When you talk about bugs, most people react with something like “I hate bugs!” “They’re gross!” or “They freak me out!”
But people who like bugs are sometimes curious about eating them.
Insect dishes have been making headlines in recent years.
People in different countries have been eating different kinds of bug dishes for over a million years. Indonesians eat bee larvae, Koreans eat fried silkworm pupae, the Japanese boil locusts in soy sauce, and the Mexicans eat fried termite eggs.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, insects provide higher-quality protein than meat or fish and can be cultivated in a shorter amount of time and in less space—making them a great solution for the food shortages that are expected to hit us starting in 2050.
The FAO recommends eating insects as a substitute for meat.
Bugs can be cultivated in plastic greenhouses like vegetables—you can grow them as long as you keep the temperature and humidity at the right levels.
Most bugs are heat-tolerant, so I guess Thailand provides the perfect environment for them.
Thailand has more cricket farms than anywhere else in the world—some 23,000!
Research on edible insects reveals more than 2,100 types globally, and you can eat more than 50 of them in Thailand. Things like fried bamboo worms, silkworms, grasshoppers, crickets, and water bugs are all for sale in the markets.
Insects don’t just provide high-quality protein. They’re also rich in other nutrients, like fiber, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, vitamins B, C, D, and E, copper, iron, and zinc.
They’re said to help prevent anemia and lower cholesterol.
You do have to be careful, though, since eating too many of some types of bugs can cause an allergic reaction.
Thailand has recently begun exporting edible insects to Europe.
More people are getting interested in eating bugs even in places like the UK, and apparently around two in ten Germans eat insects.
It seems like insect dishes may be a good thing to suggest to people who are health-conscious.
You’re guaranteed to see them in the Thai markets, so why not go ahead and try them! Who knows? You may find yourself craving them eventually!