There is currently a relatively entertaining show on ITV where contestants are put through their paces and forced through trials on a regular basis...No, I don’t mean X Factor. I’m talking about I’m A Celebrity of course; the show where we get to delight in celebrities trying to choke down questionable jungle ‘delicacies’.
This year the celebrities have endured consumption of the following: spiders, lamb testicles, ostrich anus, fermented egg, crocodile feet, stick insects and camel toe (it is understandable if you stifled a laugh at that last one). What we know for a fact is that ITV would not put celebrities in physical danger, so with that in mind, let us explore what the nutrient value of some of these delicacies is!
Entomophagy is the human consumption of insects. It is thought to be a food source of our ancestors and remains popular in many cultures today. If you have ever been to Asia, Africa or South America you may have tried an insect out of curiosity. Those of us who have never (knowingly) eaten an insect, we make up only ~30% of the world’s population.
There are ~1500 insects which are edible to humans. Below is the nutritional value of three edible insects:
|INSECT||PROTEIN (per 100g)||IRON (per 100g)||CALCIUM (per 100g)|
Among the most popular insects to eat in the world are tarantulas, crickets, wasps, beetles and grubs. In most cultures, the insects will be cooked (fried) and the wings, legs and other spikey indigestible parts will be removed.
Economically speaking, switching from meat to insects would be a great idea. It would be more cost effective to get protein in the diet this way, insects are more environmentally friendly than larger animals and as the world’s population increases, we may need to find alternatives to our regular meals. Personally though, I don’t fancy switching my fillet steak for some crickets anytime soon!
We all had a giggle (and possibly wretched) at the sight of Helen and Nadine eating lamb testicles. However, in many parts of the world testicles are considered a delicacy. The majority of male animals that are reared for meat will be castrated and their testicles are sold off separately. As a little head’s up, in the UK this delicacy is known as ‘sweetmeats’. While many of you may think this is disgusting, a few of you will have taken bull semen to boost testosterone levels and will wonder what all this fuss is about :p.
I would like to leave you with this little fact. The thought of chewing down ostrich anus is one that not many of us would delight in; however most of us will have enjoyed vanilla ice cream in our lifetimes. Castoreum is an FDA approved natural flavouring in vanilla ice cream and can you guess what castoreum contains? Beaver’s anal glands.
I realise I may have just ruined vanilla ice cream for many people, but I may also have done you a favour by removing one junk food item from your list of favourites ;).