Are the insects to eat as nutritious as this?
Many nutritionists agree that edible insects will soon be one of the essential ingredients of our dishes. In fact, international organizations encourage entomophagy. But are the insects to eat as nourishing as that?
The nutritional value of insects
Adopting an entomophagic diet is ideal for athletes. Indeed, these small animals are a source of protein importance. These macromolecules are indeed essential for the body. Proteins stimulate the renewal of biological functions. For example, the cricket contains 3 times more protein than beef. Moreover, proteins occupy 45 to 75% of the dry weight of a small animal. Thus, 100 g of crickets are enough to provide half of the regular protein requirements of a 70 kg adult. In addition, consuming 20 g of cooked locusts is equivalent to consuming a 110 g steak. Insects contain only a very small amount of fat, unlike oxen and pigs.
Vitamins are among the essential elements of the sportsman. Vitamins effectively protect muscle cells during physical exertion. In addition, these elements stimulate the recovery phase. Fortunately, insects contain multiple vitamins, including B1, B2 and B3.
The B1 is ideal for promoting the proper functioning of the nervous system and muscles.
B2 is used to convert simple foods into energy.
B3 stimulates the formation of red blood cells, the transport of oxygen in the cells, the blood circulation and the functioning of the nervous system. This vitamin is also essential for the synthesis of sex hormones and the production of neurotransmitters.
Minerals ensure the proper functioning of the athlete’s energy metabolism. Thus, the latter has an interest in consuming foods rich in iron, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium to guarantee a good performance. In the same way as vitamins, minerals are present in large quantities in insects. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder worldwide. Insect consumption thus reduces this frequent deficiency. In addition, 100 g of flour worm contains 340 mg of potassium, 60.6 mg of magnesium and 2.2 mg of iron. 100 g grass contains 1032 mg of potassium, 174 mg of calcium, 160 mg of magnesium and 8 to 20 mg of iron.
Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids are essential for the physical health of the athlete. The human body being unable to manufacture, these elements are found in food supplements and some foods. Small animals also contain essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid. It is an omega-6 stimulating the manufacture of the cell membrane. In general, all insects contain this type of fatty acid. Nevertheless, bee larvae, and grilled mygale contain a considerable amount. By the way, eating a grilled monkey is like eating a steak of red meat. Edible insects also contain a high fiber content compared to conventional meat. In fact, the flesh of locusts, ants and grasshoppers reveal a lipid content of less than 5%. Thus, these little animals are suitable for a good diet. In addition, mealworms and mealworms have 23-47% fat content.
Why eat insects?
For the environment
In addition to the nutritional benefits, entomophagy brings its benefits to the environment. Insect farming actually has only a small environmental footprint compared to traditional farms. Livestock farming is now the subject of several controversies, particularly environmental ones. Indeed, the farms, chickens, pigs and oxen generate a considerable rejection of carbon dioxide harmful for the environment. However, livestock surfaces must be doubled in order to meet the global demand of the world’s consumers. Fortunately, the production and consumption of insects presents itself as an outcome to this problem on a global scale. Producing one kilo of mealworms actually causes 10 to 100 times less greenhouse gas compared to the production of a kilo of pork. Especially since edible insects have an amazing ability to convert food. In other words, for the same amount of food, insects seem more profitable than oxen and poultry. Indeed, with a food of 10 kg, one obtains either 1 kg of beef, or 5 kg of poultry, or 9 kg of insects.
For their taste
One of the main benefits of insect consumption is their flavor. Indeed, combining a few classic dishes with a small amount of blackberries, locusts or crickets gives it more taste. Moreover, the majority of insects deposit a slight taste of hazelnut in the language. In addition, crickets and locusts are among the best edible insects. These little animals can also be served as hors d’oeuvres. In addition, these insects seem more fleshy compared to small animals. Orthoptera also have a neutral taste. Thus, these insects fit perfectly into any dish. The exoskeleton of locusts is consumed in several ways: grilling, stew … These insects can all the more serve as flour. In addition, wasps have a taste of pine nuts. The caterpillars recall the taste of beeswax. Finally, some species of bedbugs have an apple taste.
To feed the planet
FAO has spoken in favor of entomophagy. Indeed, this international body believes that edible insects represent the food of tomorrow. On the other hand, the constant increase of the world population raises the questions of the food security of the man. According to observers, world population will be 9 billion in 2050. However, current food production is the subject of much controversy. The environmental impact of intensive farming is one of the issues. Thus, insect consumption is a socially acceptable solution to feed these billions of individuals. In fact, many nations in South America, Africa and Asia have already adopted an insect-based diet. Only Europe and the United States seem somewhat reluctant to consume insects. However, Belgium seems to be gradually adopting this regime, unlike France. Moreover, it is still forbidden to grow and sell edible insects on French soil. However, the end of the century will be marked by entomophagy.