Are Bugs the New Superfood?

High in protein and sustainable, insects may just be the food of the future

Precision Nutrition

Ah, summer. A leafy tree. A comfortable hammock. Ice-cold lemonade. The chirp of crickets.

Ever considered catching a few of those bugs and tossing them on the grill?

If you’re like most North Americans, probably not. In fact, the very idea of it grosses you out. But did you know that gram for gram, crickets contain twice as much protein as steak?

And that’s just one reason that many people—fitness enthusiasts included—are starting to look at bugs as a viable source of nutrition.

Another reason? Eating bugs could be good for our planet.  

Bug Food: It’s Sustainable

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one in six people worldwide will die of hunger and undernourishment.

Good soil and fresh, clean water are quickly disappearing. Crop diversity is decreasing. Large-scale commercial livestock production is becoming increasingly difficult, especially in world regions where resources are scarce.

And guess what? Eating bugs could help solve this global problem of food shortages, over-farming, and depletion of natural resources.

The food conversion efficiency of insects is about twenty times that of cattle.

What’s more, some researchers estimate that there are as many as 10^18 (that’s 10 quintillion) individual insects alive at any given time. Even if we only eat 2000-ish types of them, that’s a pretty darn good start.

Cooking With Bugs

Let’s say you find the ethical argument persuasive and you’re keen on the nutritional profile of bugs.

You still might have a few reservations about eating bugs yourself.

So let’s get this right on the table: you don’t have to eat bugs whole, or raw.


And, in case you are wondering, bugs can taste great!

Probably the easiest way to incorporate insects into your diet is to roast them and then grind them. That’s right: we’re talking about bug flour. You won’t even notice them—except for their slightly nutty flavor.

Mixing insect flours into baked goods is easy. Here's a recipe for cricket banana bread with coconut icing. You’ll also find sources for bug flours and other products. 

And before you know it, you’ll be sprinkling mealworms on a salad like croutons. You’ll be adding bug flour to your baked goods. You’ll be tossing a few worms into your Supershake to bump up the protein.

Going Buggy

Sure, at first the idea of eating bugs might seem a bit hard to swallow. But we’re betting that in the coming years, more and more of us will start incorporating bug flours into our meals. Why not be one of the first to try it?

Barbecued cricket, anyone?

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Article Sources

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  • Chakravorty, Jharna, et al. “Practices of entomophagy and entomotherapy by members of the Nyishi and Galo tribes, two ethnic groups of the state of Arunachal Pradesh.” Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 7 no.5 (2011).
  • Durst, Patrick B., et al. Edible Forest Insects: Humans Bite Back! Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): Bangkok, Thailand; 2010.
  • van Huis, Arnold, et al. Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): Rome; 2013.