I rarely watch television. Yes, I love cartoons with the kiddos, but usually the TV I watch is educational or serves some purpose in my life. The other night I was watching Discovery Health, and they had a guy talking about the nutritional value of insects as human food. I was semi grossed out, but continued to watch. He continued to say that there are insect parts in many of the foods we eat on a daily basis. Even more disgusted, I wanted to see which foods he was talking about. He mentioned peanut butter (gasp!) and tomato based products as being high on the list.
....oh my goodness...
Background: If I get disgusted by something, I find it hard to ever eat that type of food again. My ex once told me shrimp were the insects of the sea, and that the little line down the back was their large intestine. Never ate shrimp again. Fried chicken has too many veins and arteries and gawd only knows - I never eat fried chicken anymore.
Back to the gross-out.
I decided to do some research this morning to find out if, in fact, our FDA has passed regulations about insect parts in our food. THEY HAVE. You can check it out here.
I checked out my beloved peanut butter, among some other regulars in my diet.
* There is a 30% likelihood that you will consume bug parts for every 100 grams of peanut butter.
* Golden raisins are to have no more than 10 insects or 35 fly eggs per 8 oz.
* Popcorn should have no more than 2 rodent hairs or one fecal pellet per pound.
* Frozen or canned spinach - 50 aphids or 8 leaf miners per 100 grams.
* Macaroni products - 1 bug part per gram.
* Tomato products are the worst. Tomato paste can have up to 30 fly eggs per 100 grams.
* Canned tomatoes can have either 10 eggs or 5 eggs and a maggot per 100 grams.
That's just to name a few!
So, for those of us who are watching what we eat, I thought I'd be nice and post the nutritional value of your average insect.
Termites Protein (36%), Fat (100 grams fried = 561 calories)
Caterpillars (smooth skin) - Fat (13.7%), Carbohydrates (6.1%) - Any type eating nontoxic plants
Earthworms - Protein
Silkworm and Pupae - Vitamin A, Fat (14.2%), Minerals (15%)
Larvae - Protein (23.1%), Water (60.7%)
Locust Protein, Fat, Ca, S, Fe
Grasshoppers Vitamins B1, B2
Grubs - Protein, Fat
Water Bugs - Protein (38.1%), Fat (6.1%)
There's a website right here on AOL that tells you all this stuff, plus how to prepare various insects as food.
Happy Thursday! Bon Apetit!!