I ran across this article on the BBC news feed about eating insects. People dine on insects in many countries. It is not that uncommon as it would seem to some of us westerners who are grossed out if our food is one day past the date on the label (and don’t get me started about leftovers).
You see people eating insects on Survivor or Fear Factor and shudder, but is it really that big a deal?
According to the article:
- Most insects are 100% edible
- Many insects are high in calcium, zinc, iron, and protein
- They produce less greenhouse gas than animals
- Insects absorb the taste of your chosen seasoning and add a satisfyingly crunchy texture
- Insects could be the sustainable food of the future
I don’t know about you, but I’m game to try most anything when it comes to food. My criteria are simple: If it smells bad or looks nasty, I won’t eat it (and if it tastes bad, I won’t eat it a second time). In the case of insects, I don’t think the smell would be the issue but the looks.
For one, we westerners have a hard time eating something that is looking back at us. Also, it is a freaking bug. We’re supposed to smash them, not eat them. Although, shrimp is just a bug from the ocean, right (maybe not technically, but close enough). I love shrimp. Maybe a nice juicy grasshopper smothered in cocktail sauce would be just as tasty. I’ve eaten escargot after all, and what’s more unappetizing than a snail.
So I guess if I visited a country that had bugs on the menu, I’d give it a try. If they started raising grasshoppers on the farm down the street, I’m game. I don’t plan to become the great insect hunter in my yard though.
Maybe it’s time we lose some of our food phobias and give insects a try.
And for you writers out there. I do tend to write about food in my stories. Now I have a few more items to add to the menu.
Pass the Beetle, please.