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Are Bugs on the Menu?

This Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will sit down to dinners of turkey, yams, pumpkin pie, and other traditional fare. But while we’re gorging ourselves on our L-Tryptophan-loaded protein, two billion people around the world will be eating insects instead.

Don’t worry; it’s not out of desperation. Much of the world includes insects as a regular part of their diets. Insects are actually rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins. In fact, it’s an important part of much of the world’s nutrition. In 2013, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released a report detailing the benefits of consuming insects to reduce pollution and fight world hunger.

If you walk around Bangkok, you’ll be offered all sorts of delicacies like scorpions on a stick. In Columbia, ants are roasted with salt and eaten at feasts. You can find dried crickets sold by the pound in Mexican markets, which they say are excellent pan-fried or oven toasted with a bit of oil and salt. In Uganda there is a booming trade in grasshoppers.

Other insects that are commonly eaten include slugs, snails, earbugs, worms, and even maggots. Sound disgusting? In America the “ento” (edible insect industry) is steadily growing. Farms in LA and other areas produce cricket flour for local restaurants and other businesses. Besides being packed with nutrition, insects require less land, food, and water than livestock.

Despite the advantages, edible insects remain a tough sell for most Americans. We tend to view bugs as something that ruins our food—we send back our salad if we find a fly and write a bad review on Yelp.

Keep your menu (and home) pest free during the holidays and throughout the year with the experts at Green Pest Control. Our well-trained professionals can take care of any unwelcome guests, and you can leave the insect adventures for your next trip to Thailand.