University Studies Benefits of Eating Bugs
We've all seen the reality shows that require people to eat bugs to complete a task. And, of course, it's not an appetizing thing to watch.
However, researchers at DePaul University are looking into whether or not a bug diet — better known as entomophagy — can provide a provide a healthy lifestyle.
Insect eating is accepted and practiced in more than 80 percent of the world, according to an article in the University's newspaper. However, in the US, it's a practice not commonly followed though it's picking up steam on the West Coast, according to the article.
Small restaurants are popping up that sell insects as food, some in very lavish recipes. Many of them are in the Bay Area, and one cook, Mónica Martínez, is leading the way with her “Don Bugito” food cart.
“A lot of people have run away,” Martínez told the paper. “Some other people, I think they have been waiting for it. And they – they don’t even ask questions. They are just ready to eat.”
While gross to most, the eating a handful of crickets will give you more protein than a hamburger. About 100 grams of cricket contains 12.9 grams of protein. That doesn’t sound like much, but the cricket only has 121 calories and just over five grams of fat, according to the article.
The rest of the cricket has a healthy amount of calcium, iron and carbohydrates. To compare, 100 grams of beef has 288.2 calories and more than 20 grams of fat. Technically the beef has more protein, but your body will absorb more protein and less fat if you eat the crickets.
Researchers would like to see a wider adoption of insect eating for nutritional value but also because the growth rate of insets is far superior to other sources of food such as animals.
Not sure we'll see cricket burgers anytime soon, but the nutritional numbers don't lie. However, the "nasty" factor is one that most consumers probably can't get over.