In the time that I have been studying edible insects as an alternative protein source, I have encountered a number of myths. Some of them are half-truths, others are based on misinformation and there are others that are just plain silly. In this article I am going to look at a few of the myths I have come across and will attempt to debunk them.
1 – Spiders Are Considered Insects
This is an easy one to confuse. Spiders, and even scorpions, are Arachnids, not insects. Arachnids are creepy, crawly creatures that have eight legs. Insects only have six legs plus two antennas. However, here’s probably where the confusion comes from. Spiders sometimes use the front pair of their legs in a way that makes them appear to look like antennas. Then, they will walk on their remaining six legs like an ant does. This trick spiders often use when they invade an ant colony. Plus, spiders can secrete an odour that closely resembles the smell of an ant.
2 – Insects Have No Value
They tend to be pests to most of us but did you know insects serve a number of important purposes in our lives? I’m not talking about them just being edible insects, either. Insects pollinate flowers, help fertilize soil and recycle plant life. If we did not have bees there would be no honey and flowers, plants and so many other forms of vegetation would not grow and produce foods for us and animals without pollination. Bees are not the only ones doing all the hard work, either. Several other varieties of winged insects spread pollen just by hopping from plant to plant searching for food.
3 – You Can’t Eat Insects
Well, if you have spent any time on this website you know that edible insects are a real thing. That’s because bugs are tasty. In fact, insects have been a dietary food source for centuries and are staples in some cultures today. Over 2.5-billion people on the planet have insects in their daily meal plans and there are no less than 1,900 different edible insect species sharing the planet with the rest of us mammals. Also, insects are high in protein and are simple to prepare as a dish. Crickets, for example, are also popular in protein bars and mixed in flour for pasta and baking.
Bug Myths Are Just That…Myths
There is no doubt that the thought of eating something that flies or has antennas or is hairy with several pairs of legs is not for everyone. For myself, I’m fond of cricket powder products (pasta and protein bars) and see that as a good way to consume edible insects and avoiding the ick factor. But before you venture into dining on bugs, do your homework and ignore the myths that exist on the subject. They have little in the way of facts to back them up. For more information on insect protein check out my eBook “The Foodie Guide To Farming Insects For Protein.”
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My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.