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Insect meat is produced when a cook butchers any insectoid at a butcher table or butcher spot. The amount obtained depends on the Meat Amount of the butchered insectoid, as well as the Butchery Efficiency of the butcher and a number of other factors.
The base yield for each insectoid is as follows:
Excluding its mood effects, insect meat acts as any other meat. It can be used alone to produce simple or nutrient paste meals, or combined with other ingredients to produce fine, lavish meals, pemmican and kibble. By default, cooks will not cook with insect meat, but you can make them do so by allowing insect meat in cooking bills.
Colonists consider insect meat disgusting, and will suffer the −6 Ate insect meat moodlet when eaten raw, and the −3 Ate cooked insect meat moodlet for eating meals with it. Pawns will also gain the mood effect of the preperation itself - for example, eating it as a nutrient paste meal gives an additional −4 mood penalty, for −7 mood total.
The mood penalties from insect meat are negated and replaced with a +6 if the eating pawn has an ideoligion with the "Insect Meat: Loved" precept. This mood buff also stacks with any meal preparation methods.
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Infestations can result in massive amounts of insect meat being available to the colony, and while initially unattractive, this resource can actually be of significant value.
Cooking it into a fine meal adds +5 mood, for a net +2 mood; this makes insect meat worthwhile if meat or general food is in low supply. Making a carnivore fine and lavish meals can use purely insect meat for the same effect. These preparation methods "waste" food, but this doesn't matter if you would've thrown out insect meat anyways.
Insect meat may be eaten by animals with no penalty. Herbivorous animals can eat insect meat turned into kibble, which also uses a vegetable ingredient like haygrass. Insect meat or insect meat kibble may also be used in a biofuel refinery.
Conversely, the mood penalty from insect meat can be combined with the penalty from nutrient paste when trying to lower a pawn's mood, such as when trying to trigger a tortured artist, create an anti-raider psychic beacon , or convert a pawn via Crisis of belief.
If the "Insect Meat: Loved" precept is used, then the benefits of insect meat expand. With the right set up, colonies can be fed exclusively on insect meat and be ecstatic about it, making it a very powerful tool to control colony mood.