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Eating Insects: The Key to the Future?

Oct 13, 2011

by Danielle Tsi

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

We were wading our way through a crowded night market in Chiang Mai, Thailand, looking for something to eat. It was dusk, and we were swimming in a mélange of intoxicating aromas: grilled meats and stir-fried noodles. My eyes grew bigger with each food stall we passed, vigilant for a pad thai or papaya salad bursting with appeal and authenticity that would unmistakably be our dinner for the evening.

Until we reached the insects, that is. It took a while to register that those shiny black discs displayed on rattan baskets weren’t an exotic type of grilled vegetable – they were fried beetles, offered alongside heaps of fried worms, grasshoppers and more bugs than I could look at without gawking rudely. Needless to say, we ruled out that stall for dinner.

While entomophagy — the practice of eating insects — is a relatively new trend gaining recognition in developed economies, it’s an established way of life in a number of cultures around the world, from South America to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Entomophagy experts estimate that about 80 percent of the world’s nations consume over 1,000 different types of insects as part of their diet, and policy-makers are beginning to regard this food item as a viable, sustainable alternative to meat, as well as a solution for hunger.

Dicky

Insects for sale in Cambodia.

As a food source, insects contain more protein and less fat than traditional meats, and, according to the Entomological Society of America, require much less feed to produce the same amount of protein that we get from pork, beef, lamb or chicken. They have shorter reproductive cycles, and, by virtue of their small size, require less space for cultivation than your average herd of cattle. Arnold Van Huis, Professor of Entomology at Wageningen University in The Netherlands and a consultant to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, found that locusts can produce two pounds of protein from four pounds of feed; a cow needs 20 pounds of feed to produce the same amount of protein. The statistics are so appealing that the European Commission has launched a three million Euro ($4 million) research project to examine the nutritional value of consuming insects.

All this is logically compelling. But is it enough to convince even the “greenest” of consumers to consider the cricket as a food source instead of a pest?

Helen ST

Contemplating a fried grasshopper.

Personally, the entirety of its anatomy puts me off. I blame the torrent of media that have subconsciously socialized me to the notion that bugs, insects and worms are enemies to be squished — except when they’re anthropomorphized in colorful pixels for our entertainment. Perhaps if I could purchase grasshoppers already ground into an unrecognizable “grasshopper powder” for garnishing vegetables, or beetles formed into little sandwich patties to be pan-fried or grilled, entomophagy would have a fighting chance in our kitchen. But I’m not quite ready to cook up a genuinely Halloween-inspired menu of butter-fried wax worms, Cicada-skewers, Mealworm French fries and Caramel Glazed Cricket Crunch Flan.

I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking this way. It’s clear that a major marketing campaign in favor of insects needs to happen in the U.S. and Europe if entomophagy is to emerge as a real solution for hunger and environmental relief. There’s no doubt that current farming practices are unable to scale with our rapidly growing population, and these same practices are also giving rise to significant impacts on our environmental resources and climate. If we want to ensure a stable and secure food supply for future generations, we’re going to have to seek out new food sources. Insects are clearly a sustainable answer; now it’s up to us to confront our taboos.

5 Featured Comments

  • nomilktoday

    nomilktoday said 4 years ago Featured

    Dear all, there is no need to eat insects. Food is here,and should be available to everyone. World's food problem is more a matter of multi-ethnic corporations who waste their remaining products, than a lack of sources. Its a pitty to see thousands of tones of vegetables and crop just waisted like normal garbage in the name of money.... Insects should be what they are - food for birds! :P:P

  • blackrootboutique

    blackrootboutique said 4 years ago Featured

    Grass Fed Meats are Good for the Environment and For You...bugs aren't going to solve the problem of monopolized factory gmo agriculture. Check out Joel Salatin and Weston A. Price....we need to regain what we lost this last 100+ years and return to local sustainable bio-diverse farming for whole-food production. There'd be a lot less sick/dying people in the USA hopped up on medications if we did though...gee wonder who loses money when that happens? p.s. milk isn't really milk, get the real stuff: raw-milk-facts.com

  • MollCutpurse

    MollCutpurse said 4 years ago Featured

    Historically, humans will eat the largest animals available to them for protein, so long as that does not negatively impact their society. (Hence, the Inca domesticated llama for wool and transport of goods, while they ate guinea pigs.) The peoples of the world who eat insects as a significant source of their daily protein tend to not have larger animals available for their populations to eat. (Think food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa.) The question is not whether we should eat insects (chocolate-covered ants have been a novelty joke food in America for decades), but whether there are any other viable options for providing protein to animal-poor regions of the world. (i.e. Are cattle more valuable in Africa for their milk or their meat?)

