Insects at Your Dinner Table
by Snipe and Celly on November 5, 2015 - 11:24pm
Many insects such as aquatic insects take an enormous part in nutrition of some cultures such as many indigenous tribes. The people of many ethnic origins living in Manipur, India consume many insects located in different bodies of water such as lakes, ponds and rivers. The most popular ones being: The Giant Water Bug, Lethocerus Indicus; the Water Scorpion, Laccotrephes Maculatus; the Water Scavenger Beetle, Hydrophilus Olivaceous; the Diving Beetle, Cybister Tripunctatus; and the Scarlet Skimmer Dragonfly, crocothemis servilia. These edible insects provide a significant amount of biological resources that are rich in protein, amino acids, fats, carbohydrates, various vitamins and trace elements.
The people who consume insects favor aquatic insects as they consider them to have a better taste and they have a high availability. Beef has an average of 28% protein while the L. Indicus has 23%, the H. Olivaceous 25%, the C. Tripunctatus 23%, the L. Maculatus 42%, and the C. Servilia 70%. From this we can understand that eating insects will not reduce our protein consumption and might even increase it if we make the right insect choices. Considering the facts that the farming of insects requires 90% less room than the farming of cattle and that we can consume 80% of certain insects while we can only consume 40% of cattle, we can understand that the price of our protein will significantly reduce due to increased stock. Due to the insect’s speed to reach full growth, farmers will be less inclined to using things such as steroids and hormones to enhance the speed of growth. This means that consuming insects will not only be cheaper, it will also cut the intake of additional hormones we get from beef, poultry, pork and other meats.
Insects, unlike mammals, have no problem having limited moving space. Therefore farming them in tight spaces would not seem like torture to them as it is for the animals we currently farm. They also have a larger population with huge species diversity which can be exploited to create perfect combinations.
The consumption of edible insects in Manipur, India ensures that the civilization meets its nutritional needs through affordable means. Although the consumption of insects has been trivialized by most of the world, it could fill many nutritional gaps in our lives. They can play a major role in ensuring we eat safely while protecting the environment. Insects are high in protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and some elements that help human health such as iron and potassium which makes them an ideal meal. Changing our diet to eating insects would be ideal to our health and environment and has enormous development potential due to a high diversity in species.
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