In South Africa Mopane worms are already a traditional crunchy snack and a restaurant in Cape Town called Insect Experience now offers a full menu of insect delicacies. This restaurant was opened by Gourmet Grub, a company that has already familiarised Cape Town with dairy-free ice cream made from insect milk.

Insects are comparable to red meat with regards to protein and fat content. Though the black soldier fly larvae that is used in the dish are much higher in zinc, iron and calcium than beef. They are also high in in dietary fibre with none of the accompanying carbohydrate content.

Insect Food Safety

Some people have raised food safety concerns about eating insects. There is however, no known cases of transmission of diseases or parasites to humans from the consumption of insects.

Provided that the insects were handled under the same sanitary conditions as any other foods. Insects may also be infected with pathogenic micro-organisms, and if insects are to be consumed as food, it is vital that the processing and storage of insects, as well as the derived products should follow the same safe processing and storage practices.

Individuals that are allergic to crustaceans, which are also invertebrates, may experience allergic reactions to insects. It is also worth noting that certain parts of insects may be hazardous and additional measures should be taken before consumption, an example being parts containing toxic substances that should be removed.

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MEGAN HARRIS

Hygiene Consultant