Making a meal of your pest problem!
Most people have heard of chocolate covered ants, though they consider them more of a novelty than real food. However, many different types of insects are actually edible. In fact, in some parts of the world insects make up an important protein-rich part of the everyday diet. They are also great from an ecological perspective; raising insects for food is far less damaging to the environment than other common animal sources of protein. They are also considered a low-fat alternative with protein comparable to that found in lean beef and other lean meats.
If you are open-minded enough to venture into the world of dining on insects, the possibilities are tremendous. There are at least 900,000 different species of insects, with new ones being regularly discovered. Of course, not all of these species are edible, and, in fact, some might actually be toxic. Here are some of the types of insects that are regularly, and safely, consumed by people.
Beetles are one of the most commonly consumed types of insects in the world. They are widely consumed in the Amazon basin and in Africa. Types of beetles that are regularly used as food include rhinoceros, dung, june, and long-horned beetles. They are high in protein and roasted beetles are sometimes compared to popcorn in texture and taste!
Some of the best pests to eat
While people may consume the most varieties of beetles, grasshoppers are the most commonly consumed insect. They are the tofu of the insect world because they are considered flavour-neutral and are said to pick up the flavour of whatever spices or sauces are used in their preparation. These flying insects may also be a popular food source because their swarms can be devastating to local vegetation, making people in the area look for alternative food sources.
Moths and butterflies are another favourite snack insect, though they are eaten in their larval and pupal stages, not generally after their metamorphosis. They are a dietary staple in some African countries, where they are considered a way to help prevent malnutrition. The most well-known use of moths or butterflies in food preparation may be the inclusion of agave warms in mescal production.
Ants are an incredibly high-protein snack and have essential nutrients like calcium and iron, as well. They manage to do this while being both low-calorie and low-carb. However, the only way we have had ants is covered in chocolate, which probably takes away many of the health benefits, though the taste is similar to a crisp rice cereal chocolate bar.
Everyone knows the important role that bees and other pollinators play in food production, and we regularly consume a bee product, honey, as food. However, bees and wasps can be eaten as food as well. They are usually eaten in their immature stages and people compare their flavour to that of nuts.
These are just a few of the varieties of insects regularly consumed around the globe. So, the next time you have an insect problem in your house, maybe you want to skip the insecticide and pull out the frying pan, instead! If that idea makes you feel a little queasy, no problem. Flick Pest Control is happy to help you keep pests out of your kitchen and out of your meals!
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