Crickets Are Good for You. Who Knew?

That chirping little critter you hear all summer could be the next big superfood to pile on your plate if you’re looking for natural foods to fight inflammation, cancer and depression. Crickets were the center of a study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the form of a powder fed to participants. Those who ate the powder showed increases in an enzyme and bacteria associated with a healthy gut; they also had lower levels of an inflammatory blood protein linked to cancer and depression, WHBL reported.

I’m sure just about everyone is aware that insects are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, so the fact that scientists are looking at nutrition possibilities of crickets is not surprising. However, what is concerning is that it’s highly possible that as the use of killer pesticides grows, access to insects of any sort for any reason, including as a source of food and nutrition, will become a thing of the past.

Specifically, the introduction of neonicotinoids for use in agriculture has resulted in mass desecration of certain insects to the point that entire ecosystems on the Earth could now be in jeopardy. What’s worse, neonicotinoids are only one type of agricultural chemical being used in excess to the point of killing off everything but the plants they’re meant to protect — glyphosate and dicamba are two other major agriculture killers that are destroying the Earth’s six-legged creatures.

The uncomfortable truth is that the world’s insect population is disappearing in alarming numbers. For instance, populations of European butterflies have been cut in half since 1990, and honey bee populations in North America have dropped 59 percent since World War II. And when it comes to insects in general, entomologists report that this is a widespread phenomenon.

This is literally the canary in the coal mine — with a 76 percent decline in flying insects over a 27-year period in Germany as a headliner, researchers have observed drastic declines in ecosystem functioning and biodiversity around the world. And, whether Big Ag wants to acknowledge it or not, 94 percent of the protected areas in the German study were enclosed by agricultural areas, with increasing use of pesticides named as a possible cause for the decline.

It goes without saying that it’s extremely important that steps are taken to protect bees, butterflies and other pollinators. These creatures are necessary to help 80 percent of flowering plants reproduce and are involved in the production of 1 out of every 3 bites of food, from apples to onions to broccoli, cantaloupe and countless more.

The key to stop this destruction is to reduce, and preferably eliminate, the use of pesticides — and, yes, it is possible despite what Big Ag would have you believe. To that end, implementing widespread regenerative agriculture, restoration of prairies and choosing grass fed meats can go a long way toward protecting insect populations. In addition, take steps to make your own backyard friendlier to your insect friends, by eliminating the use of pesticides and other chemicals and planting a diverse variety of native flowers and other plants.
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