How do primates such as the great apes and lesser apes get their nutrition? Simple; they eat ants and other edible bugs. The more ants they eat, the less time the primates have to spend tracking other foods that will supply protein, vitamins, minerals and calories.
Apparently the chimpanzees were quite sophisticated in their choice of edible insects. They deliberately chose edible insects that had higher amounts of fat, calories and protein in them comparable to wild vertebrate meat.
One of the types of edible insects that are already consumed by man is butterflies and moths. In 17 different states of Mexico, butterflies – up to 67 different species – are eaten when the insects are in their larval states.
Insects are traditionally eaten in many cultures of the world. The big question is why aren’t you consuming them now?
Big Benefits of Eating Bugs, Say the Researchers
The act of eating bugs is officially called entomophagy; entomo- for bugs, and –phagy for the act of eating.
And according to German researchers, many edible insects could potentially help you meet your calorie and amino acid requirements for the day. Here’s a list of the nutrients found in bugs:
Nutrients Found in Insects
- monounsaturated fats
- polyunsaturated fats
- vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
- folic acid
It’s not just scientists in Germany who are touting eating edible insects. With the world population rising every year, scientists predict that there will be a 70-80% extra demand for animal protein foods between 2012 and 2050. That’s what scientists in the Netherlands are estimating.