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A report released by the ACS Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that eating bugs can provide humans with the same iron, protein and nutrients as beef.

Researchers claim that insects like crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms can give humans a healthy alternative to eating meat and fulfill that dietary need.

Although the practice of eating bugs is not so common in the Western world, it is more so in Australasia, and the Far East, where the nutritional values of eating insects have been tried and tested for hundreds of years.

Experts point out that what is viewed as unusual in Western societies, can be normal in Eastern societies. A different cultural perspective can yield some interesting insights, and potentially the transference of bold ideas from one culture to another.

According to a recent report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization bugs are included in diets in many regions around the world, areas that are home to more than 2 billion people.

“1,900 insect species have been documented as a food source globally” as a “well-established source of protein”

The report also states that around “1,900 insect species have been documented as a food source globally” and are a “well-established source of protein.”

Although protein is an extremely important part of our diets, it is also crucial to ensure insects provide other nutritional values like iron, which non-meat sources often lack.

Using a laboratory model of human digestion, researchers analyzed buffalo worms, crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms to determine what minerals and nutrients are absorbed by the digestive system.

Scientists found that the insects had “more than the sufficient levels of iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc to replace meat products”. During the tests, researchers found that crickets had the highest levels of iron than other insects, and therefore the closest substitute to beef.

Research has proven that eating bugs can help humans meet their nutritional needs, and be a viable solution to cutting out meat products from diets.

Although this might seem like a bold idea to us, the practice of eating bugs and insects has been widely accepted and common practice in many countries around the world for centuries. It certainly proves that a lot can be learned from different cultures and applied to our own to have a bold impact on health and sustainability.

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