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Are bugs or insects are a good protein source?

Some say that we should be eating bugs by 2050 because of the growing population. Some blame climate change or claim that beef is not sustainable and that we need to find other sources of food.

One hundred grams of bugs contains about 12 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 5 grams of carbs. If we were to eat insects as food, we’d need to eat 4x to 8x this amount to get enough protein! It could become quite expensive to consume this many bugs each day.

The cost of edible insects could be lowered by lowering the quality of what they’re fed, but then the bugs will be less nutritious with less protein. Eating insects would also require people to give up their cultural and traditional foods which is not likely.

When you compare bugs to beef, insects do not come close in terms of protein or nutritional value. Insects also carry pathogens. A 2019 study evaluated several cricket farms that were developing edible insects. Around 81% of the crickets had parasites and 30% were potentially pathogenic. There's also a higher incidence of worms, viruses, bacteria, and fungus in crickets.

If you have an allergy to shellfish, you may also have an allergy to edible insects because they contain a similar protein. Bugs have an exoskeleton mainly composed of chitin which is an antinutrient and can not be digested by our microbiome. Chitin also blocks vitamins A and E.

Last updated: Feb 19, 2024 15:33 PM