Edible Insects – As An Alternative Source Of Food

Entomophagy, or the art and culture of eating arthropods (invertebrate) animals that have a jointed body and limb, particularly insects, is actually very common in many parts of the world.

To this day, however, entomophagy is not a day to day event because of the unavailability of a regular supply of edible insects and prevalence of other cheaper food alternatives in urban and rural communities

Other negative factors are the concerns over the quality and food safety of edible insects collected from the wild and lack of public awareness of the nutritive value of edible insects. As far as species of insects eaten by people across the world is concern, there are approximately 1400 species known.

In African countries about 27 species are commonly consumed; in the Americas, 23 species; in Asia Pacific countries, 29 species of edible insects are eaten. In northern Thailand, almost 200 insect species are traditional parts of the “poor man’s diet” and many of these have moved up their market even to the capital city of Bangkok.

The Philippines also has one of the richest arthropods fawns in the world. Practically, almost all species reported eaten. As a source of food, insects are highly nutritious gram for gram. Many insects in dried or cooked form, have twice the protein content of raw meat or fish and are also rich in important vitamins and minerals.

One study has found, that a 150 gram dish of mole cricket provides seventy four percent and twenty eight percent of the daily protein and every requirement, respectively.

Other insect’ based food popularly known in most parts of the world are toasted migratory locusts and grasshopper, barbecued flavored worm crisps, chocolate coated or toasted giant ants and June beetle.

Mass production of these insects is highly encouraged and they are good sources of livelihood in alleviating rural poverty and hunger, culturing them ensure good quality of its stocks. Moreover, innovate some new recipes and its processing should be well taken care of and address them in order to get rid of that “yucky” feeling and reaction against insects as food.

Likewise, with proper context of educating and orienting the public regarding its nutritive value or maybe as source of its alternative medicinal value of these edible species should be crafted.

Generally, effective marketing support, is necessary to ensure the growth of this kind of new agri business window creating a positive outlook in public consciousness and perception.

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