Seriously, why aren't we eating bugs?

Illustration for article titled Seriously, why arent we eating bugs?

They're nutritious, easy on the environment, and plentiful. So, why aren't we eating more — or any — bugs?


Earlier today, we looked at the limited range of meats Americans were eating (pretty much just chicken, beef, and pork), and all those uneaten rabbits and goats that we were missing out on. But there was also something else missing from our grocery store shelves — and that something was insects:


Insects. Entomophagy is where it's very likely to be in the next few decades due to the greater efficiency in meat production per resource applied, as well as carbon footprint, space required and turnover time.

Biggest problems are however the cultural roadblocks of getting [primarily] western countries to be ok with eating them, and the as of yet not in place mass production facilities to meet current and expected food/energy needs.


I think insects will have to be mashed up and pressed into molds or fried as crisps to erase the visual repulsion and stigma of eating them in the US. Spiced properly, and marketed at Whole Foods as the "next big health food sensation," bugs could go mainstream in a couple of years.


A recent report from the FAO pointed out that insects are already part of the diet of 2 billion people on this planet and suggested that, if farmed on a large scale, they could be a way to meet the rising demand for meat, while not consuming the same resources for feeding, waste disposal, and housing that livestock such as cattle, pigs, and chickens do. The problem, though, is how to introduce bugs into the diet for people who are not used to consuming them. Alternatively, the report also suggests that, as a middle step, bugs could be used as a source of livestock feed.

Image: Chantal de Bruijne / Shutterstock

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People aren't eating bugs because they look like bugs.