What food value they have? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 04, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 04, 2011

Alternative Diet

What food value they have?

What would a diet of spiders and flies, mouse tails and camel toes do to the body? Is there enough nutritional value in these icky somethings to sustain human life?
Yes - in part, say experts, if eaten with fruit and vegetables to provide missing vitamins and minerals.
"It's estimated that about 70% of the world's population eats insects as a regular part of their diet," says entomologist Stuart Hine, from the insect department at London's Natural History Museum.
"They have about the same amount of protein per 100g as cheese, eggs, fish and meat. And in many insects, it's higher. But there's a difference between what's in it and what we can digest."
But insects are already widely eaten, although not in the West. Edible insects are on sale in the UK, but mainly in restaurants catering for adventurous eaters and in gourmet food halls.
In parts of Africa and Asia, where protein sources are scare or expensive, bushtucker eating is an everyday occurrence.
Most people eat insects without even realising it. There are no figures available, but some estimates put it at about 500g every year. Muesli can inadvertently contain beetle and moth larvae. "And 20% of imported dates have a small caterpillar inside."
Animal protein will become more expensive as it begins to better reflect the cost of production. Eventually insects may replace the source of protein in the coming future. So, why not try it now?

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