Insects aren’t typically a source of food for humans, but it’s becoming more and more common to see them incorporated into products for our daily consumption. As our population continues to grow, we are all looking for ways to feed the world. For those who are in support of eating insects, you’ll find that there are over 900 edible species available to humans around the world. Insects can be consumed in many different forms, and with the current concerns about sustainably feeding our population, it’s an option we’ll want to take more seriously in the future. Let’s take a look at some of the most common insect for food sources, insect proteins and how much insects are allowed in food for health and safety reasons.
Edible Insects for Humans
The list of edible insects for humans is more extensive than you could imagine. Ladybug food and fried insects are a way for you to increase your protein intake without harming the planet in the same way that eating meat does. Insects in chocolate are something that we are seeing more often today, and crickets are commonly added to these products. They offer a little extra crunch to the chocolate, but for the most part, you’ll barely notice that they are there. Instead, you’ll have a chocolate product that is higher in protein and requires less land to produce each bar of chocolate. Within North America and Europe, you’ll find that insects are usually made into different forms, such as powder, so they aren’t recognizable to the typical consumer. There is still a lot of stigma and disgust associated with eating insects, but we are sure when more people try these products in the future, this will go away.
Insect for food: mealworm powder
There are many companies that are now specializing in creating these products on a larger scale, primarily based in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. There are seven main insects species which they are using to offer humans food, and these are now being considered for mass consumption and production. Mealworm powder uses the mealworm larvae, whereas lesser mealworms are marketed as buffalo worms and are another great source of protein. The house cricket can also be made into a powder form, or fried crickets are sold on the streets in many parts of the world. Another option is the tropical house cricket, but you’ll also find products made from the European migratory locust. Finally, the black soldier fly and housefly are the other two options that offer insect for food for our growing population.
Insect for food: cricket pasta
There are many different ways in which these products are created. While insect flour is often the first way in which consumers try these products, this can then be used to make a wide range of ant food and cricket insect food products. Cricket pasta is a great example of this, and it uses cricket powder and flour to make pasta products that look and taste similar to your typical pasta you might enjoy each day. It’s a much more protein-rich food source, and you’ll find grasshopper food and other edible insects for humans will be found in our stores more and more commonly in the future.
While the powder form is the main option for consumers currently in the Western world, if we look elsewhere, it’s not uncommon to consume a fried cockroach or other insect snacks. If you’ve ever visited an exotic market, you might see insects in food and on skewers. Instead of forming them into a disguised product such as cricket chocolate, dried grasshoppers and edible insects are eaten as you would almost any type of snack. There’s much less disgust and concern surrounding insects for food elsewhere in the world, and we only hope this attitude is adopted elsewhere in the future.
How Much Insects Are Allowed In Food?
When it comes to spider food and other types of insects in food, this is still a new area of research. However, there are already laws in place surrounding by-products in food, and in the US, companies have to ensure that rice insect meal is limited in various products which are on sale. While edible grasshoppers and cockroach food wouldn’t necessarily fit under this category, it will be interesting to see what regulations are put in place in the future when it comes to insect for food.
As of the current time, peanut butter is a very controlled food example. Bug protein powder, insect fragments, and rodent hairs cannot be found in large numbers of these products, but you might be surprised to learn that they can exist within our foods. While many of us might flinch at the idea of eating fried silkworm or yellow mealworm, you might be shocked to find out insects commonly make their way into our diets already.
One of the reasons that insects are looking to be a good food source for the future is that they don’t require the land or resources that other protein sources need in order to feed our population. Insects can be used in many different ways, whether they are eaten whole or made into flour or powder. You’ll find that over the years, the ways in which these insects are used only increases, which will make them more readily accepted by our population. We highly encourage anyone to try insect-based products at least once, as you’ll find insect for food might not be quite as disgusting as you could imagine.
Have you tried insect for food already? If not, what are you waiting for? This novel food is looking to solve the issue of feeding our population, which is looking to continue to increase exponentially until 2050 and beyond. You’ll notice there are many more insect-based food products on offer now, but we only expect these to increase in the next decade or so. As more people try out insects for food, we’ll notice that it’s much more readily accepted. In the future, we could be eating insect for food in place of meat and other products, saving our planet while looking after our bodies at the same time.