Tags: Report Says Edible Insects Could Replace Beef

Could Edible Bugs Replace Beef?

Could Edible Bugs Replace Beef?

(Copyright Fotolia)

Thursday, 27 October 2016 02:41 PM EDT

Grasshoppers, crickets and other insects contain nutrients that could make them a good replacement to beef in the hunt for more sustainable food sources, a new report says.

Edible bugs might sound unappetizing to many Westerners, but they've long been included in traditional diets in other regions of the world, according to a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The report also notes that about 1,900 insect species have been documented as a food source globally.

That insects can be a source of protein is well established, but new research finds they may also provide other nutrients usually obtained from beef.

Iron is a particularly important nutrient that is often missing in non-meat diets, causing iron-deficiency anemia, which can lead to lower cognition, immunity, poor pregnancy outcomes and other problems.

In light of these concerns, a team of researchers from the U.K. and China wanted to find out whether commonly eaten insects could contribute to a well-rounded meal.

The researchers analyzed grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms and buffalo worms for their mineral contents and estimated how much of each nutrient would likely get absorbed if eaten, using a lab model of human digestion.

They found that the insects had varying levels of iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc.

Crickets, for example, had higher levels of iron than the other insects did. And minerals including calcium, copper and zinc from grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms are more readily available for absorption than the same minerals from beef.

The results therefore support the idea that eating bugs could potentially help meet the nutritional needs of the world's growing population, the researchers say in the report, which appears the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.



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With people seeking more sustainable sources of food, a new report proposes that edible insects could be a good substitute for meat.
Report Says Edible Insects Could Replace Beef
Thursday, 27 October 2016 02:41 PM
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