Children from Africa are serving as test subjects during an experiment to see whether or not eating bugs might improve their nutrition. This is being done despite the fact that there are worries over the potential adverse consequences of eating insects.
An investigation into how the use of meals made from insects could influence the nutritional status of young people is now being carried out with funding from the government of the United Kingdom. Children from disadvantaged primary schools in Zimbabwe, ranging in age from seven to eleven years old, are participating in an experiment in which they are being fed mopane worms mixed with soldier termite wheat on a daily basis for a whole school year. Researchers are going to investigate how this impacts the height, weight, nutrition, and cognitive function of the children in relation to how well they do in school.
Even though it is stated in the executive summary of the project that eating insects is “culturally acceptable” in the area, the practice is primarily limited to people living in rural areas who are attempting to prevent malnourishment during times of poor crop yields and droughts – or, to put it another way, as a last resort. However, the project description argues that insects are sources of essential minerals, vital fatty acids, and amino acids. Although the “mechanistic relationship between insect ingestion and health is absent,” the description still asserts that this is the case.
Consuming insects on a daily basis has been called out as potentially harmful by a number of authorities, including Dr. Joseph Mercola. He gives the example of the fact that insects have chitin in their bodies, which, according to research, may cause allergic reactions and is also a potent inflammatory agent.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco conducted a study that found chitins can set off allergic inflammatory reactions in the lungs of test mice. This led the researchers to investigate whether or not some people are more susceptible to asthma as a result of their exposure to “inhaled chitin.”