PacSci-Doku: "Protein Packed Cuisine" Answer

By Dennis Schatz - Senior Vice President for Strategic Programs

The question in this edition is:

What contains more protein per ounce than Grade A beef?

The answer: Mealworms

Scroll down to see the solution.

If you can get past your squeamishness to eat insects, a daily cuisine of insects can provide a healthier daily cuisine. Mealworms contain more protein per ounce than beef. They are low in unsaturated fats and contain plenty of minerals and vitamins -- plus can easily provide your daily fiber requirements. A recent New Scientist article (6 July 2013) noted that, "two silkmoth larvae contain 10 times the iron found in 100 grams [3.5 ounces] of beef, and a 100-gram serving of cooked caterpillars – a popular dish in Angola – satisfies our daily requirements not just for iron and zinc but also copper and thiamin."

Switching to an insect diet on a large scale does present some challenges. Eating wild insects can introduce unwanted contaminates into our diet, such as heavy metals. One solution is to develop large insect farms. Cricket farming is already a major industry in Thailand. If you "can't stomach" the idea of eating insects where you can see the legs, antennae, and eyes, then you should consider sprinkling insect protein powder, also being developed in Thailand.

If you aren't yet convinced that insect protein is right for your diet, consider that insect farming can help reduce global warming, as raising insects requires much less land and energy per gram of protein compared to raising beef. Plus insects produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about insects as a protein source – and then bon appetite!

Experience food as you never have before in The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition now showing at Pacific Science Center through February 17. With 100 large-scale images, you will witness and explore the science of food through the lens of photography. See the fractal structures and mesmerizing color gradations of vitamin C crystals through research microscopes with special filters that polarize light. Learn about the physics that propels and explodes a bursting kernel of popcorn through the lens of a high-speed video camera that slows down the action by a factor of 200. This unprecedented collection of captivating images uses these innovations and other advanced technologies to show the world of food from a whole new angle.

Here is the solution:


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