In a recent study, published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Nutrition, crickets and other insects were found to be more than five times more beneficial than drinking orange juice. Insects are in fact loaded with anti-oxidants and make an appetizing meal to nearly a quarter of the earth’s population. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. The Italian study only looked at insects that are commercially available for eating currently. The highest levels of anti-oxidants were found in grasshoppers, silkworms, and crickets. These insects are all vegetarians and any carnivorous insects or arachnids that were studied had extremely low levels of anti-oxidants.
The insects were available in dust form and could be mixed into water. Even diluted, the water-insect mix still contained 75% of the anti-oxidants in orange juice. Further, the fat taken from giant cicadas and silkworms contained more anti-oxidant levels than olive oil. This study was significant because even though people know the health benefits of eating insects, this is the first time that their anti-oxidant levels were compared with classical forms. In addition to their health benefits, eating insects has small carbon, land, and water footprints compared to livestock. It will not be easy to convince everyone in eating such insects, but it is worth considering the health and environmental benefits. This is only the beginning of unleashing their anti-oxidant potential.