3 Reasons You Should Eat Locusts

Locusts are sometimes solitary insects with lifestyles much like grasshoppers. But locusts have another behavioral phase called the gregarious phase. Locusts are the swarming phase of certain species of short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae.
It is just a bigger version of the grasshopper. They have been used as food throughout history. Even John the Baptist had a taste of it, it was so delicious that he made it his daily meal in the wilderness. Locusts can be cooked in many ways but are often fried, smoked or dried. Nigerians spice up this insect with something sweeter than the honey John used – its fresh pepper, salt and curry. Locust is best eaten fried with palm oil instead of vegetable oil. 100g of locust contains 11.5 g unsaturated fat and 286 mg of cholesterol. It also has fatty acids, palmitoleic, oleic and linolenic acids, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.

Locusts, like many insects, are an excellent source of protein. Species of locusts vary in protein content from about 50 percent of dry weight to almost 60 percent, making them denser in protein than cows. However, the protein of some species of locust is not considered complete because it is missing the essential amino acid methionine, which cannot be made by human beings. Overall, the protein nutritional value of locust is considered inferior to casein, which is the primary protein of dairy products.

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The percentage of fat in desert locusts is lower than their percentage of protein, but still a reasonable source, at almost 12 percent, according to a 2001 edition of the “Journal of King Saud University.” The percentages of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are 44 percent and 54 percent, respectively. Palmiteic, oleic and linolenic acids are the most abundant fatty acids. However, the researchers noted that the cholesterol content in locusts is high, about 286 milligrams per 100 grams, which is higher than that found in meat or poultry.

Other Nutrients
Locusts also contain adequate amounts of iodine, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, as well as traces of calcium, magnesium and selenium. Carbohydrate levels are very low in locusts, which makes them a good candidate for Atkins and Paleo types of diets. Some people describe cooked locust as similar to smoky flavored bacon and reasonably tasty.


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