When it rains heavily, there are those weird insects that pop up in the aftermath and people claim they are delicious + high in protein?
Gross, I know. But they might actually be onto something here, just hear me out. According to some really smart people, livestock will not be enough to meet the rising global need for meat (see what I did there?) and so we have to find other alternatives to complement or even replace meat for our much-needed protein intake.
“What’s happening is a big concern and if meat consumption goes up further it’s going to be massively more so,” said Prof Tim Key, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford and co-author of the review. “On a broad level you can say that eating substantial amounts of meat is bad for the environment.”
Protein is a vital part of any balanced diet, seeing as they do most of the work in cells, and are required for the function of our body tissues and all that. Meat is one of the most popular sources of protein and is (if prepared well!) frankly, quite delicious. However, due to the rapidly rising global population and it’s demand for meat, we might need to start seriously considering other alternatives - like insects and edible worms.
Entomophagy, which refers to the consumption of insects by humans is widely practised globally and is as old as humans itself. In some Nigerian communities, insects are considered a delicacy and are prepared and eaten in a diverse number of ways, from roasting to frying and sometimes in vegetable soups. According to this study, eating insects is very popular in Benue State with the termite and the large African cricket being the most popular.
Views about the consumption of bugs differ wildly, scientists encourage it as they can be a high source of protein and some people (like me) find it completely gross. Between these two extremes, how do we introduce bugs into our diet in a way that *might* appeal to both ends?
Okay, I know that this sounds unbelievably gross, it’s not something I would be ecstatic about either... but, I think we can find creative ways to infuse it into our diets.
You know how some people who don’t like to see onions in their food blend it with pepper and tomatoes and cook with it? Well, that can be done with critters as well. It would serve as an extra source of protein. I came across a recipe that infuses bugs in a brilliant way. All you need to do is blend spicy jalapeno peppers, corn flour and crickets together. Dried, toasted crickets apparently adds a different flavour to the fritter.
You can probably blend different bugs into flour to be used in baking cookies, cakes etc. If you’re not averse to the idea of seeing creepy crawlies on your plate, dried, toasted and roasted bugs can provide a different texture - crunch- to meals.
Ok, I’ll stop now.
I’ve grossed myself out writing this. Maybe we can consider saving the environment and go insect heavy in our diets.
Or maybe not.