Science Questions

Sat, 17th Jun 2006

Part of the show Social Insects and Locust-Inspired Car Safety

Question

Amber via email asked:

On average, how many flies do we accidentally eat every single day?

Answer

I'm not quite sure but commercial companies have actually quantified the amount of insect material we're allowed to eat and drink in chocolate and cornflakes and so on. If they're quantifying it, then we must be eating it. In chocolate you measure insect parts per million. I would say we probably eat more than we would like. A little extra protein perhaps. People catch flies in great numbers in Lake Victoria, they're called Lake fly, and I have eaten them. They taste like shrimps, which is rather unexpected! They look like tiny midges and come in huge clouds. They compact them down into small fly cake. Flies are delicious! They were just dried and it's a good way to do something with the huge biomass emerging from the lakes. I've had fried termites in Uganda and they're nice too.

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