The new clinical trial published in Scientific Reports was led by Valerie Stull who ate her first insect when she was 12.
“I remember being so grossed out initially, but when I put the ant in my mouth, I was really surprised because it tasted like food — and it was good,” Stull recalled.
Now a doctoral graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies leading the study, she says: “There is a lot of interest right now in edible insects.”
“It’s gaining traction in Europe and in the U.S. as a sustainable, environmentally friendly protein source compared to traditional livestock.”
Eating crickets is also safe at high doses.
Over two billion people around the world regularly consume insects, which are also a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
The research team was interested in documenting for the first time via clinical trial the health effects of eating them.
Crickets, like other insects, contain fibres, such as chitin, that is different from the dietary fibre found in foods like fruits and vegetables.
Fibre serves as a microbial food source and some fibre types promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics.