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Bugs and beetles: coming to a plate near you?

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  • Bugs and beetles: coming to a plate near you?

    Rome - Edible insects such as caterpillars and grubs provide important sources of protein and their consumption should be encouraged, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement on Monday.

    "Edible insects from forests are an important source of protein, and unlike those from agricultural land, they are free of pesticides," said Paul Vantomme, an FAO forestry expert.

    For every 100g of dried caterpillars, there are about 53 grams of protein, about 15 percent of fat and about 17 percent of carbohydrates, the United Nations agency said, adding that the insects are also believed to have a higher proportion of protein and fat than beef and fish with a high energy value.

    Caterpillars are also rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and iron, as well as various vitamins. Research shows that 100g of insects provide more than 100 percent of the daily requirements of the respective minerals and vitamins, the statement said.

    According to a recent FAO study, caterpillars are already an important food intake for many in Central Africa. About 70 percent of those polled by FAO in the Democratic Republic of Congo said they consume caterpillars. The figure exceeds 90 percent in Botswana.

    "Contrary to what many may think, caterpillars are not considered an emergency food, but are an integral part of the diet in many regions according to seasonal availability. They are consumed as a delicacy," Vantomme said.

    Vantomme noted that harvesting caterpillars contributes to maintaining the natural reproduction of trees and serves as a biological pest control. The insects also provide a good source of income as they require little capital input if gathered by hand.

    "The nutritional and economic value of edible insects is often neglected and we should further encourage their collection and commercialisation, given the benefits to the environment and human health," Vantomme said
    \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

    \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

  • #2
    Someone once told me that insects covered in chocolate are sold in Canada. Can anyone confirm this?

    Actually, we've all eaten insects, as the red food colouring in Smarties - cochineal - is made from Central American beetles. And why not? :)
    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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    • #3
      Mmmm I can taste the insect poo... YUM!!

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      • #4
        My partner lived in Mexico for two years. She told me there's a great cult of scorpion-eating there. It supposed to be a macho thing to improve virility. Not for this gringo!
        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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