Why eat bugs, anyway?
Despite the fact that 80% of the world’s cultures eat insects (that’s right: the US is in the minority here) most people in our culture consider insects simply to be pests. But when you consider the logic of bugs as food, from an ecological, financial, and global perspective, they start to seem a lot more palatable.
Insects: The True Eco-Protein
A United Nations report found that the livestock industry is responsible for generating more greenhouse gas emissions than transport. That means the burgers, chicken, and pork we are eating are technically worse for our environment than our cars. Insects require such fewer resources in terms of food, water, and land space that, as David Gracer of SmallStock Foods puts it, “Cows and pigs are the SUVs of the food world. And bugs—they’re the Priuses, maybe even bicycles.”
Top Ten Reasons To Eat Insects
10. Most edible insect species are highly nutritious.
9. It is up to 20 times more efficient to raise insect protein than beef. That’s per pound. This is mainly because bugs don’t ‘waste’ food energy on things like raising their body temperature, or making bones, fur, feathers, and other stuff we can’t eat.
8. Also, it takes less water to raise insects — much, much less: up to 1000 times less.
7. You are probably already doing it, as the FDA allows a certain amount of insect matter to be present in most commercial foods: an average of 150 or more insect fragments are allowed per 100 grams of wheat flour, for instance — that’s a lot of bug!
6. Most cultures in the world not only eat insects, but in many cases find them to be a delicacy.
5. If insects themselves were deemed a food crop, imagine how much we could cut down on pesticide use, and its associated environmental damage.
4. Many insects are tasty: some larvae taste like bacon. Who doesn’t like bacon?
3. Many animal rights activists often won’t get up in arms over eating bugs, as they are already exterminated on a daily basis (the bugs, not the activists).
2. Insects may be the food of the future, as scientists are researching their potential as a space food crop.
And the number one reason to eat insects is…
1. Insects are a great, inexpensive, green source of the protein desperately needed by starving peoples. If we can help create a market and funding for it, there is the potential to help spread nourishment throughout the planet.