Bozeman News

Sep 3, 2011 11:57 AM by Christina Lysacek (KBZK Bozeman)

MSU professor urges people to considesr eating insects

BOZEMAN- Since April of 2010, interest in eating insects has significantly increased and research done by one of MSU's entomologist Florence Dunkel has played a large roll in the buzz about edible insects.

Dunkel says about 80% of the world's population actually consumes insects and it's time that the United States jump on that bandwagon, but it's something that the Western world has not taken a liking to just yet.

"It's all our cultural training and right now it's not as accepted in America as it is in some third world countries," said Cecil Tharp, Dunkel's past teacher's assistant.

The push for people to consume insects has become heightened since a world hunger conference held last spring at Auburn. At the conference researchers from around the world, Dunkel being one of them, pointed out that eating insects could play a huge roll in stopping people from dying of starvation.

In Third World countries insects are a main source of protein in people's diets that consist of primarily grain.

"You can build a vitamin pill just like any vitamin pill you buy at the store if you put together a couple different species of insects," Dunkel said.

Bugs most commonly consumed are grasshoppers and sakatas, both contain a large amount of protein. Other primary nutrients found in insects are calcium, zinc, and magnesium.

Dunkel says that insects taste most like shrimp. She thinks that this is the year that people's opinions are going to change about the consumption of insects in the United States.


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