Mmmm, Bugs

They have done it! They have finally done it! The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has issued a report encouraging us to eat bugs. Don't they look yummy?

Now I know that many people all over the world eat insects. Some of them are supposed to be delicacies. And some people eat them because there simply is not much else to eat. I am sure it beats going hungry.

The UN does have good reasons for the consumption of insects. They are nutritious. Many insects are very high in vital minerals, fiber, good fats, and protein.

They claim that insects are better for the environment than traditional sources of meat. It takes a much smaller amount of land to raise them. They do not give off the huge amounts of greenhouse gases and waste like larger animals do. We would not need to produce as much feed, such as grains, because many insects feed on waste and animal blood.

It takes about 2 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of insect meat. It takes 8 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of beef. Locusts have more of the essential nutrients than beef.

The UN also feels that the insect industry could create many employment opportunities. In some parts of the world insect farming is a big business. The insects not only feed people but they feed animals too. They are also used for medical purposes.

Beetles are a popular insect to eat. They are easy to find and can be found all over the world. Some of the most common beetles to eat are june bugs, dung beetles, long-horned beetles, and rhinoceros beetles. They can be eaten raw when they are found. Native-Americans roast them and eat them like popcorn. Beetles turn the cellulose from trees that we cannot digest into digestible fat. They contain more protein than most other insects.

Next comes bees and wasps. Honey is made by bees and I love it. Many people around the world eat them before they have completely hatched from their cells in the hive. Baby bees taste like almonds or peanuts. Wasps are more like a pine nut. If stingless bees are found they can be eaten too. I have heard that popped bees are a delicacy in places.

Members of the grasshopper family are the most widely eaten insects. This includes locusts and crickets. They are easy to catch and you can find them pretty much anywhere. They are another good source of protein. They have little flavor so they mix well with spices or other foods.

Flies, lice, edible termites, and mosquitoes are versatile. For instance, flies that eat cheese tend to taste like the kind of cheese they eat. If they live on a lake they might taste like a duck or a fish. I assume that you could feed them whatever flavor you wish for them to please your taste buds.

Caviar anyone? Water boatmen and backswimmers deposit eggs on plants in the water. You can find them in both saltwater and fresh water. Dry them and shake them from the plant stems. Eat them fresh for a fishy flavor. If you make Mexican caviar they taste similar to shrimp.

Stink bugs do live up to their names. They have anesthetic and analgesic properties. It is also said that they add a bit of apple flavor to sauces.

I fully support feeding all of us in the world. I believe that our food should be nutritious and affordable. Perhaps insects can fill the bill. I hate to be negative but I think I will pass.