Insects play a vital role as a food: Insects belong to class insecta and Phylum Arthropoda. Approximately 2-3 billion species exist on earth they have three body regions ( head,thorax,abdomen), compound eyes, one pair of antenna, three pair of legs and reproductive organs present respectively. They are cold blooded. Some insect species are very important for consumptions of human beings, because population of globe increasing day by day. Due to increasing world population, pressure rises on water means, fish farming, agronomic land, biodiversity and require high amount of nutrients and non-renewable energy. So now a days to fulfil these requirements some countries of world consuming insects as a food. Consumption of insect is called entomophagy which derives from Greek word ‘Entomon’ mean insect and ‘phage in’ mean to eat. Edible insects have some effective properties such as good quality proteins, minerals and vitamin. That’s why they consider flavorsome and delicious by consumers. Approximately more than 1900 species are using as diet for humans globally.

Edible insects out of 1900 species given below:

  • 31% beetles (coleoptera)
  • 14 % bees, wasp and ants (Hymenoptera)
  • 3% termites (Isoptera)
  • 2% flies (Diptera)
  • 18% caterpillars (lepidoptera)
  • 13% grasshoppers, locusts and crickets (Orthoptera)
  • 10% leafhoppers,planthoppers,cicadas,scale insects and true bugs (Hemiptera)
  • 3% dragonflies (Odonata)
  • And 5% from other orders of insects.

Stages at which Insects can be Consumed:


  • Bees, wasp and ants
  • Caterpillars
  • Beetles


  • Beetles
  • Bees, wasp and ants


  • Cicadas,planthoppers,leafhoppers and scale insects
  • Grasshoppers, locusts and cricketers
  • Termites

Advantages of Edible Insects:

  • One kilogram termites produces 350g protein while same amount of beef produces 320g
  • Caterpillars provides 280g protein which is 20g more than salmon,30g than pork and 263g than tofu
  • It takes 10kg to produce 1kg of beef, only half of which can actually be eaten. On the other hand 10kg of feed will produce 9kg of insects of which over 95% can be eaten
  • Less money requires to produce edible insects so it is more positive economically
  • 2g CO2 produced by one kg of crickets this is much lower than cattle which produces 2850g of CO2
  • One kg of edible beef has same effect on the environment as a deriving 250km in car
  • Insects produce 60x less methane than cattle
  • Animal products are responsible, 27% and 18% for water footprints and greenhouse gases respectively
  • Farming of edible insects requires very little space for insects and their feed as well as eliminate environment impact
  • Up to 33% could be cut from average food costs due to cost effective nature of edible insects

Edible Insect Recipes:

  • Cricket Caesar salad
  • Cricket and cream cheese wraps
  • Mealworm muffins
  • Insect floor fruit smoothie

This article is collectively authored by Umar Niaz1, Burhan Ahmad2, Kamran Qamar3, M. Umar Javed4 and Hafiz Atta Ur Redman Saeed5 Department of Entomology University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan.