Edible bugs high in iron
Washington, D.C. – With a growing interest in protein alternatives trending in the market, new research into the nutrient levels of edible insects like grasshoppers and crickets reveals that the human uptake of iron and other nutrients from insects can surpass those of sirloin beef.
The study published by the American Chemical Society, in its Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, evaluated the availability of common minerals including iron from four commonly eaten bugs (grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms and buffalo worms) and compared those to sirloin beef
Collectively, the data revealed that grasshopper, cricket, and mealworms contain significantly higher chemically available calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc than sirloin.
Interestingly, it was found that complementing whole-wheat flour with insect or beef protein “resulted in overall decreases in mineral content and iron solubility in the composite mixtures.”
Overall the study suggests that some commonly consumed insect species could be an excellent source of iron and could make up an alternative strategy for increased mineral intake in the human diet.