swarming insect that is easy to harvest and nutritious. The insect was even enjoyed by many Ancient Greeks, including Artisotle.
Bee larvae are also eaten (even featured occasionally in granola). Larvae do not yet have stingers and are one of the most sought after edible insects in Thailand. Beware, though, some people are allergic.
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