According to the United Nations, there are over 1,900 edible insect species worldwide, and eating more of them could help mitigate climate change, as well as fight global food insecurity. Working towards that goal, an Israeli company has been keeping busy making an infamous insect a key ingredient of some of our favorite candy and snacks.
That’s right, food technology firm Hargol has been harvesting locusts to produce a variety of treats for your sweet tooth, from gummy bears to chocolate-flavored protein bars.
The gummy bears, which come in fruit flavors like strawberry and orange, are made from locusts native to Israel. The protein bars are made from locusts that are fed organic grass beforehand, to ensure that no pesticides are involved in the process.
“Locusta migratoria is one of the two types of locusts considered to be kosher and halal,” Dror Tamir, the founder of Hargol, told Haaretz.
Can you eat locusts?
Locusts are part of the same family as grasshoppers, which are the most commonly eaten insect worldwide. What makes these insects such a popular dish — in addition to the crunch — is that they are highly nutritious. According to research, locusts contain 71 percent whole protein. They also contain omega-3, zinc, calcium, and many other vitamins. What’s more, they contain no saturated fat, making them healthier than alternative protein sources like meat and dairy.
Is eating insects good for the environment?
In addition to providing a higher nutritional value than farmed meat, a locust diet is also better for the environment. Farming locusts doesn’t need much water and the carbon footprint is also small. Plus, there are no methane emissions compared to livestock farming, where cow burps are a growing environmental problem.