Are Bugs More Nutritious Than Meat?

DATE: 14/12/2016
AUTHOR:  Ravindra Krishnamurthy

A new research study shows that eating edible insects could provide as much or even more iron and other micro-nutrients as consuming beef.

A large percentage of the world’s population consumes meat. Unfortunately, meat production is taxing the planet, with its demand for substantially large amount of water and energy, in addition to contributing to environmental pollution. The look-out for an effective alternative is on and many sustainability researchers are buzzing with the idea of eating bugs.

The idea of eating edible bugs may seem disgusting for many Westerners, but a large proportion of the world’s population have been consuming them on a daily basis since time immemorial.

According to a United Nations report titled, “Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security in 2013”, 1900 species of insects are consumed by 2 billion people globally, especially in South and East Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. Out of these 1900 species, beetles (31%), caterpillars (18 %) and Hymenoptera i.e. the bees, wasps and ants (14 %) make-up for most part of insects consumption.

Recent studies hint that, entomophagy could be healthier than meat consumption from other animals, not only for human health, but also for the planet. An insect farm is far cheaper than maintaining a cattle ranch or a poultry farm and is perceived as a way to combat greenhouse gas emissions from livestock farming. With lesser ethical considerations, even animal-rights activists will be less grumpy about insect farms.


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