People are always looking to eat healthier and to get more protein and more variety in their diet. What better place to start than with the ultimate protein source?
Yes, some insects are more than just annoying pests around your house. According to a new study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition caterpillars, crickets, meal worms, bees, and other bugs are more nutritious, gram for gram, than steak or chicken. In the words of the Lion King’s Timon, they’re “Slimy, yet satisfying!”
And what better way to enjoy them than dipped in a healthy portion of sweet chocolate?
A Sweet Holiday
In the US and Canada, October 14th is National Chocolate Covered Insect Day. But in most other parts of the world, they don’t need a special day to indulge in this treat… they eat bugs year round. In fact, over 1,400 species of insects are known to be eaten in 80 percent of the world’s nations.
Wasp flour crackers are popular in the Japanese highlands. In Bali, they boil de-winged dragonflies in coconut milk, season them with garlic and ginger and serve them to guests. In many Latin American countries, fire-roasted tarantulas and ants are added to native dishes.
Cicadas – the bugs that make that buzzing and clicking song through the summer – are deep fried and served like corn dogs in China. Flying termites are a popular recipe additive in Ghana. And some Chinese beekeepers claim that the fountain of youth comes from devouring bee larvae.
Sure. But What About Taste?
According to Dave Gracer, advisor for Insects Are Food, “Dry-toasted cricket tastes like sunflower seeds; katydid like toasted avocado; palm grub like bacon soup with a chewy, sweet finish. Weaver ant pupae have practically no flavor, while the meat of the giant water bug is, astonishingly, like a salty, fruity, flowery Jolly Rancher.”
It’s no wonder that in some countries they’ve started farming insects, especially after the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization pointed to insect consumption as the best defense against world hunger back in 2013.
Insect Farmers – Really?
Cricket flour is already being used in Europe to make concentrated protein bars, granola, healthier protein-packed bread and, yes, chocolate snacks.
After all, it’s easier to ignore the ick factor if the bugs are already ground up. In addition, cricket farming is better for the environment, uses a lot less of our natural resources, and is easier on the farmers, all while yielding higher density proteins. It’s a win-win.
Oh, and if you really want to consider the ick factor, you may already be consuming quite a few bugs. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approved chocolate can have an average of 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams. And a Hershey’s bar is only 43 grams. And don’t even ask about spaghetti sauce!
The good news? That isn’t a bug you’re eating in your Fig Newtons. At least not any more than in your pork loin. Nobody thinks about what those pigs eat.
So consider celebrating the second week of October with a little chocolate-covered roasted crunchiness. Don’t think about what it used to look like. Just enjoy the sweet protein!
Cooked insects on your dinner table are one thing. Live ones are another. If you’ve got a problem with creepy crawlies invading your kitchen or dining room, we can help! We use 100% organic, reduced risk pest solutions that are safe for your whole family – even the 4-legged ones. We’ve got customers from Apollo Beach to North Fort Myers who would be happy to recommend us. For more information, or to schedule your first treatment, just give us a call!