food · parenting · sustainability

Should I feed my kids insects?

Recently a nation-wide big bakery started selling “cricket bread” in Finland. This is not the first attempt to introduce insects in the local diet. Recently the local food authority has allowed some insects to be sold as food and it seemed some products were just ready to explode.

It’s common knowledge that insects are food in many Asian countries. Nutritional properties of insects have been widely studied, and their sustainable life-cycle has been praised. Many say it’s one of the foods of the future, one of the few alternatives that can feed the dramatically growing world population.

insect_as_food_stats

I’ve been wondering about sustainability of our family diet for some time already. I am not happy with our current food suppliers but struggle to find alternatives. I have two issues with meat: I’m afraid of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and I dislike the awful conditions slaughter animals are forced to live in. I try to buy organic meat whenever possible but selection is limited and it’s not easy to find in shops. To the day, I haven’t discovered any feasible alternative supply channel for our meat products, despite the fact we are living closer to the countryside than the capital city centre. I’ve started replacing meat with legumes, eggs, and nutritious vegetarian alternatives whenever possible. We eat meat as a main course once or twice a week for dinner or during weekends.

Could insects replace some of the meat we eat? And in view of the future population growth, should I introduce them to our diet now that my kids are small, so that they will not develop any disgust to the idea?
Cricket powder is said to contain up to six times more proteins than meat. Studies have shown that also iron, magnesium, and calcium contents are generally higher than in meat. If you compare nutritional content, the price for insect powder is actually lower than meat (I see from Amazon the average price is 80 euros / kilo).
I’ll be honest, the only way I can think of eating insects is in powder, mixed to other food. I cannot go past disgust if I see whole insects in my food. One of my New Year’s resolutions is now to try insect powder and see if it can become part of our regular diet. I’ll keep you posted on how my experiment goes!

Have you ever tried insects as food? Would you include them in your family diet? Let me know in the comments.

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