Segments in this Video

New Research Helps Bring Insects to the Table (04:11)


The future of food is being revolutionized by science as new research brings insects to the table. Some researchers believe that eating insects could have made our species smarter.

Insects Keep Nature in Balance (00:45)

Insects pollinate, clean up, and keep the rest of nature in balance. They help make our world tick. Our ecosystems wouldn't function without insects.

Eating Insects in Thailand Is Cultural Tradition (01:21)

In Thailand it is a cultural tradition to eat insects. It originated in rural areas and has spread to the cities over the last few decades.

Which Species Are the Most Popular to Eat? (02:40)

Beetles are the most popular insect to eat. These grubs and weevils make up nearly a third of all insect species consumed.

Eating Insects May Have Been Key to the Evolution of the Human Brain (03:18)

Insects are a great source of nourishment, and some researchers believe that an insect diet may have been key to the evolution of the human brain in Australopithecus.

An Insect Diet May Influence Gut Health (03:22)

Eating insects may have a positive impact on human gut health.

Insects As a Healthier Food Source Than Meat (02:04)

Insects in our diet may have made our species smarter and healthier. Today, they continue to serve as an exceptionally nutritious food source. A doubling of meat production could prove damaging to our planet.

Ectothermic Insects Are an Efficient Source of Protein (02:47)

Ectothermic insects are a more efficient source of animal protein than mammals, because they don't need to generate as much body heat. Most of the calories they eat can be converted into nutrients that we could then eat.

Insect Farming in Thailand is Surging (04:17)

Entrepreneurs in Thailand are leading a surge in insect farming, with crickets becoming the insect of choice. Farmers must keep a close eye on the weather and deal with the problem of cannibalism, but the effort is worth it, as there is healthy domestic demand for the tasty snacks. America is not quite there yet, but the bug is coming.

Eating Cicadas in Indigenous Communities (02:28)

North American Indigenous people ate cicadas. They were a traditional part of diets in many tribes.

The Future of Eating Insects in Western Cultures (04:42)

Many people in Western cultures are disgusted by the thought of eating insects, but it is largely due to a social construct. Changing perception of insects as food in the U.S. could be a challenge.

Incorporating Insects Into Food (03:04)

Some people are willing to try edible insects, especially if they are hidden in food they already know and love. Joseph's strategy of incorporating insects into food that tasters are already familiar with seems to be working, as they are not as scared or hesitant to try them as they might be if they were presented with a plate of bugs.

Using Powdered Insects As a Versatile Ingredient (01:56)

Insect powder is a versatile ingredient that can be added to a variety of foods. However, due to the high price of insect protein, it is unlikely that consumers will switch to using insect-based products.

Insect Agriculture Can Change the Way We Produce Food (08:32)

Insect agriculture has the potential to radically transform the way we produce food around the world. Canadian Mohammed Ashour runs a start-up company that hopes to bring down the costs of insect farming.

Black Soldier Fly As the Ultimate Ecowarrior (01:31)

Black soldier flies could be the ultimate ecowarriors because they don't sting, don't damage crops, and don't carry disease. They can also be used as waste recyclers because they are super-efficient at digesting rotting organic waste.

Entocycle Is Experimenting With Food Waste (03:00)

Keiran's company, Entocycle, is experimenting with food waste to feed black soldier flies. Once the flies have digested the waste, they become the ultimate natural fast food by growing nearly 5,000 times their body weight.

The Best Insects to Eat (01:51)

The experts suggest black soldier fly larvae, grasshoppers, and crickets as the best insects to eat. They say that black soldier fly larvae taste like macadamia nuts, grasshoppers taste like shrimp, and crickets taste like chips.

Credits (01:10)


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Edible Insects

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From crunchy crickets to nutty fly grubs, NOVA takes a tasty look at insect foods and how they could benefit our health and our warming planet.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL274940

Copyright date: ©2021

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