Have you ever considered eating insects for a form of protein and nourishment on the Paleo diet? Well, there are many benefits to eating insects that you might not know about!
Entomophagy is the human consumption of insects. Lately, it’s received a lot of press as insects are increasingly seen as the world’s solution to hunger crisis. Almost 2 billion people consume insects as a daily diet. If you think you could never eat insects, think twice because eating insects is good for you! Here are some reasons why:
Many insects supply more than three times the amount of protein per weight than any other known meat and even fish. Adult locusts and grasshoppers have outstanding levels of proteins as compared to raw beef, though these levels of fat, fiber and protein vary by preparation and species. Crickets also have lots of calcium which is crucial for bone development.
By comparing the nutritional value of insects to fish and even beef, it is quite clear that they are actually one of the smart foods available. Lean ground beef have protein levels at par with caterpillars, lean beef comes short of vitamin and iron levels. Actually, in many insect-eating societies, a mini livestock is equal to the daily dose of the zinc, iron, calcium and proteins required by the body.
Reduced risk of sickness
Insects are more biologically distant to humans as compared to livestock and other animals depended for protein. For instance, humans and swine are similar enough to share many diseases. This transmission of infection leads to new strains such as the swine fever which are lethal to human beings.
Think of other infections that frequently move from animals to people: bird flu, swine flu and mad cow disease. These infections easily spread due to the short taxonomical distance between people and these animals. Insects have a reduced risk of passing such diseases due to a longer taxonomical distance. Sticking to eating insects is the best way to obtain similar protein with reduced or no risk of infection.
Insects are everywhere
One other reason why insects are good for you is that they are easily available and found everywhere. There are edible insects living in farmland, water and forests. While climate change and habitat destruction reduces their population, there are still over 1,900 edible species of insects. Each species has a wide population all over the world.
Insects are free; you just have to know where to look to find them and how to bait them. However be careful not to eat any insect you get your hands on, as some insects like bees have poisonous stingers that make them less tasty. Choosing to harvest and farm insects also takes very little efforts compared to grains, livestock or even vegetables.
In a nutshell
The reasons why eating insects is good for you are multifold. They are good for your nutrition, less likely to transmit disease and are freely available. So go ahead and try some!