Things to bear in mind when eating insects

It's a new trend: eating insects. They are healthy and full of protein, and they could be solution to the global food shortage and the burden we are putting on our planet to produce food and, especially, meat. However, there are certain considerations to be made before you start eating insects yourself.

The High Council for Public Health and the Federal Food Agency have worked out a list of recommendations, as an increasing number of Belgian stores are selling insects.

Buffalo worms are among the 12 types of insects that are available in Belgian stores. It's no problem to eat them, but they may contain bacteria in their alimentary canal. This can be solved easily, says expert Lieve Herman: "If you boil it or fry it, the problem is solved. Also check the best before date, and keep them in a cool place."

Crickets and beetles have a skeleton, which can pose problems. "They have wings, legs and cheeks which need to be removed before you can eat them. This is because they may have a sharp edge, because of which they could perforate our guts." 

You also have to be careful if you are allergic to crustaceans or house dust mite, because there is a good chance that in that case you're also allergic to insects. This being said, consumers should not worry. "We shouldn't be afraid of eating insects if you bear in mind these guidelines. Let's not forget that insects also have a positive aspect, in terms of nutritional value and with respect to the environment."