Author Topic: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?  (Read 15102 times)

Offline Sonja

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Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« on: November 16, 2009, 10:48:47 AM »
How do mealworms and crickets compare to other protein sources? Are they similar to chicken or fish? Or better or worse in some ways? Apparently there are many species of crickets, e.g. field (Gryllus) or house cricket (Acheta domesticus ).

If they're an excellent source of protein, etc. I may consider farming my own ones for consumption. May even be cheaper than buying meat.

I find them gross to look at, but I'm sure I'll get over it. Or I'll just grind them into a powder or similar format that is less bug-looking.

Found some info here http://www.manataka.org/page160.html

Sonja

Offline Sonja

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Re: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 10:53:31 AM »
Also, since I live in Toronto, I should check out some of our ethnic markets. Does anybody know if there are any nutritious bugs I might find in a Chinese market, for example?


Lakeside

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Re: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 12:01:45 PM »
I prefer steak, chicken and fish. Never tried worms or crickets.

Offline Rollin

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Re: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2009, 12:43:10 AM »
Never tried them but i guess id consider farming crickets if it wasn't for the noise. :o :P :-\



« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 12:45:15 AM by Rollin »

marika

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Re: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2009, 03:56:44 AM »
Yes, I posted info in the Calcium thread. Crickets are an excellent source of Calcium.

However, while sitting outside one day I found out those darn crickets are actually hard to catch. So I don't think it would be worth the time unless a caveman was starving.

I don't know about mealworms.


Offline Il Capo

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Re: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2009, 07:43:45 AM »
The insects discussion shows up from time to time and I still don't see its merits.
I believe that insects are usually nutrient negative for humans, i.e. the amount of nutrients spent to hunt > the amount of nutrients obtained. Some numbers:

Crickets weight ~ 4g.
http://www.agrihelper.com/topics/Cricket-insect

Assuming they were all protein, that's 4g protein.

Compare with a head of lettuce, more similar to what gorillas eat:
8g protein +21g carbs.

http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2475/2

And I don't think a strong argument could be made that hunting 1 or 2 crickets is less energy consuming than just eating 600 g of plant matter.

Now if we consider mass capturing of crickets, then a case could be made, but I'm struggling to see how paleo people would have developed such a method.

Offline Lone_woLf

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Re: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2009, 09:39:42 AM »
Huh, my post disappeared. Oh well.

http://www.food-insects.com/

Offline Lascaux

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Re: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2009, 10:13:25 AM »
Here's a study where there's evidence of a diet that took advantage of the Mormon cricket population surge:

Link: http://www.food-insects.com/Vol3%20no1.htm  (From the Insects as Food Newsletter.  Insects as food: aboriginal entomophagy in the Great Basin. Mark Q. Sutton.  Ballena Press Anthropological Papers No. 33, 115 pp., 1988. )

(Edit: Thanks Lone_Wolf!) :D
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 10:19:21 AM by Lascaux »

Offline Il Capo

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Re: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2009, 10:32:21 AM »
Interesting study.

From the link you provided:

Quote
The author cites historical accounts of the plague proportions of this insect, frequently lasting for years on end, notes the organized manner by which they were harvested (involving large numbers of people), and concludes that it provided huge returns for the labor invested.

It seems that when the insect reached plague proportions, an organized manner of harvesting (mass capturing) evolved, thereby making their capture nutrients positive. I wonder whether agriculture is necessary for insects to reach plague proportions, though.

Quote
...crickets were not an ephemeral resource taken on an "encounter basis." The crickets probably constituted a formal part of the seasonal round,...

So they were seasonal fare for the Great Basin Indians.

Quote
Several investigators have concluded that the pandora moth provided a significantly greater nutrient return for effort expended than did plant resources.

Apparently some insects can provide positive nutrient returns.

My thoughts so far based on this discussion: ok, it is possible that some insects under some special conditions could be profitably eaten by humans. Would that mean that they should be considered an integral part of a paleo diet? I personally believe that no, as I fail to see why humans would choose them over bigger animals. A case could be made for insects vs. plants under certain circumstances, but that does not mean I will be adding them to my diet any time soon.

Offline sidhedraoi

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Re: Nutritional value of mealworms and crickets?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 11:49:34 AM »
I'm so glad that someone posted something about insects as a food source!!

I eat crickets, meal worms, grubs etc... my honest opinion is that they all taste like peanuts when roasted.

add some oil in a wok, throw them buggers in, spice it up and enjoy! very tasty!!