  • EnglishTransferware

    EnglishTransferware said 4 years ago Featured

    The reality is that, as Americans, we are already eating insect fragments, rodent hairs, maggots, fly eggs and parasites every single day in the foods we buy at our local grocers. Our government allows portions of all of the above mentioned things (and more) to be found in our food, as they are 'natural contaminants'. Here's one example of an allowance of natural contaminants that will really whet your appetite. RED FISH AND OCEAN PERCH Parasites: 3% of the fillets examined contain 1 or more parasites accompanied by pus pockets (mmmmm). If the percentage for red fish and ocean perch is more than 3% contaminated with parasites and pus pockets that is when the FDA steps in to investigate. One university ( I think in Ohio) did a study and found that Americans eat between 1-2 pounds of insects per year! Very interesting and thought provoking, if not stomach turning, article.

  • SilverspotMetalworks

    SilverspotMetalworks said 4 years ago Featured

    I wouldn't have expected to hear about entomophagy on Etsy, but I enjoyed the article! As you might infer from my logo, my husband and I are entomologists, so when we went to Mexico City last December, part of our "research" involved stopping at a market stall that specialized in insect-stuffed tacos. We tried the escamoles (ant eggs in a molcahete preparation), agave worms, fried grasshoppers, and shahui (deep-fried mesquite bug nymphs). The grasshoppers tasted a little green, like uncooked broccoli, but the escamoles and the shahui were actually delicious. The shahui tasted like Corn Nuts, only more chewable. Unfortunately, it turns out that they're so tasty that some populations of them may actually be endangered by overhunting - proof that no matter what organism we choose to chow down on, we must treat it with respect and care.

256 comments

  • hausofthread

    hausofthread said 4 years ago

    I'm all for saving the planet and all that stuff but you will NEVER catch me eating bugs! I don't care how warm the globe gets.

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts said 4 years ago

    Please forgive my narrow minded attitude, but if eating insects is our future, I would much rather remain in the past!

  • oldtimethreads

    oldtimethreads said 4 years ago

    Interesting info. I think I will stick with beef, pork, poultry and fish for now!

  • sweetseasons

    sweetseasons said 4 years ago

    I'm with haus. My family does what it can to conserve energy, recycle, waste less etc., including the fact that we live in a very modest home and have energy efficient heating and cooling units. But there is simply no way I am intentionally adding bugs to our diet. Ever. And I am a very adventurous eater by most people's standards.

  • RockisSupplies

    RockisSupplies said 4 years ago

    Nasty, just plain nasty. I'll continue to enjoy my veggies, thank you.

  • jacarandadesigns

    jacarandadesigns said 4 years ago

    I've eaten an mpane worm from Botswana and it tasted like a dry piece of twig (or what I would imagine a dry piece of twig to taste like). However, it didn't look quite like these photos here. Not sure that I could stomach these :)

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 4 years ago

    i can't deal. i know there's a delicacy in southern vietnam where people will eat a type of caterpillar that infects coconut trees. they're not that common. it's a super fatty caterpillar. it's sauteed lightly in butter. i'm told it melts in your mouth and tastes super rich, but not necessarily coconutty. i wouldn't eat bugs as a delicacy.

  • CathodeBlue

    CathodeBlue said 4 years ago

    Uh yeahhhh..... I'm pretty sure the planet will be fine. I'm sticking with steak :)

  • PoleStar

    PoleStar said 4 years ago

    No sorry, I am not.

  • urgestudio

    urgestudio said 4 years ago

    I'm sure it's an acquired taste ... much like fine whiskey and wine...just takes a while to understand the nuance of the product. Bugs (insects) are already in some of our favorite consumables .... ground into oblivion in your tasty yogurt !! And to be perfectly honest ... do you believe that there aren't bugs in that last package of ground beef you bought !!! A nice ground mash of slug spread for toast would be nice !! Maybe just a side dish please until we get used to it !! There will be new realities ... get flexible humans !! Great story ! Thanks

  • destroymodernart

    destroymodernart said 4 years ago

    Not sure that eating bugs really would save the planet tho? Many of them are endangered...altho i guess locusts aren't. There is enough food in the world for everyone to have 3000 calories a day but its not distributed evenly. People are starving to death not because they have no food but coz it's being exported to places like America.

  • Hautezinger

    Hautezinger said 4 years ago

    Like you, I would certainly be more inclined to eat insects if they came in preformed patties or something of the like. I think there is a reason people haven't been eating bugs - they don't taste good. However, season those bad boys up, grind 'em into a spice or food product and I'm all for it. If it means less people would starve then I would be willing to give it a go. Very interesting article.

  • tierramarasse

    tierramarasse said 4 years ago

    I definitely agree with your perspective. Different countries in Europe are looking for innovations to try to break white peoples paradigm around insects. I am your average Canadian girl and bugs of course really freak me out, but I would at least give it a try. After all it is pretty much just Canadians and Americans that are so adverse to this idea. A lot of places in the world eat a lot of insects.

