Certain unique foods have an eye catching quality which draw in attention from the public. One current interest is edible bugs. Although the rest of the world has been consuming these protein rich snacks, this is something that only recently has received greater attention in the states. A company called Rainbow Mealworms distributes superworms to several edible insect businesses throughout the country. From granola bars to restaurants to even lollipops, these edible bugs are finding their way into the marketplace in quite unique ways.
At this point you may be wondering, how can a worm be edible? Superworms and mealworms are not worms in the true sense of the word. They are the larval forms of darkling beetles. There are approximately 1900 edible inspect species that are good for humans to consume. “Good” means they are protein filled, along with vitamins and minerals. In addition, they have a bonus of having less fat than beef.
If that’s not enough to make you wonder if this is a potential edible source of food, check out the sustainability aspect. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the “consumption of insects … contributes positively to the environment and to health and livelihoods.” These protein filled bugs are environmentally friendly, living in trays on 8 ft. tall racks compared to the large regions of land that are needed for raising farm animals. Greenhouses gases for growing meal worms are four times less than the production of milk, pork or chicken, and up to 12 times lower than the emissions from raising beef.
In spite of all the benefits of eating insects, getting past the fact that it is indeed an insect you are consuming, is the biggest hump of the issue. To help with this, Rainbow mealworms toast the mealworms which have been described as tasting like pork rinds or roasted pecans. Whole wheat bran surrounds them, which is what they feed off of as well as what gives the warm toasted taste. So if you’re looking for a new adventure in your food journey, these snacks may not be a bad option to try.