As part of our Mexico by Kitchen Theory experimental dining concept we are focusing on entomophagy – eating of insects. The are nutritious, sustainable, low emissions, low set up cost to farm, use less resources (water, feed etc) than animal farming and less processing once ready for consumption. And this is why… Do you eat insects? Yes!

Crickets need 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein, according to the report

What’s Wrong With What We Eat?‘ which highlighted the imbalance in the diets of most developed nations. It would appear our reliance on beef and chicken as a source of sustenance, and fast food has led to an imbalance in our diet with other food stuffs such as fresh fruits and vegetables as well as good old home cooked meals being left behind. I then watched a talk by Marcel Dicke entitled ‘Why Not Eat Insects‘ which focused on getting the audience to reconsider their perception of insects and showed how entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) could solve many of the world’s hunger and malnutrition issues. Although the two talks were not linked, watching them back to back inspired me to find out more about edible insects and whether or not this was just a trend in some high end restaurants (particularly those in Latin and South America) or if this was possibly a sustainable and eco-friendly way towards solving malnutrition and hunger.

Edible Insects; Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security‘.


Nutritional Value:

Food source Protein (g) Calcium (mg) Iron (mg)
Caterpillar 28.2 n/a 35.5
Grasshopper 20.6 35.2 5
Dung beetle 17.2 30.9 7.7
Minced beef 27.4 n/a 3.5

Cost and Environmental Factors:

Entomophagy and Gastronomy:

In many Latin American countries where insects remain a popular food chef’s such as Alex Atala are also serving up insects as part of refined dishes served. Even European chefs like Noma’s Rene Redzepi have tried to popularize the trend by taking the ‘yuck’ factor out of consuming crawling critters. ”I know it’s taboo to eat bugs in the western world, but why not?” Redzepi told The Guardian news paper. ”You go to south-east Asia and this is a common thing. You read about it from all over the world, that people are eating bugs. If you like mushrooms, you’ve eaten so many worms you cannot imagine. But also we eat honey, and honey is the vomit of a bee. Think of that next time you pour it into your tea.” In fact over the course of one year it is estimated we consume around half a kilo of insects through processed foods.

Eating Insects food Infographic

By Jozef Youssef

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