Hypothetic scenario. After making a wrong turn, you’re stranded in the woods somewhere deep in Alabama and can’t find your way out. After two days of searching, you’re still lost. Would you eat insects to survive? What if there was a zombie apocalypse and all the food in the world is gone? I, for one, would have to be starving and left without any other options. But folks across the globe, in countries such as Mexico, Nigeria, Thailand, and Japan eat insects as part of their everyday diet. Believe it or not, insects are packed full of nutrition! While the idea of eating a creepy, crawly, possibly hairy, winged creature may make you want to vomit, the notion that some of these bug-eyed wonders are edible is quite fascinating.
Increased Health Benefits
Many insects offer a tremendous source of protein. The average insect is around half protein by dry weight, with some insects (such as locusts) up to about 75% protein. While nutritional values vary considerably depending on the insect and how it’s cooked, most edible insects provide sufficient amounts of energy and protein. Insects also have a high content of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, are rich in copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and vitamins including riboflavin, biotin, and folic acid.
Looking to lose weight? Insects, in general, are lower in calories and saturated fats. For example, a half-cup of crickets contains 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of fat, and 5.1 grams of carbohydrates. A half-cup of ground beef contains 23.5 grams of protein and 21.2 grams of fat.
Prevent Famine and Help the Environment
According to the World Health Organization, in 2018, there were 7.5 billion people on our planet, and 815 million of them were undernourished. By 2050, United Nations estimates the world population will reach 9.8 billion, requiring us almost to double our food production. Considering we’re already running out of space to farm, famine rates are expected to rise beyond what we’ve seen so far. With ten quintillions of insects in the world vs. the current 1.468 billion head of cattle, there are plenty of bugs to go around. And while raising cattle, pigs and other farm animals take up a lot of space, bugs are small and don’t require a lot of water or food intake. Lastly, with the global meat industry being responsible for a large number of manmade gas emissions, utilizing insects for protein instead helps the global food crisis and the global climate crisis.
Which Insects in Southern Alabama Are Edible?
Many of the insects we find right here in Sweet Ole, Alabama, are edible. In general, insects that are camouflaged and harder to find typically taste better. Brightly colored insects and any insect that leaves off an unpleasant odor are probably bad. Odors indicate deadly toxins, and bright colors usually indicate that they bite or sting. The below list doesn’t encompass all of them, but it’s certainly a start. Here are some of the most common local insects eaten in other parts of the world.
Best Way to Eat Insects
While some cultures eat raw insects, experts suggest cooking insects for a more favorable taste. You can roast, grill, bake or pan sear. Cooking them thoroughly will also help to eliminate any harmful toxins, parasites, or insecticides the bugs ingested. There are dozens of recipes online, including pinterest.com if you find yourself suddenly interested in trying out this new adventure.
Thankfully, We Can Still Prevent and Eliminate Pests With Pest Control From the Professionals at Bama Pest
For those of us who are still on the fence, or are downright grossed out by the idea, thankfully, there is still pest control. Some scientists say a world food epidemic may result in our using insects for survival, but until that day comes, call on the experts at Bama Pest. Serving Mobile, Washington, and Baldwin Counties, we provide expert pest control at affordable options. Our highly effective services will stop pests in their tracks and protect you and your family. We help prevent and eliminate the following pests:
- Fleas and ticks
- Bed bugs
- Black widow spider
- Drain moth
- Fruit flies
- House flies
- House mice
- Various other rodents and bugs
Call (251) 478-7015 or contact us here to learn more. If you don’t see your specified pest on the list, give us a call anyway. For more tips and ideas on all things pest-related, check out our other blog articles.