Insects as food

Topics: Cattle, Water, Insect Pages: 11 (3676 words) Published: December 5, 2013
THE USE OF INSECTS AS A FOODSOURCE. IS IT THE DREAM OF IDEALISTS OR THE WAY OF THE FUTURE?

12/5/2013

THE USE OF INSECTS AS A FOOD SOURCE

It is a fact that over seventy percent of the words populous derive some level of protein and nutrients from insect-based food sources. In this country, it is looked at as uncouth or taboos to even consider such an act as consuming a cockroach or perhaps a grasshopper. This may all change if current ecological trends persist. Should a program be put into effect to begin integration of insects into the diets of Americans, for low cost, low impact sources of protein? The purpose if this paper will be to introduce the reader to the concept of universal integration (at least at some level,) of insect as a future protein, as well as a technological, and medical source. We will discuss the pros and cons associated with these topics in an unbiased informative manor and allow the reader to decide for themselves if it is indeed possible as a person as well as a society to overlook the “gross” factor associated with this topic, and see the benefits such an undertaking might hold. A considerable portion of the world lacks the means (e.g. Land, water, food,) to produce large hoofed animals such as cattle and pigs, which in European decent countries is considered the primary sources of food product. Instead they turn to select insect species that are raised in much smaller areas that require almost no space or food to produce, and unlike hoofed animals (cattle especially) have extra added benefits associated with their waste products. In the case of worms when feed newspaper they produce one of the most beneficial fertilizers known, thereby preventing heaps of paper from being dumped in to landfills, and also a means to economically produce higher yielding crops. For what it takes to bring one cow to slaughter (estimate 1200 lb X $1.50 per lb. + gas+ raising expenses) the equivalent of insects could feed thousands. Comparatively insects cost pennies per pound to produce.

Breading stock of edible type insects exist in masses over seas

Currently, industry is not set up to readily produce insects in masses. The conversion of industrial equipment and production facilities would cost a considerable amount, there by adding to the price if initial production. Because insects are not currently a food staple of the U.S.A., they would have to go through extensive testing by the F.D.A. and C.D.C. to evaluate the possible down sides of addition to food stocks.

If we compare crickets to beef, the latter contains about twice as much protein per gram (12.9 vs. 23.5 grams per 100 grams). However, take note that beef also contains more than twice the calories (121 vs. 288.2 calories per 100 grams) and almost four times the fat (5.5 vs. 21.2 grams per 100 grams) compared to crickets (F. V. Dunkel). Crickets (per 100 grams) contain 5.1 g. carbohydrates, 75.8 mg. calcium, 9.5 mg. iron, 3.10 mg. niacin, 1.09 mg. riboflavin, 185.3 mg. phosphorous, and 0.36 mg. thiamine (F. V. Dunkel). From documented accounts (if prepared properly) the taste profile of most food type insects ranges from nutty to spicy (Jadin). Insects can be vectors for disease, be poisonous, and can taste awful (Writer) (DeFoliart). Some insects such as cockroaches serve as vectors for passive intermediate hosts of vertebrate pathogens such as bacteria, protozoa, viruses or helminthes (Writer). Insects such as wasps, fire ants, bees, and some spiders have neurotoxins that can cause severe anaphylactic reactions, potentially resulting in death. Also, blister beetles contain the powerful poison cantharidin, which can be deadly to humans if ingested (Writer). Some insects are reported to have a sour taste that if not accustom to it can be found to be very off putting. This paper will go over the history...

Cited: Jadin, J., & University of Maryland Cicadamaniacs. "Cooking and Enjoying Periodical Cicadas." CICADA-LICIOUS. 2. 10, 2004.
Lardy, G., & Stoltenow, C. (1999, July). Livestock and Water. ag.ndsu. July 1999. < http://http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/ansci/livestoc/as954w.htm 4>.
Ritter, K. S. "Cholesterol and insects." Food Insects Newslett (1990): 22-31.
Sutten, M. Q. "Insects as food: aboriginal entomophagy in the great basin." Sutten, M. Q. Insects as food: aboriginal entomophagy in the great basin. Menlo Park, CA., 1998. .
Writer, S. "Top 10 Deadliest Insects. ." (2007): 76-127.
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