During the last few decades the Western world has mostly witnessed insect-eating in TV’s Fear Factor or on Thailand’s street markets during a winter vacation. However, in the last couple of years edible insects have come rushing into the Western food markets and the consumers here are joining in with the 2 billion people bunch who have traditionally included edible insects in their diets.
Finland is one of the leading countries in the European insect food market. Finland joined the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Austria when insect food was legalized in 2017. Edible insects have now found their way onto the shelves of the biggest retail chains and web stores in these 6 EU countries, including Finland.

a glass bottle full of cricket chocolate

Finnish cricket chocolate in 3 flavours

Many of us are super excited to try these new options in our daily diets – although there are some who are still completely terrified of the idea of consuming edible insects. You can’t really blame them, as insects are not a part of the indigenous food culture here.

So what the b*g is all this fuzz about? Here we have written down 5 reasons as to why insects are an option not to be missed:

Entis insect food fajita

Minced meat or insect food? Sirkkis -meat replacement product makes great fajitas!

1. Most importantly, edible insects are simply good for you – a true superfood. For example; house crickets are full of protein, vitamins and minerals. Crickets come with all the 9 essential amino acids, B12-vitamin, have more iron than spinach and more calcium than milk. The list of all things healthy goes on and on.

2. Secondly, you can definitely enjoy these nutritional benefits of edible insects without having to stare them in the eye. There are multiple insect food products on the Finnish market where the insects are either used as powder or they’re covered with something yummy like chocolate, for instance. As most insects have a mild, kind of a nutty flavour, you won’t even recognize you’re eating something out of the ordinary.

a bowl of bugbites insect food product with bananas and oat milk

Enjoy the superfood in a way you're comfortable with, just like Bugbites here!

3. And then there are, of course, the environmental benefits. Insects are a planet friendly option: as an example house crickets need 12 times less resources such as fresh water and feed compared to beef/live stock. Also, insect rearing produces only a fraction of greenhouse emissions compared to red meat.

4. Foodies a-hoy, this one is for you: did you know that there are nearly 2000 insect species out there that can be consumed as food? Well, you do now. As there are a lot of edible insect species, the door is wide open for culinary experimenting.

5. Try something new for a change. What would be cooler than to go to a party and take a bag of cricket snacks with you? It’s a 100% guaranteed ice breaker, we promise.

So no more Fear Factor, just go and give it a b*gging try!


Sources: FAO Report: Edible Insects - Future prospects for food and feed security (2013)

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