Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Why Not Eat Insects?"

The topic of insects as food is explored in Dana Goodyear's current New Yorker article "Grub: Eating bugs to save the planet."  As the world's population continues to rise, there will be more and more demand for food.  And as the planet continues to heat up, drought and extreme weather will continue to affect the food supply.  Therefore, it does make sense to start creating a food production system based on the production of insects.  Insects are excellent sources of protein and micronutrients.  They can be raised in an environmentally sustainable way.  Plus, eighty percent of the world already regularly eat insects.

In the West there's an obvious "ick" factor about eating insects.  You also have to eat a lot of them to match the calories found in, say, a hamburger.  But let's face it: humans are really taxing the planet with their current living practices.  Eating insects could very well become a necessity.

I'm all for eating insects.  However, I was disheartened to read one thing.  I am allegic to shellfish, including crabs, lobster, and shrimp.  Genetically, shellfish are very similar to insects.  Therefore, I am likely allergic to most insects.  Therefore, I'm probably not able to start adding crickets and mealworms to my diet.  I'm severely disappointed.

For the rest of you, though, there is nothing stopping you from eating more grasshoppers, beetles, and wax worms.

I would love to have an entomologist come to Nova to give a bug cooking demonstration.  If anyone knows anyone skilled in entomophagy, please let me know.

You can read the New Yorker article here.

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