«Tasty and healthy, and there is no cholesterol». Why do people eat insects and worms

© Depositphotos / bennymartyПо the Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations, the use of insects as food can solve the problem of global hunger and boost health worldwide«Tasty and healthy, and there is no cholesterol». Why do people eat insects and worms© Depositphotos / bennymartyПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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Koreans cook for dinner silkworms, fried caterpillars Africans and Mexicans are making soup out of ant eggs. In Western countries, where insects are traditionally disliked, already make bread crickets, protein bars from worms and canned bees. RIA Novosti understood why people eat insects and how it is useful.

Delicious, safe, inexpensive

In Moscow to try fried grasshoppers and silkworm deep-fried can only be in one place — on the market «Gardener». And if you have a friend Vietnamese. Fans can order insects online Thai or Vietnamese sites, and flour or protein bars from crickets available in the American and European online stores.

In the US and the EU breeding insects on special farms and manufacturing of these food products rapidly gaining popularity. As shown by research scientists at Wageningen University (the Netherlands), greenhouse gas emissions associated with the cultivation of insect larvae, almost ten times less than in beef production (the comparison was conducted on the amount of allocated carbon dioxide per kilogram of protein obtained). The total area of land used for the cultivation of insects, 14 times less than the total territory of livestock farms.

However, recently a group of scientists from Rutgers University (USA) found that almost all living primates, including humans, have a working version of the gene CHIA. It encodes an enzyme called acidic mammalian chitinase, allowing to digest the outer coverings of insects. The modern primates of the family Dolgopyatova living on Islands in Southeast Asia and feeds mostly on insects, found five copies of this gene. As the authors work to understand how people actually can digest chitin, it is necessary to conduct further research among people from different cultures, including those who eat insects.

Anyway, the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations calls on all countries to pay closer attention to edible insects. According to the report, by 2050 the world population will reach nine billion people, and the need for protein of animal and plant origin will be doubled. However, it is now under farmland given over almost seventy percent of our planet’s surface. In such circumstances, the cultivation and consumption of insects is the most likely way to overcome the coming food crisis.