Insects Are the Trendy New Ingredient in This Type of Food, Experts Say — Eat This Not That

And you thought the cicada recipes were exciting: One grocery category has taken a rather strange turn, as some food manufacturers are incorporating bugs and flour made From insects – in their formulations to consumers. Could these fearsome reptiles fit into your family’s dishes? This is the hype…literally.

As more families turn to more plant-based grocery lists, one consumer category is taking a turn for weird things: A growing number of pet food brands are making insect-based food for cats. Some of these brands argue that insects such as mealworms and the black soldier fly are a good source of nutrients that pets need, such as protein and healthy oils, and that insects are a sustainable ingredient: easy to breed, without much waste left over.

Related: Costco Foods You Should Always Avoid, According to Nutritionists

If that makes your skin crawl a little, some of these brands offer a less advanced human version of insect plant food — pet food made with insect flour. Perhaps not the most attractive, but one sample of American shoppers said they would be more comfortable feeding their pets this type of food rather than offering them dried whole insects.

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One of the manufacturers, Mars Pet Care in the UK that makes Lovebug, the first insect-based cat food, insisted that the insects be raised, processed, and treated humanely. No matter where you stand on the basis of plant life for animal welfare and the health of the planet, the pet food industry reports that when comparing the same serving size of crickets to beef, crickets have 10% fewer calories than beef, approx. Same protein, and almost half less fat than beef.

But before you pick up that bowl of worms, there is one concern that some biologists say we should be wary of, if the pet food trend for insects is spreading: If these insects aren’t native to the area where they grew up they turn into pet food, and they could They become invasive and may lead to infection.

Less nauseating news? Right now, the US government is making it difficult for brands to import insect-based pet foods into the US…but these creatures are getting closer. as pet food industry Reports, in April, Darling Ingredients — a food sustainability company that repurposes food waste for use — announced plans to develop a North Carolina research and development office slated to open early next year. Yes, it happens: The company has already set up its first factory in Kentucky.

It looks crunchy. (Hey, if you’re like some of us, maybe your pet’s eating is worse..?)

If you keep track of food trends, don’t miss one of the major side effects of your weight gain on your dog’s health, says the new data, and:

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