This is a word that not many of us here in the United States are familiar with. It means the practice of eating insects, especially by people.
You may be thinking: why do we need a word to describe eating bugs? Probably because most Western societies don’t eat insects, so we had to put a name to something we consider weird.
However, the vast majority of the world does eat insects. In fact, around 3,000 ethnic groups regularly eat insects, which is about 80% of the nations here on earth. Entomophagy is even recommended by the United Nations. So why eat insects? And if most of the world does, why don’t we?
Earthwise Pest Management is the best pest control company in Roseville and the surrounding communities. We specialize in Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which is a pest control solution that focuses on finding the source of your pest infestation in order to eliminate any recurrence. We then employ means to eradicate your pest problem with the use of pesticides being our last resort. We believe in pest control in terms of clearing out your pest problem, but not killing them unless they just won’t leave otherwise. Below, we’ll investigate the practice of entomophagy and how that could possibly help in pest control. Contact us for your next pest inspection!
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF INSECTS
Since many of us don’t consider insects food, we don’t even think about their nutritional value. Turns out this is a mistake. Insects are some of the healthiest food we can consume.
- Protein. Insects are as full of protein as you can get, beating out both beef and fish for the equivalent amounts of each food.
- Low fat.
- Low calories.
- Low carbs.
- Packed full of vitamins, such as iron, thiamine, and niacin, otherwise known as vitamins B1 and B3. Perhaps it’s time to give up your daily multi-vitamin, and eat insects instead!
Many people say insects could be an effective way to combat the rise in obesity in the United States, as it would be hard to gain a lot of weight on a mostly insect-driven diet. As well as combating obesity, eating insects could help fight malnutrition around the world. Insects are readily-available and a cheap source of food for many people. Furthermore, as the world’s population continues to climb (expected to reach nine billion people by 2050), insects could be a viable solution as there is no shortage of these little hoppers around. With over 1,900 insect species considered to be edible, the eating of insects is expected to increase in popularity.
Why Don’t People in the United States Eat Bugs?
Most people in the United States consider eating bugs disgusting, with an astounding 72% of Americans saying they would not eat bugs. However, odds are, you probably already are eating bugs, with the FDA saying that there is an allowable amount of insect parts allowed in certain products, such as chocolate and peanut butter.
Earthwise Pest Management in Roseville notes that mostly this is a cultural and a mindset issue. Insects here in the United States are mostly seen as pests. They are popularized in movies and on TV as gross and something we should be afraid of. Hence, immediately, we think kill instead of eat. However, this trend is changing, as insect restaurants are now opening up in the Western world as well.
Not convinced yet that you should add in a grasshopper or a cricket meal to your weekly food plan? Besides the health benefits, here are a few more reasons why you should consider eating insects:
- Easy to “grow.” Raising insects is relatively easy when compared to other crops. You don’t need a lot of room and insects don’t need a lot of food. They grow fast, and killing them is natural for us, so no hard feelings like perhaps you might have if you were to kill a cow, for example.
- Makes thousands of dishes. Any way you can prepare food, you can prepare insects. You can fry them, bake them, boil them, or sautee them. You can pulverize them and add them to your flour to make cricket cookies and grasshopper cake. If you’ve ever heard of the Sneaky Chef, the gal who popularized the idea of sneaking vegetables into your kids’ cookies and cakes, well now you can sneak in protein with a bit of caterpillar, too!
- Variety. With over 1,900 kinds of edible insects, odds are there will be some near you that you will enjoy the taste of.
- Great taste. Those that regularly partake of insect eating say that they taste great, from a crunchy nutty taste to a pork rind taste.
Should You Eat Your Neighborhood Grasshopper?
Earthwise Pest Management in Roseville recommends that you don’t go foraging around for insects on your own. One, you never know if the grasshopper you are about to eat just hopped through a farmer’s field full of pesticides. Furthermore, while eating these guys won’t kill you, it’s best to freshen them up beforehand. When you raise your own insects for consumption, or you buy some from a reputable insect dealer, most are fed grain a few days ahead of time in order to clear out anything nasty they might have eaten. This perhaps will put your mind at ease before you swallow these guys down.
While you can eat insects raw, it’s best to cook them just to be safe. Plus, cooking them makes them flavorful and scrumptious to eat, comparable to eating raw vegetables versus seasoned vegetables. You can also kill your own insects by freezing them, and you can remove the legs and wings. However, if this makes you squeamish, you can leave this to the professionals to handle.
EATING INSECTS IN SURVIVAL SITUATIONS
If you are ever lost in the woods or in some other kind of survival situation, insects can save your life. You just have to be careful you don’t consume any that could be toxic to you. This does not mean that you will die from eating insects (this is exceedingly rare); however, you could get sick from eating them, which would not help you in a survival situation.
If in doubt about which insects to eat, survivalists advise not to eat the brightly colored insects, such as those that are red, yellow, or orange. Instead, stick to earth tones, such as brown, black, and green. If an insect you find has a strong odor, stay away from that one, too. That is its warning to tell you not to eat it because it is toxic. If you are outdoors a lot, a good investment perhaps would be a book of edible plants and insects for your backpack.
CALL EARTHWISE PEST MANAGEMENT IN ROSEVILLE FOR PEST CONTROL SERVICES
Since insects outnumber humans 200 million to one, the odds of us ever beating them are slim. However, that is not our goal. Earthwise Pest Management in Roseville aims to control insects in your home, office, or business, not defeat them permanently. Even if humans began to consume insects in mass quantities, pest control services would still be needed. While it may help in the fight to control pests if more people ate insects, there is no hard data to say either way.
Earthwise Pest Management in Roseville believes in helping people keep pests at bay. Pests can disrupt your life considerably, especially biting or stinging insects that can cause you harm. We invest in Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which helps to find the source of your pests so we can help to ensure they do not make a reappearance at the most inopportune moments like at Thanksgiving dinner.
Our expert exterminators know what to look for and what pest control treatments will work in your particular situation and location. Whether you are fighting ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, or rodents, Earthwise Pest Management can help. Contact us today for regular pest control preventive services!