Insect Flour: The Next Big Thing?
While you might not crave a dinner of grasshoppers and ants, insects are in fact excellent sources of protein, iron, and vitamins, and are low in carbohydrates and dietary fat. A new flour, called Power Flour, made primarily from ground, dried insects is currently in development, and scientists hope that it will help in the production of food for third-world countries. Many farmers are increasingly aware of the market that insects may have in the near future, and are advocating for increased use of controlled growing and production practices. More and more farmers are actually trying to produce insects, it seems, rather than to rid them from fields. Bread, crackers, and cereals are among the most commonly-produced items made with insect flour, or Power Flour. These high-protein, high-mineral foods are easily and quickly made. Since, unlike crops such as wheat and corn, insects thrive practically everywhere in the world, insect flour may be a helpful addition for countries that lack necessary growing mediums, tools, or knowledge. Even some vegetarians are jumping on board, recognizing that insect-based food may be an eco-friendly way to feed the world. Insects in the World In the United States, eating insects is admittedly not common, and most bugs are seen as a nuisance rather than a reliable and healthy food source. Certainly, not all insects are appropriate additions to a dinner plate; some destroy crops, carry deadly diseases, and induce allergic reactions. Some individuals also experience allergies to insect flour, which is why researchers continue to attempt to find an insect, or even a group of insects, that have a low-allergy threshold. Insects that are known-disease carriers are not considered for use, and it has yet to be determined whether genetically modified insects will be produced for food purposes. The consensus among food and insect scientists is this: Insects can, and probably will, help in solving some aspects of the hunger crisis. Time will tell just how this will be accomplished, and will also reveal how or if first-world countries will make use of this food source.