Eating grasshoppers for dinner might not be what you had in mind. Get ready for some new recipes, because certain cuisines are raving about the nutritional content of these little critters. In fact, eating grasshoppers might be the next superfood item. The shops are even starting to stock them as snacks. Freaky to say the least, but believe it or not, eating grasshoppers might not be such a bad idea for your health.
Of course, we all want to know whether eating grasshoppers is healthy. And if we should eat them regularly. What about the taste? Personally, the thought freaks me out, but I am willing to try if there’s enough reason to. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one cringing at the thought of ordering a grasshopper burger patty instead of a beef one. It doesn’t sound very appealing. However, certain traditions have been eating insects for years and promise that they taste great too. Better yet, eating grasshoppers might even help save the planet. It’s a lot more sustainable.
This is certainly one of the biggest food trends, and I am not sure if it’s going to disappear any time soon. Particularly with what’s going on in terms of the world trying to eat less meat. Studies state that many countries have been eating grasshoppers for years, around 2 billion people to be exact. If all those people can eat these creepy crawlies as part of their daily diet, then they must be pretty good for you.
The question is, should we all be eating grasshoppers more often?
Eating Grasshoppers Might Be The Next Step
Maybe, just maybe, eating grasshoppers will help us get closer to saving the world. As ridiculous as a request that is, that might be the reality. Think about it: we eat prawns and lobsters or crabs without even batting an eyelid. Have you seen what those look like lately? They’re pretty much like the creep-crawlies of the ocean. It’s a mental thing.
Eating grasshoppers versus eating prawns doesn’t seem that far off if you think of it now. Right?
Luckily, we have got Mexicans to thank for this crazy, yet sustainable delicacy. This is mainly because Mexicans are famous for their exotic and diverse dishes. Their diet is filled with unique flavors and one of their traditions is eating grasshoppers and other insects. They don’t even think twice and have been eating this way since before the conquest.
According to BBC UK, the most common insects that they enjoy eating are chapulines (grasshoppers) . These are mainly found in Oaxaca, Guerrero, Morelos, and the State of Mexico. They’re called chapulines because the word chapolin means ‘insect that jumps like a ball.’ This isn’t sounding very appetizing right now. However, you might want to reconsider because these guys are more nutritious than beef, chicken, and pork. They might even contain medicinal properties too!
Preparation Is Key To Eating Grasshoppers
There are other cultures that eat insects regularly, particularly in Africa, Asia, and South America. They can eat over 1,000 species of insects, including eating grasshoppers. As well as ants, wasps, beetles, crickets, and cockroaches. They also focus on preparing these insects properly too. You can get creative with frying, boiling, sautéing, roasting, or baking. All you have to do is add your seasoning for flavor.
Interestingly, people have even used insects to make flour for baking bread, crackers, and biscuits. Crazy right? According to BBC, in Thailand, the people usually deep-fry the crickets, grasshoppers, and woodworms and then sell them at the street market. People love them!
Oh! And let’s not forget about Japan. They fry wasps which are extremely popular. Then there’s China where they eat fried-scorpion. So really, eating grasshoppers is just the start for us Western folk. In fact, I think we are a bit behind these other cultures.
Protein Boost From Eating Grasshoppers
According to the National Autonomous University of Mexico, eating grasshoppers is very beneficial because of their extremely high vitamin A, B, C, and protein content. They contain far more protein than both fish and milk and even more energy than wheat does. Apparently, eating grasshoppers also have a high amount of fiber, and provide very high doses of magnesium, calcium, and zinc. These are often nutrients that we lack in our normal diets.
Doctors state that eating grasshoppers might be the next superfood because they contain 62.93% protein. We are able to digest at least 89.63% of that. Not bad at all. Therefore, we can naturally digest insects, and eating grasshoppers might significantly help improve our digestion.
Do you know those nasty diseases that we are all susceptible to getting from animal by-products? They are ones like salmonella, E-coli infection, and the H1N1 virus. Apparently, eating grasshoppers and other insects might even help reduce our chances of getting these diseases transmitted from animals to humans. So far, eating grasshoppers sounds pretty super to me! What do you think?
The only issue is that you would have to eat A LOT of these little critters to reap the full benefits of nutritional content. Especially when you compare one piece of meat to a small insect. However, eating grasshoppers might be the perfect addition to your existing diet and could be exactly what your body is lacking at the moment.
Still Not Convinced To Start Eating Grasshoppers?
It’s totally understandable if you’re not at all convinced. We realize that it might take quite a lot for you to start frying up some grasshoppers for dinner. However, research does show that edible insects like eating grasshoppers and silkworms are an extremely rich source of antioxidants.
Scientists are still questioning what these antioxidants are and how effectively they work in humans. Researchers state that the efficiency of antioxidant-rich foods is highly dependent on bio-availability and the presence of ongoing oxidative stress. This means that there are new kinds of antioxidant compounds found in eating grasshoppers. Some further clarity is required to discover the true effects of these antioxidants in humans.
However, there is no doubt that eating grasshoppers will provide your body with an outstanding amount of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. And these studies have found that they may rank even higher in antioxidants and essential fatty acids than both orange juice and olive oil.
Eating Grasshoppers To Save The Planet
Swapping chicken for a grasshopper sounds extreme, but it might be the change we need. This doesn’t mean replacing meat with eating grasshoppers, but it does mean starting to introduce them into your diet.
The thing is… eating grasshoppers will not only benefit your health, but it is extremely helpful for saving Earth too. Entomophagy means eating insects. This could help to fight world hunger and reduce pollution. In fact, the world’s population is increasing rapidly. That means we require a lot more food to feed everybody. The one thing we’re not short of is insects. There’s a lot of those around!
The other aspect is that farming animals for producing meat takes up a lot of space. There is also a bunch of controversy around the ethics of how this is done. That’s why when you compare bugs to meat, you’ll see that they hardly take up any space, water, or food. Farming and eating grasshoppers also produce fewer greenhouse gases.
As for the taste. We can’t guarantee anything. But we’ve heard that eating grasshoppers can be quite tasty when cooked with the right spices.
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