10 fun facts to get familiar with eating insects

TL;DR: Sleeping is safe again.
Crickets are a delicacy in some places on earth

1. Entomophagy

The practice of eating insects is called entomophagy, which stem from the Greek éntomon, "insect", and phagein, "to eat" - we start with a bit of a boring fact...

2. Coffee is not so delicious after all

Enjoy coffee? Then you might consume already up to 140.000(!) insect fragments every year [1].

Top view of coffee in a mug
There are almost more insect fragments than coffee beans in your black gold.

3. Without coffee you're still fucked

Do not enjoy coffee? Although overstated in many cases up to almost 1 kilogram, it is estimated that everyone eats 100 grams of insect fragments on an annual basis [5].

4. Myth busted

And that does not even include all the spiders that crawl into your mouth while you sleep! Probably the most fun fact considered by everyone that is disgusted by the idea of edible insects: this is a pure myth.

5. Nothing new

About a third of the world's population - 2 billion people - already eats a variety of about 1900 edible insects regularly.

6. The Starbucks scandal

Cochineal, a very common red dye that is used to give foods like cookies, yogurt and many juices a nice color is derived from a scale insect. Until 2012, Starbucks used it for example, to color their Strawberry & Creme Frappucino [2].

7. Tasty as fuck

Consider insects gross? Many of them taste like things we are very familiar with and actually enjoy eating. Grasshoppers have a nutty taste, and deep-fried crickets taste like shrimps, for example.

8. Eat them whole?

88% of an insect is edible (the only parts that should be removed in most cases are the legs and wings), compared to only 40% of pork and beef [4].

9. Be cautious with a shellfish, nuts and dust mites allergy!

Do you have a shellfish, nuts or dust mites allergy ? Then maybe you should not try eating insects. The chitin (where the exoskeleton is made of) of insects is very similar to that of the chitin in crustaceans (e.g. crabs, lobsters, shrimps and prawns) and can therefore invoke the same allergic reaction.

10. Efficiency teachers

Insects are efficiency professionals. Crickets, for example, are 10 times more efficient with feed and 100 times more efficient with water use than cattle for the same amount of meat in the end [3].

  1. Terro. (2017). Consuming Creepy Crawlies. Accessed March 26, 2020 at: https://www.terro.com/consuming-creepy-crawlies
  2. Liz Roth-Johnson. (October 15, 2013). 6 Things About Eating Insects. Accessed March 26, 2020 at: https://scienceandfooducla.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/6-things-about-eating-insects/
  3. Matt Simon (July 8, 2016). I've Been to the Future. It Tastes Like Crickets. Accessed March 26, 2020 at: https://www.wired.com/2016/07/ive-future-tastes-like-crickets/
  4. Lisa Salmon (May 4, 2018). 20 things you need to know about eating insects – and why you should do it. Accessed March 26, 2020 at: http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/food/food-latest/20-things-you-need-to-know-about-eating-insects-and-why-you-should-do-it-11364204350846
  5. Chris. (March 19, 2020). How Many Bugs Do We Eat a Year? The True Answer. Accessed March 26, 2020 at: https://theunconventionalroute.com/how-many-bugs-eat-in-year/