National Eat What You Want Day

Today is officially “Eat What you Want Day” – Have you ever eaten anything out of the norm?

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was “How To Eat Fried Worms”. As I read my book reports in class on the subject, it was met by giggles and Ewwwwws.

For the average American diner, bugs or worms are not on the menu and the thought of consuming a bug is unthinkable.

Nearly 2 billion people on the planet eat insects as a regular part of their diet. In order to normalize the eating of insects, the European Union decided to release a report last year officially stating that it was safe to eat mealworms. They went on to further release a listing of insects that are okay for human consumption with the caveat/disclaimer that insects are just as sanitary to eat as other protein sources as long as they are handled according to hygiene laws already in place from farming to distribution. 
Man eating spaghetti and crickets
The densest area of entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) can be found in a few countries in Africa. The dominant insect-eating countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and South Africa. The most commonly eaten insects include caterpillars, termites, crickets and palm weevils.
 
Last year a scientific report in an industry journal called “Critical Reviews in Food Science Nutrition” stated that there are immense nutritional benefits from eating insects. They are stacked full of B-12, iron, zinc, dietary fiber, essential amino acids, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and a bevy of antioxidants.
 
The health benefits would have done very little to console me at 12 years old as I rode on the back of my dad’s motorcycle screaming for him to go faster just as a large June Bug slammed into my tonsils. I had no choice but to swallow it and gag for the next two miles. I don’t remember how it tasted. I didn’t chew it, but I worried all night it was going to crawl back out and terrorize me in my sleep.
 
The History of biting on bugs
Just like humans have been drawn to coloring on cave walls (similar to graffiti on a train these days) since the beginning of time, eating insects is not a new fad either. For thousands of years, people in areas that are now called Zambia, Cameroon, Thailand and the Philippines have consumed insects like migratory locusts. Generally, the most widely consumed insects are beetles or beetle larvae, wasps, grasshoppers, butterflies and moths. Many people report that their flavors are similar in flavor to shellfish. Some insects also cause similar allergic reactions in diners who have shellfish allergies.
Another consideration to insect consumption for certain people is purely cultural or religious in nature. In Judaism, the book of Leviticus gives a direct message to would-be caterpillar chompers
The Torah specifically states in Leviticus 11:41 that “every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth is a detestable thing; it shall not be eaten” — except for a few locust and grasshopper species. Locusts and grasshoppers are also permissible under Islamic dietary law, and eating insects for survival is considered halal.
Since most Buddhists are peaceful to a strict degree, their religion does not condone or support killing any living creature, which would include insects.
If you aren’t planning to supplement your diet anytime soon and you would like to rid your property of this smorgasbord of nature’s bounty, Call the friendly and professional staff at Paramount Pest Solutions today: 228-896-7378.

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