Eat an Insect? Ooh, Ich!
I know. I’ve heard it all before. People here in the West have an aversion to eating an ancient food our ancestors ate and billions of people eat today. Insects are a healthy protein-rich food source available to just about anyone anywhere. It’s environmentally friendly, raised humanely, and offers a low-tech business opportunity to people around the world.
Adding insects to our diet makes sense.
But, I know… Ich!
Despite initial reactions, I’ve witnessed many people master this mental challenge when they were sure they would never eat a bug initially. A majority of the time, once they try it, they say something like “This tastes good”.
Honey. Not all insect food tastes as good as bee vomit but you’ll surprise yourself at how good they do taste if you have the mental power to overcome your unwarranted cultural fear of eating insects.
There are around 2,000 different insects that are considered food and every one tastes different.
Insects offer real animal protein that includes all nine essential amino acids; they’re a prebiotic fiber (nutrition for probiotics), a perfect Omega 3:6 balance, high in B12, antioxidants, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and much more. Eating insects is good for you.
But, here’s the real stickler. Because we look at insects as the food of the poor or as survival food, we’re shaming people worldwide into ignoring a readily available high protein food source. Traditional foods are being abandoned due to this attitude. We need to change.
Steak is revered and insects are reviled. This is while beef is being raised inhumanely at a great cost to our planet. Insects, in contrast, are raised humanely and offer a fraction of the environmental impact.
You can help by posting support for insects as food. Highlight traditional foods and discuss your experiences or share other’s stories about insects as food. You don’t have to eat bugs to understand why this is important worldwide.
For perspective, it took until the 1800s to hit one billion people on our planet. When I was born in 1960, there were three billion people. The world’s population doubled to six billion by the time I was forty. By 2050, when my kids are my age, there will be around nine billion people on our planet.
We’re having trouble feeding everyone now. With half again as many people on our planet, it’s only going to get worse. Food insecurity is a significant factor in the strife and wars our world faces today.
This is why I ask, whether or not you ever add insects to your diet, please support the practice by posting online. We need to banish the idea that insects are the food of the poor. Celebrate traditional food and create new dishes.
The culinary challenge of our time!
Post your support online to make edible bugs a trend here and the world will follow. It’s one step toward a better future.
Please Note: People who are allergic to shellfish may be allergic to bugs.
For an in-depth read on edible insects, check out the UN’s FAO publication “Edible Insects — Future prospects for food and feed security.”