Following the UN’s plea for us to eat more insects to solve world hunger, creepy crawlies may be making a more prominent presence in our food supply. However, there are some insects that we already unknowingly consume.
Shellac is the sticky excretion derived from the Kerrialacca insect, commonly found in Thai and Indian forests, and can be found in many of your favourite sweets – it’s what makes them so shiny and palatable. Although Shellac is the excretion of the Kerria lacca, during the harvesting process many of the insects make their way into the final product and therefore into your sweets.
Additionally, the scale insect known as Cochineal and most commonly found in Central America, is used to create the crimson-coloured dye carmine. Carmine food colouring can be found in a number of edible produce including the Spanish sausage chorizo, confectionery and most recently discovered in Starbucks strawberry flavoured Frappuccio’s.
A new infographic from JG Pest Control takes a closer look at just how many insect species are munched by humans. With a staggering 1.4 billion insects per person on the planet it could be time for us to take entomophagy more seriously.