Insects are usually thought of as pests, but many health experts now agree that a great number ofinsects have beneficial health properties. It may sound gross to some, but others see that it is an excellent way to use all of the Earth’s resources for our benefit. From leeches in medicine to grasshoppers and wasps as part of a healthful diet, bugs are seeing a big surge in popularity among certain health-conscious people these days. Using insects for health and medicinal purposes is hardly new, but it has not been a common practice in Western civilization for quite some time. Ancient Greek and Roman societies used leeches for a variety of therapeutic purposes, and these bugs were especially popular during the 19th century in British and American society. They were commonly used for bloodletting, which was believed to have therapeutic purposes for a variety of conditions and illnesses. Today, leeches are bred in captivity and sometimes used for microsurgery where blood must be precisely drained from a wound, as well as for certain reconstructive surgical procedures.
Many scientists encourage eating grasshoppers, wasps and certain other bugs as part of a healthy diet. This is something that many people have been doing continuously for centuries. It is common throughout many areas of Africa, Asia and South America, for example. The practice is growing in popularity in the U.S., too. Although still not exactly commonplace, there are bug farms in places like Berkeley, California that encourage insects as part of a healthy, organic, sustainable and protein-rich diet. In addition to lean protein, these bugs are also a great source of minerals, and unlike beef and pork, they are low in fat and cholesterol. Crickets are also a healthful source of calcium, iron and zinc. Read more