It’s called entomophagy. That’s essentially the fancy way of saying one is inclined to dine on insects. Sure, it may not be your cup of tea but there are three very good reasons to at least consider chewing on a mealworm or crunching on a roasted cricket.
Let me explain what they are.
1 – They Are Healthy
I know you may want to argue this one but the bottom line is that insects are a healthier and more nutritious protein alternative. When you take a hard look and compare insects to fish, beef, chicken or pork it may surprise you to find that bugs are rich in protein. They also contain high values of the ‘good’ fats plus, score on the higher end of the scale when it comes to iron, zinc and even calcium.
2 – They Are Good To The Environment
This one covers a number of bases when comparing insects to conventional or mainstream protein sources. For example, the greenhouse gas emissions of insects are far less than cattle. In fact, methane is not produced by most insects. That comes mainly from cockroaches and termites and those are not very high on the edible insect scale, although some cultures do eat them. While we’re at it, pigs produce a high amount of ammonia however, insects produce significantly less.
The footprint required to raise insects is considerably smaller than for any other animal raised for food. This means that ground usually used to produce food for livestock, as an example, is far greater than that needed to feed a few thousand crickets.
The major plus here is that since insects are cold-blooded, they convert food into protein very efficiently. To compare, crickets require 12 times less feed than cattle, four times less than sheep and half the feed of pigs and chickens in order to produce equal amounts of protein. Also, insects can be fed a diet that comes from just about any organic waste stream.
3 – They Have Economic/Social Benefits
Considered extremely low-tech, insect farming costs very little to start. This makes it a great opportunity for entrepreneurs with little capital, including low income earners and even women and children. This means that mini-livestock farming can become a viable income source for anyone, regardless of social or economic status and residential location.
In addition, although the cycle required to raise and harvest insects is basic, small scale operations can be designed to be as simple or sophisticated as required. The level of investment will determine the type of farming operation that will be developed but as little space as a closet will suffice at the entry level.
Something To Think About
While this may not be enough information to push you headlong into the cricket or mealworm farming world, it should give you something to ponder. Imagine feeding your family at a fraction of the cost of beef and still receiving high quality protein in your diet.
I live in cattle country and love beef. I also enjoy poultry and fish. There is no way I would ever pull all of those things out of my menu and replace them with crickets and mealworms. However, I have the choice. Not everyone on the planet can afford meat. There is absolutely nothing wrong with insect protein and how it is used.
To find out more about the benefits of insect protein as an alternative, I have written an eBook on the subject which also includes a few simple recipes. It is titled “The Foodie Guide To Farming Insects For Protein.” Download your copy today to find out more about entomophagy.
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.