Monday 29 July 2019

Anyone For Cricket ?

No, not these guys. Well done to them though, after such a triumph. This is proving to be the summer of great sport isn't it? However, the cricket I am talking about is this chap
A new study has explored the potential benefits that could be obtained from eating insects. The study by a team of Italian researchers, discovered that grasshoppers, crickets and insects, feature a high amount of antioxidants. These chemicals play an essential role in the body’s effort to minimize the reactions which release free radicals. Free radicals are associated with cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
After the insects were ground and analyzed, the researchers discovered that they contain a considerably more significant amount of antioxidants in comparison with orange juice and olive oil, two of the foods which are often used to combat the release of free radicals.
Analysis shows that grasshoppers, silkworms, and mealworms feature up to five times the amount of antioxidants, when compared to fresh orange juice. Black ants, mealworms, and grasshoppers also feature the highest concentration of polyphenols. Fat-soluble extracts recovered from a giant cicada, African caterpillars and silkworms contain a double amount of antioxidants in comparison with olive oil. Some food scientists believe that more Western consumers will embrace the consumption of insects in the following decades.
Insects are eaten in many countries and were recently brought to the UK as food. Sainsbury’s underlined “growing interest in edible insects” as it launched a roasted cricket product in 250 shops last winter. Sainsbury’s cited evidence that insects use less land and water, and produce fewer emissions, when compared to traditional meat. So they are not only good for us, but also better for the planet.
Insects are also used as feed for livestock in some countries. It was announced only last week that the Canadian government is looking into this as the practice becomes more widespread. 
I know it a lot of my reticence is about mental perceptions - I can see that if these creatures are that good, it might be worth trying to include them in my diet. But I really enjoy my small glass of orange juice at breakfast time, and the glug of olive oil which dresses my salad. I am not so keen on crunching a cricket, or sucking a silkworm.
They used to tell us in Sunday School that John the Baptist ate "Locusts and Wild Honey" - and then they said it was probably a bad translation - he probably ate locust beans - i.e. the carob beans. I'm now beginning to wonder if John was just ahead of his time, and had adopted the insect-based diet 2000 years before Sainsburys and the Italian Scientists discovered the benefits.


  1. I lived in Nigeria for a while and the night that the huge flying ants swarmed was the cue for a feast - but not for me! I can't envisage eating whole insects, even my Nigerian friends removed the wings - but I could imagine eating them as mince for example.

  2. Once when I was lecturing there were a couple of young ladies from Zimbabwe who were snacking on something from a paper bag. When I chatted to them afterwards they were munching roasted termites and offered me to try which I was happy to do. When they saw that I had a complete lack of squeamishness about this, one of them said let him try the ...(I didn’t catch the name) and from another bag I was offered a fat worm which was about 1.5 inches long which had more taste to it. They said these were common snacks from their home.

  3. Packages of various insects are available as snacks in many of our supermarkets now - and while 'm usually pretty adventurous when it comes to food - I admit that I'm not quite ready to go this far as yet.


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