How Many Bugs Do We Eat Per Year?

many-bugs-eat-per-year Credit: Daniel Bell/CC-BY 2.0

According to Lisa Monachelli, who directs youth and family programs at Connecticut's New Canaan Nature Center, humans eat around a pound of bugs unintentionally each year. This figure includes the parts of cochineal bugs used in red food coloring and the parts of bugs mixed in with foods like chocolate, which is allowed to have 60 insect fragments for every 100 grams, according to the FDA.

In some parts of the world, bugs are an even more important part of the diet. For example, in Mexico, fried ants are a common snack, and Chinese people dine on deep-fried scorpions as a delicacy. Some experts are in favor of the rest of the world taking up entomophagy as a way to pursue sustainable living.