You're Already Eating Bugs. What's The Big Deal?
Writer Kyle Hill does his civic duty by providing some perspective, along with a link to the document containing the exact amounts of insects (and insect parts) the FDA considers acceptable for consumption.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
The recent release of a UN report recommending increased insect consumption was met -- in the West, at least -- with some skepticism and revulsion. However, while the average American farmers' market isn't yet offering roasted cicadas for sale, writer Kyle Hill reminds us that the likelihood of our consuming a not-insignificant amount of insect throughout our lives is pretty high. He notes that according to the FDA's Defect Levels Handbook, which lists in detail just how much insect is considered safe for consumption in certain foods, spinach is allowed to contain, at maximum, an average of "50 or more aphids, thrips, and/or mites per 100 grams. That's spinach that is 0.01% bug by weight."
What's the Big Idea?
The Western media's knee-jerk reaction to the UN report is just a bit over the top, says Hill. Insecticides are only going to kill so many bugs prior to crops' packaging and processing. That said, the levels set by the FDA are the maximums, so in most cases the percentage of bug parts in any given food is much less. While "[a]nything over [the defect levels] would be aesthetically unpleasing...it’s doing you no harm. You obviously aren’t keeling over from eating too much carapace." Would it be that big of a leap if insects took a more prominent place at the table?
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.
- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.