5 health benefits of consuming edible insects

The insect diet was predicted to be one of the biggest trends to happen this year. 

Trend forecasters even revealed that incorporating edible insects into your diet is a healthy choice for us, and the environment, but how?

We spoke to Leah Bessa who is the co-founder of Gourmet Grubb, a local company that was the first in the world to create ice cream made from insect larvae on why it is beneficial to follow the insect diet. 

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Incorporating edible insects into your diet is a healthy choice for us, and the environment. Picture: Supplied

They are incredibly nutrient dense 

Every insect is unique in it’s nutritional profile, however, that they are high in protein, fat and minerals across the board. The black soldier fly larvae (that we extensively use) has protein and fat content comparable to beef, and zinc, iron and calcium contents that are much higher than that of beef (deficiencies found in developing and developed countries). 

Sustainable and environmentally friendly to farm 

Insects need very little water, feed and space to grow. They also produce little or no greenhouse gases compared to traditional livestock. Insects aren’t sentient beings, and they only grow in conditions in which they thrive, so the farming conditions cater to their animal welfare needs.

The unexplored flavours and textures from a range of insects for culinary exploration

Insects have been eaten in various traditions since the dawn of time, and most of that cooking knowledge is in traditional settings, leaving the Western world oblivious to the tastes and textures that insects can contribute to a dish. With all the interest and search for new flavours and foods, insects offer a wide range of options that we can still explore, if only we are open to it. 

Less climate risk

Insects are farmed indoors in controlled environments, and therefore are less at risk of being impacted by external climate patterns, which would affect traditional livestock and crop farming. 

Potential to reduce waste

Some insects, like the black soldier fly larvae, have the ability to feed on a wide range of organic matter, and can thereby reduce some of the "waste" streams from food manufacturing. For example the spent grain (leftover from brewing beer) is used to feed the larvae. 

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