Insects as Food – Healthy and Tasty?

In many countries of the world, especially in countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, insects are considered an important part of the human diet and even a high-priced specialty. For most Central Europeans, the thought of eating insects still evokes disgust. A new European “Novel Food” regulation makes it possible for the creepy-crawlies to end up on our plates. In some restaurants they are already being offered, for example, insect burgers, locusts on a skewer, maggot chocolate, or mealworm energy bars.

Insects are good suppliers of nutrients

Insects contain high-quality protein, and a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc. So they are good suppliers of nutrients, nutritious and healthy. Insects need not shy away from comparisons with meat either. Dried migratory locusts contain just as much protein as chicken. And the high-quality amino acid composition of the insect protein is particularly interesting for athletes, as a dietary supplement or as an alternative to meat.

Beware of allergies

People with allergies should be careful when eating insects. If you are allergic to shrimp, you are also allergic to mealworms.

Proper preparation is important

Experts warn that insects should not be eaten raw, because then dangerous parasites and bacteria can be transmitted. The insects need to be properly cooked through.

Hygienic production conditions?

Insects are considered the food source of the future, but there is also criticism of the approval of the new foods. The consumer advice center complains that the hygienic conditions during production have not yet been regulated. The intestines of the insects are also not removed before eating. It is unclear what the microbes do in humans, whether the feces contain pathogens and whether the animals are contaminated with chemical pollutants. So far, the insects that end up on our plates have been sourced from Holland and Belgium. These insect farms guarantee that the animals are bred under controlled hygienic conditions, get good feed, and are processed hygienically.

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