  • Colettesboutique

    Colettesboutique said 4 years ago

    Sorry, I don't think I'll ever considering eating insect... It's not for me. Being vegetarian would be a better alternative for me. I'll leave the insects to those who can appreciate.

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 4 years ago

    I don't think so ...sorry.

  • BigRockPaperCo

    BigRockPaperCo said 4 years ago

    Tierra - I agree with you - I am a Canadian .. and I love it here because things die in the winter time.

  • katrinamia

    katrinamia said 4 years ago

    While visiting Washington D.C., I enjoyed a grasshopper taco. I can't say it was easy to look at, being the first time I had tried anything of the sort, but it was actually quite good. It never hurts to leave your culinary comfort zone every once in a while- what you end up liking may surprise you!

  • meganemoral

    meganemoral said 4 years ago

    I wish nothing more than that I could bring myself to listen to my head and not my eyes and chow down on a cicada. Maybe one day, if that marketing campaign includes brainwashing or hypnotism... Maybe I could take your accidental advice and serve grasshoppers to my kids at halloween on the pretence that they're actually just clever fakes? Then I could save the planet by proxy, without having to digest one of the icky things. Great post! Megan

  • satellitedaisy

    satellitedaisy said 4 years ago

    Wow, this will surely make me look twice the next time someone offers me ants on a log!

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 4 years ago

    I ate fried coconut larve worms and lemon ants in Ecuador. Anything fried with enough butter can taste okay, but I didn't go back for seconds.

  • cappysue

    cappysue said 4 years ago

    To be honest no I am not ready to switch over to eating bugs to save the planet. I think I will be riding the planet into apocalypse while eating a steak. I mean the word is that the steak is going to kill me so I may as well take the rest of you with me.

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 4 years ago

    BigRockPaperCo says: Tierra - I agree with you - I am a Canadian .. and I love it here because things die in the winter time. --- ha!

  • Cloud8point9

    Cloud8point9 said 4 years ago

    Must be because I'm from Louisiana and crawfish is a delicacy, but honestly those bugs look pretty tasty to me! Good thing about the bugs I've eaten is that they're pretty tasteless, so you can add just about any flavor to them! Ranch flavored meal worms are good. As are cheesy crickets.

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 4 years ago

    I can think of about 15 things I would rather do (and should probably already be doing) to save the planet before I would start eating insects regularly.

  • rougeembroidery

    rougeembroidery said 4 years ago

    No thanks!

  • elleestpetite

    elleestpetite said 4 years ago

    I agree that maybe the idea of this would be less disturbing if the insects were already grounded into powder or something. Maybe then I'd be more inclined to trying it out. Mind over matter, right? It's all in our heads that it's disgusting, but is it really that icky compared to eating red meats? I'm no vegan, but just saying. It's something to think about.

  • NYbuyer

    NYbuyer said 4 years ago

    Good idea, but it's not for me. You wouldn't see me eating bugs in this lifetime! nop! I would rather eat plants, fruits and herbs...

  • NutfieldWeaver

    NutfieldWeaver said 4 years ago

    Um, no thank you. I think I will stick to growing our own food and making our own yogurt to help save the planet. Eating local is the way to go and much more appetizing, in my opinion.

  • PattiTrostle

    PattiTrostle said 4 years ago

    I don't think I am going to go for it myself!!

  • HibouCards

    HibouCards said 4 years ago

    This is very interesting and even though it seems like a very good path to explore I personally would still have trouble getting over the insects' aspect.... Thanks for sharing this with us :)

  • mosaicartgirl

    mosaicartgirl said 4 years ago

    Not eating any buggers here. I would rather eat a leaf.

  • SophiasSundries

    SophiasSundries said 4 years ago

    I'd rather starve to death. I can't even bring myself to squash a bug, let alone eat one.

  • meldempsey

    meldempsey said 4 years ago

    I ate a maggot at summer camp when I was little. They gave me a button that said I was a member of the Maggot Mouth Club. I still have that button.

  • AlphaSoupPhotography

    AlphaSoupPhotography said 4 years ago

    I'll stick to recycling to save the planet

  • nomilktoday

    nomilktoday said 4 years ago Featured

    Dear all, there is no need to eat insects. Food is here,and should be available to everyone. World's food problem is more a matter of multi-ethnic corporations who waste their remaining products, than a lack of sources. Its a pitty to see thousands of tones of vegetables and crop just waisted like normal garbage in the name of money.... Insects should be what they are - food for birds! :P:P

  • KevalaShop

    KevalaShop said 4 years ago

    Yowza. I don't think that many people would go for it, even if the little creepy crawlies were turned into bugburgers. It seems to me that going vegetarian or just reducing meat consumption is an easier way for those of us trying to make enviro-friendly eating choices...at least most of us don't have a deeply ingrained disgust for beans, nuts, vegetables and the like!

