The population of Earth is growing each year and it’s entirely possible that soon we’ll have to face some very bad news. Feeding that amount of humans is becoming harder. So what’s going to save us from imminent doom? There are two ways this can go. Either scientist will find a way of producing unlimited amounts of healthy food synthetically or we’re going to have to go back to eating insects. But do you know which insects are the most nutritious ones?
If you’ve ever been to Asia or Africa you must’ve seen dried grasshoppers sold there in the same way you’d see nuts and seeds in Europe. Local people aren’t freaked out by such an unusual snack. In fact, grasshoppers are quite nutritious. The grasshopper shell contains twice the amount of protein compared to beef, more vitamin B12 than salmon and more iron than spinach. Scientists are actually actively working on developing grasshopper flour, which in the future, can save the population of our planet from hunger.
Another source of healthy proteins you wouldn’t normally think of is termites. Dishes from termites, their larvae and eggs are very popular in African countries. Like other insects, termites can be eaten as a snack. Termite oil is also a popular product, apparently, it tastes like regular butter. Termite oil is made by boiling termites and collecting the fat that floats to the surface. That oil is later used for frying veggies and meat.
Silkworm larvae are quite a popular delicacy in Australia, China, Korea, and Japan. Tastewise fried silkworm larva resembles a ball of mashed potatoes with spices in a crispy deep-fried shell. Sounds pretty good, right? Chinese researchers say that silkworm larvae can become real salvation in the future because they are an inexhaustible source of animal protein.
Among about 2,000,000 insects known to mankind today, ants are perhaps the most popular ones when it comes to using them as food. They are especially popular in the cuisines of Cambodia, Laos, and Colombia. The use of ants is also widespread in Asian medicine. For example in China, the so-called “royal Chinese ant wine” is very popular. It is believed to strengthen the immune system and slow down the aging process.
Dried mealworms are one of the few popular insect snacks in Europe. They’re quite popular amongst the Dutch. You can hardly call dried mealworms delicious, they resemble sunflower seed shells taste-wise, but their nutritional benefits might outweigh your disgust. They contain a lot of potassium, sodium, iron, and selenium.
Palm weevil larvae
The palm weevil is a rather large insect. So the larvae are quite sizeable too, it can reach up to 8 cm in size. Also, it might not look like it, but palm weevil larvae are considered to be quite delicious. Some say that when fried it tastes like bacon. Yum.