Some insects are unhealthy to eat

Many insects make a decent meal, but some of the pests which can be found in food can lead to disgust or even be directly unhealthy when eaten in bigger amounts. A research study with 60 volunteers eating a live maggot, 50 of them experienced sickness afterwards. However, it did not lead to sickness when they ate living confused flower beetles and granary weevils. In this study, the psychological effect to eating pests must have had some effect on the results. It is a fact that pests in food and other places in the environment result in some degree of discomfort for many people. Bowel disorder can be the result of eating food that contains moth and beetle larvae, beetles and mites. This symptom is primarily the natural reaction to the stiff hair that covers the insects. Secondarily the symptoms can be the result of an allergic reaction.

Some beetles such as dark and confused flour beetles give off toxins, quinones, which have mutagenic qualities, according to mouse studies. Cockroaches also give off carcinogens. With the high living standards maintained in Western civilisation, it is very unlikely to eat as many insects as it takes to get sick by accident. However, it is not a rare case that animal feed contain pests that are harmful to animals. Even in those cases it is not likely that it is pests alone that cause sickness and even death to animals. Fungus and changed nutrition values are also factors. Pests are visible in the feed and therefore they are often blamed when feed quality is low.