Despite what you may be thinking, this is not an article to give you the low down on different insect bites, their size, their level on itchiness, how to soothe them.
Instead, with the new craze of eating insects that is coming into London, we thought ‘Insect Bites’ would be a great name for a new chain of eateries where you can feast upon some crawly critters!
Entomophagy: The Consumption of Insects
Entomophagy is the name for the consumption of insects as a food source. In certain countries in the world, this is part of very normal everyday life. In fact, 36 countries in Africa, 23 in the Americas, 29 in Asia and 11 in Europe are described as entomophagous.
Let’s take a look at some of the delectable delights that people choose when they get the munchies:
Mexico – chocolate-covered locusts, butter-soaked ant eggs and candy-covered worms.
Thailand – many Thai bars replace our traditional peanuts or pork scratchings with fried bugs to go with a nice cold beer. Crickets, grasshoppers and a variety of worms are other alternatives when you have a hole to fill.
China – if you’re in need of a vitamin boost, roasted bee larvae or fried silkworms are the order of the day, rich in iron, copper, zinc, riboflavin and thiamine.
Japan – in rural areas of Japan it is still common to eat silk moth pupae, fried cicada and grasshopper, as well as boiled wasp larvae.
Bali – Dragonflies are a favorite snack here, barbequed with wings, or fried without wings.
Entomophagy: Insect Control
According to United Nations, the action of eating insects could actually be a good form of insect control. So does this mean that pest control will no longer be needed? That we can eat the army of ants marching through our kitchen as tonight’s film night snack? That pest controllers will never need to buy meat again? Not quite, but let’s look at the other benefits promoted by the UN:
Healthy – The nutritional benefits of eating insects make them a very healthy snack and the UN is quite right to encourage their consumption since they are generally packed with good fats, protein, fibre and vital minerals. Grasshoppers, especially, are a source of protein almost equivalent to lean ground beef and contain less fat.
Economy – Farming insects creates jobs, especially in developing countries where insects are more popularly eaten, and therefore improves the economy
Environment – needing a lot more space than cattle, sheep and pigs, farming insects has a far smaller impact on the environment. They also need much less feeding due to the fact they convert food into protein as a much quicker rate than farm animals. And of course, the gases emitted from cows are not too good for the greenhouse effect!
Insect Delicacies in London
However squeamish we may be, it would appear that insect delicacies are creeping their way onto the menus of London restaurants.
Archipelago, a multiple award winning restaurant in the 2015 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards, situated in the Fitzrovia area of London serves up a Love Bug Salad containing deep-fried locusts and crickets, and Sumer Nights with pan fried chermoula crickets.
However, Top Dog Pest Control isn’t worried that we will go out of business anytime soon with people preferring to eat boiled wasp larvae or roasted bee larvae. The usual advice and warnings apply; call Top Dog Pest Control for rapid-response service at the first sign of a pest control issue at your London home or business.
Author: This article was written by Dean Mannion, Senior Pest Control Technician for Top Dog Pest Control, who provides London insect control services.