In full Marie Antoinette mode, The United Nations has proclaimed, “Let them eat bugs!” The international organization is advocating the protein-rich diet to deal with feeding an exploding global population and addressing growing environmental concerns.
To accommodate the 9 billion people who will supposedly inhabit Earth by 2050, we need to double current food production. Because land is scarce, expanding the area devoted to farming is rarely a viable or sustainable option. Oceans are already over fished. To meet the food and nutritional challenges of today and feed the nearly one billion chronically hungry people worldwide, we need to find new sources of food. The idea is that we must stop obliterating insects and eat them instead. More than two billion people already regularly consume insects as food. We Westerners don’t because of a cultural distaste which is considered to be irrational by the rest of the world.
If you’re on a diet, 100 grams of cricket yield 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of fat, 5.1 grams of carbohydrates, and 75.8 milligrams of calcium. Other insects scoring high in nutritional content include silkworm pupae, bamboo caterpillars, wasps, Bombay locusts, and scarab beetles. Pass me the fried tarantulas, please.
It’s nearly time for the seventeen year locusts to emerge. I suppose could follow the example of the man in Columbus, Missouri, who covered boiled cicadas with brown sugar and milk chocolate into a new ice cream flavor. He sold out before the health department made him stop production. Anyone up for Locust Lovers Delight?
While researching this article, I found a list of thirty-seven insects which are edible. I won’t name them all, but suffice it to say that any food group consisting of tasty critters including cockroaches, centipedes, slugs, dung beetles, lice, worms, grubs, and walking sticks will not make my Pinterest board of “Favorite Recipes.”
To end on a positive note, if we were all reduced to eating insects as a main staple of our diets, I don’t think obesity would be a problem anymore.