An Insect-Based Diet Has Many Advantages, But Can That Convince Americans To Try One?

Here in Westchester, we like to stay on top of nutrition news. We’ve tried kale, faro, amaranth, and any other trendy food we’re told is packed with nutrients. But just how far are we willing to go to chase the next superfood? Do we draw the line when it comes to eating insects?

Yes, insects. The six-legged creatures just might be crawling on to your dinner plate. Forbes quotes Aaron Dossey, a panelist with the Institute of Food Technologies, about the many advantages of eating bugs: “Some insects are as much as 80 percent protein by weight and provide more essential amino acids than most animal proteins. They are also rich in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids.” The article goes on to note that insect protein is easy to digest.

More wellness: The 41 Best (Not Insect-Related) Superfoods

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Not only that, but Salon points out that eating bugs is better for the planet, too: “There is a strong case in favor of mass rearing insects for food, as this practice is probably less environmentally damaging than other forms of protein production,’ [researchers from the University of California at Riverside have] written.” (If you’re brave, click over to that article and watch a video about “entomophagy,” which is the “technical term for eating insects.”)

That’s not to say that insects will actually be creeping onto Westchester menus the way the ubiquitous kale salad has. But Salon also makes this pointed observation: We’re probably already eating them. What, you didn’t know the FDA has actual guidelines detailing an accepted amount of insect bodyparts (and rat hairs) in processed food? Now you do. Sorry.

So, does the thought of omega-3s and sustainable protein make that a little less gross? Maybe not, but it is food for thought.

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