Do you want to step into the mysterious and colourful world of insects, or take a peek just for fun? We have 10 interesting facts about edible insects for you!
Entomophagy is the term for the use of insects as food
Today, entomophagy can already be considered a growing trend that is slowly making its way into Europe and the United States.
Two billion people have experience eating insects
Eating insects is common in many cultures. 36 countries in Africa, 29 in Asia, 23 in America and even 11 European countries. Thailand is considered to be the largest producer of edible insects.
Such a cockroach has about 65% protein, while beef has only 50%
Can we eat poisonous scorpions?
Examples of edible insects include grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, ants and caterpillars. But do scorpions also fall into this category? Yes! In some countries, you can find fried scorpions on a stick. But it also tastes good roasted or grilled. The sting of the scorpion loses its venom due to the heat of preparation, so you don't have to worry about getting poisoned.
The insect is a good candidate for breeding
If you're attracted to animal husbandry, you might want to think about keeping insects first. They don't take up as much space and produce protein quickly. Such farming requires considerably more effort than cricket farming! It is therefore an excellent alternative for organic enthusiasts or passionate breeders.
In many countries, various insects are eaten raw
In many countries, insects are eaten raw without preparation. In some cultures, even alive. In Kenya, for example, termites are eaten straight from the mound.
In the Congo, up to 96 tonnes of caterpillars are consumed each year
In Congo, it is a local delicacy and a regular diet, so it is no wonder that caterpillar consumption soars to these numbers.
Edible insects as a flavour and colour additive
Flavour and colour additives in processed foods often come from insects. One of the most widely used is cochineal, which comes from the dried bodies of insects harvested mainly in Peru, Mexico or other Latin American countries. The flatworm produces a beautiful red dye for textiles. But today it is also used to colour yoghurt, candy, juice and many other foods that are red, pink or purple in colour. The label may state natural dye, carmine, carminic acid and so on. To give you an idea, it takes approximately 70 000 beetles to produce half a kilo of carmine.
The Bible and texts from ancient Rome and Greece contain references to entomophagy.
There are up to 60,000 species of weevils.
They are one of the largest families of beetles on the planet. Some species are so small that you can hardly see them with the naked eye. They are found in many foods, especially dry ones, including flour, grains, nuts, cereals and seeds. They include, for example, the bark beetle, an enemy of our coniferous forests.