Termites Are Considered A Gift From Nature In Some Regions
Anthropologists are aware that many different cultures around the world treat particular insect species with reverence. It is becoming common knowledge that insects are consumed by most people in the world. Insects are consumed by many citizens living within highly populated countries like China, India and Japan. There are many traditional culinary preparations involving insects in each one of these countries. It would not be difficult to learn more about how insects fit into the general culture that exists in these modern nations. However, insects are also consumed by small groups of indigenous people, and very little is known about how these groups view insects as food. Due to this lack of scholarly knowledge, a group of researchers recently finished a year long study concerning how several South African indigenous groups have made use of termites over the past several centuries.
In the South African city of Limpopo, several indigenous groups consume termites in a variety of different ways. Some people simply pick termites up off of the ground and eat them raw. However, the preferred culinary method of termite preparation involves mixing fried termites with tomatoes and onion before consuming them along with maize meal. For the past year researchers from Wits University and Venda University surveyed people living in forty eight different villages in Limpopo. These villages were located in Thulamela, Makhado and Mutale. Researchers chose these regions because termites are a primary source of food for natives.
The researchers found that termites were no party food in these regions; instead the local economies rely on the sale of edible termites in order to survive. The study revealed that natives will consume termites as much as possible, and many of them grew up consuming termites. In most villages, no more than three types of termites are consumed. The soldier termites belonging to the Macrotermes falciger species is the most popular. One single cup of these termites can feed a family of three on a daily basis. The researchers also learned that native mothers prefer to breastfeed while consuming vast amounts of termites. This is due to the iron content that is added to breast milk as a result of termite consumption. Knowledge concerning termite preparation, and which termites should be harvested, and for what purpose, is only known to natives. This knowledge is passed down in tight-knit families. The researchers have made it their priority to learn more about these termites and the benefits they bring to the natives of Limpopo, and possibly the rest of humanity.
Do you believe that you could be perfectly healthy while subsisting on a diet exclusively made up of termites?