Eating insects: The most sustainable and healthy option?!

Eating ecologically, eating sustainably, eating healthy… Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re  allowed to eat these days. I would like to discuss a combination of all three,  which The Guardian considers to be the food of the future: Insects.

During our fieldtrip to exhibition “De Etende Mens” in Eindhoven, The Netherlands we already got familiar with this matter as a part of the exhibition was devoted to future foods and insects. We were all a bit sceptical about the idea as we couldn’t imagine ourselves eating grasshoppers and maggots, but maybe we just need to get used it? I couldn’t help but thinking of Disney’s Lion King, when ‘Simba’ adapts to his new friends and forces himself to eat insects and after that actually quite likes them… Maybe we all need a Lion King-moment to get used to something new?

As you may know, eating insects isn’t that strange in countries such as Thailand where fried spiders and centipedes are available on local markets and restaurants. A very sustainable and healthy  choice, since insects can be multiplied easily, only a minimum of space and resources are needed and has a very low carbon emission. Furthermore most insects contain 40 to 70% protein, which is much more than e.g. sweet corn with only 10%. So why are we not eating it then? One of the reasons might be that insects are not that common in e.g. Europe, since at least 24% of all eatable insects live in Asia, 38% in Africa and only 2% in Europe (Duurzaaminsecteneten, 2012).

I must admit that I don’t think that I will be eating insects in the near future and I’m not expecting you to do so (unless you’re from one of those countries where it’s part of daily life of course!), however maybe we should try to get used to the idea and not creep out when hearing about it or seeing it? Therefore, I included a few pictures of the exhibition ‘De Etende Mens’ and other pictures of eatable insects for you so you can see and decide for yourself what you think! I also included a few pictures of the insect scene from the Lion King, to remind you of that scene in case it didn’t ring a bell just yet!

 

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Sources pictures: Walt Disney & The Guardian (2012)

Click here for a list list of eatable insects.

Enjoy!

Madelon

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