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7 bugs we could someday be snacking on

Stink bug smoothie, anyone?

We realize this might not be the post you want to read right around breakfast, but since we’re eating bugs already with the FDA’s thumbs up, it’s an interesting trip down culinary roads of days to come examining what bugs we could be eating on purpose to curb the world’s food crisis.

Heck, grind up a few mealworms, throw in some spices and whatnot, and how different is it really going to look from that veggie burger?

Mopane caterpillars

Mopane caterpillars — the larval stage of the emperor moth (Imbrasia belina) — are common throughout the southern part of Africa. Harvesting of mopane caterpillars is a multi-million dollar industry in the region, where women and children generally do the work of gathering the plump, little insects.

The caterpillars are traditionally boiled in salted water, then sun-dried; the dried form can last for several months without refrigeration, making them an important source of nutrition in lean times. And few bugs are more nutritious: Whereas the iron content of beef is 6 mg per 100 grams of dry weight, mopane caterpillars pack a whopping 31 mg of iron per 100 grams. They’re also a good source of potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper, according to the FAO.

Stink bugs

Their name certainly doesn’t lend itself to culinary appeal, but stink bugs (Hemiptera order) are consumed throughout Asia, South America and Africa. The insects are a rich source of important nutrients, including protein, iron, potassium and phosphorus.

Because stink bugs release a noxious scent, they are not usually eaten raw unless the head is first removed, which discards their scent-producing secretions. Otherwise, they are roasted, or soaked in water and sun-dried. As an added benefit, the soaking water — which absorbs the noxious secretions — can then be used as a pesticide to keep termites away from houses.

Full story at LiveScience.

Reconsidering food.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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