Is it true that eating ants is good for you?

09 Feb

No horsing around.

Yes, it’s definitely true.  Especially with bacon.

I’ve already explained how ants are actually antdroids amassing an army to destroy the Earth.  So on this level, eating them helps to deplete the numbers just a little bit (although this is probably futile).

However, eating ants is actually quite beneficial on a nutritional level too.

A large chunk of the world’s population already get much of their dietary protein from insects, and that could be coming to a country near you sooner than you think.  In fact, the Dutch government has recently invested €1m into research and legislation for commercial insect mini-livestock farming. With the economy in the state it is, insect protein is starting to look like a more cost-effective venture than traditional livestock farming.

There’s more to it than that, though.  Ants are particularly good.

Ants come equipped with formic acid, which they use for two purposes.  Firstly it is used as poison – a defence mechanism against predators. (It’s not toxic to humans in small quantities though, and is in fact used as a preservative for livestock feed.) Secondly, it is used to turn sugars into biofuel to fuel the antdroid components and drive the colony.  The linked Telegraph article above describes the chemical process by which these sugars are turned into fuel.  It involves acid, alcohol and salt.  The ants use their formic acid reserves for this purpose;  they collect sugars from aphids and whatever other sources they come across; and the alcohol they produce in the nest by growing chambers of yeast-like fungus which ferments alcohol for them.

When you fry an ant with some bacon, what you are effectively doing is half-completing this chemical reaction by heating sugars (from the ant and the food), formic acid (from the ant), and salt (from the bacon) to generate the basis of their sugar-based biofuel.

In this semi-bonded state, the sugar fuel is easily metabolised and very good for human consumption in the same way as Lucozade and other performance-enhancing energy drinks.

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Posted by on February 9, 2013 in What?


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