Most people think of insects as creepy crawlies that should be as far away from the kitchen as possible. But this cultural taboo tells us to shun the most abundant food source on the planet. We’re really just sabotaging ourselves.
But this is about to change, because food is on the verge of a major revolution in sustainability. Entomophagy (AKA “eating bugs”) is leading the rebellion. Here’s why eating bugs is the way of the future, and so you should just start now.
1. Health benefits abound.
According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, around 1,500 different species of insects are consumed as food around the world, but only about 2 billion people out of the 7 billion on the planet eat bugs.
That means that we’ve been missing out. A TED talk entitled “Should we eat bugs?” highlights bugs as a protein-rich food solution (bugs = 80% protein) for developing countries. The high mineral iron content in insects could help to reduce the effects of iron deficiency, which is the number one nutritional problem in the world.
2. It’s good for the world economy.
Insect farming is a more efficient alternative to raising livestock, because insects take up less space and require less food and water than large farm animals. These small scale insect farms can help families in developing countries raise protein-rich food.
3. The environment will thank you.
Bugs are tiny little guys so their greenhouse gas emissions are far less potent than that of a herd of cows. The insect farms themselves are small, so they don’t use up as much land space.
4. They are pretty tasty.
Gourmet restaurants around the world have started to pick up what the insect trend is throwing down.
Try some cricket salad at Archipelago in London.
Or Tante Truus café in Almere, Netherlands where they serve up deep-fried locusts.
Tacuba Mexican Cantina in NYC offers grasshopper tacos.
Salads normally have produce from a garden, so why not take some of the critters from your garden too? This mixed salad is from the first insect cookbook.
5. Insects can fulfill your lifelong dream of becoming a farmer.
Don’t worry ants aren’t popular…yet…
Tiny Farms is a company who is “pioneering the industrial production of insects, so tiny creatures can feed a growing world.” Tiny Farms is one of many start-ups in the entomophagy trade, and it offers tools to set up your own sustainable insect farm. This is way better than those Sea Monkeys we all had as kids.
6. You can ease into the idea…
If you’re still on the fence about eating these critters, you could start by trying chapul bars which contain crickets as the main protein source.
Or better yet, just make some chocolate chip cookies that use cricket flour. Yes, that means powdered crickets. Chirp chirp.
You can start saving the planet today by checking out where you can buy your own insects to start a sustainable farm.