  • shipwreckdandy

    shipwreckdandy said 4 years ago

    Oh, front page, where are your manners? Gross.

  • amberike

    amberike said 4 years ago

    TwinkleStarCrafts says: Please forgive my narrow minded attitude, but if eating insects is our future, I would much rather remain in the past! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DITTO!!!!

  • casarona

    casarona said 4 years ago

    I applaud etsy for posting such a bold article/ proposal. For those who don't think that the planet is changing, I'm actually shocked. Anyone notice how the weather has been changing in the past few years? As far as my own timidity towards actually mustering up the guts to put something creepy and crawly in my own mouth, well I'd probably have to work up to that one! If I had to though, I would :)

  • secretjewellz

    secretjewellz said 4 years ago

    Nah! Never gonna happen here. But each to there own.

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 4 years ago

    Yeah, no. I have a hard enough time finding meat appealing, so full on insects with eyeballs?? Probably not..

  • xfictionprincess

    xfictionprincess said 4 years ago

    I'll stick to my buffalo wings.

  • Mongella

    Mongella said 4 years ago

    Vegetarianism is WAY easier and better for the environment than eating bugs. I don't understand how insects could be defined as an "alternative" to eating meat, they are still living creatures that are an important part of the ecosystem!

  • afternoontees

    afternoontees said 4 years ago

    No one's standing over you with a spoonful of bugs, y'all! The author is just pointing out that in some places, insects may be one of the most viable forms of protein, so it makes sense for them to prepare them as food. If you balk at the idea of eating insects - be grateful you don't have to. It's all a matter of what you're raised to expect & ingrained taboos. I'm sure certain cultures would be disgusted at some of the foods Americans consume, too. (Bleu cheese comes to mind.)

  • readyruthieoriginals

    readyruthieoriginals said 4 years ago

    interesting, because really if we all tried to look at meat with beginner's mind, particularly in the processes it goes through before reaching our plates, I think we would be equally appalled by its appearance, texture, smell, etc.

  • MeganMerah

    MeganMerah said 4 years ago

    Definitely food for thought... But thank God I'm a vegetarian.

  • megansbeadeddesigns

    megansbeadeddesigns said 4 years ago

    Very interesting article. Although I think I would still prefer veggie burgers, I might be able to consider giving bug-patties a try. A small bite probably wouldn't hurt. However, I can't bring myself to consume those lollipops that have insects inside, so I'm not sure this would be any different. great post though.

  • DruidCrafts

    DruidCrafts said 4 years ago

    I LOVE this article! I have been eating bugs for years. I am though a wild edible freak and forager. Easy, clean, high protein; no growth hormones, or worries. When out in the woods, or in any survival situation BUGS are very important. Other cultures have good ideas many times on diet, health, conservative responsible traditions of not wasting what resources we have available.

  • bunny

    bunny said 4 years ago

    I've eaten crickets. They taste like pork scratchings! But bits get stuck in your teeth which is nasty!

  • dollfacepink

    dollfacepink said 4 years ago

    I've been Vegan for 17 years; bugs are more appealing to me than any other living creature.

  • auntjanecan

    auntjanecan said 4 years ago

    Too bad I am so brainwashed to not eat bugs.

  • AvianInspirations

    AvianInspirations said 4 years ago

    Insects make up some incredible percentage of the globe's biomass, reproduce quickly, and don't eat much (compared to a cow). They probably are the future. And they don't taste bad! Both crickets and grasshoppers are pretty yummy.

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance said 4 years ago

    dip them in chocolate~perhaps!

  • WeThreeTrees

    WeThreeTrees said 4 years ago

    I think that if I were starving, I'd definitely eat some insects over grass or a leaf. If you've never known hunger, you can't say whether or not you would or wouldn't eat insects. They just may be the future, time will tell.

  • AttractionPaintings

    AttractionPaintings said 4 years ago

    Very Interesting! I'd love to hear how that plate of bugs tastes! Hmm.. I love seafood and Lobster, shrimp, scallops etc., they all look like big bugs of the water to me! But I don't eat the exoskeletons. If land bugs tasted like water bugs-I'd try them. :) Beans are also a really good source of protien. :) Thanks for sharing! This stuff is so cool!

  • jelindabo

    jelindabo said 4 years ago

    Uh, let's see, eggs, escargot, caviar, crabs, lobster just to name a few nasty things some folks eat and consider good. Let's get real about beef, pork, sausages, anybody ever seen how they're processed??? Ever been to a packing plant? I have to say that maybe some bugs might be okay, considering the alternatives we have! Hey, just raise your own bugs and you'll be extremely self sufficient. Just a little food for thought.

  • savagesalvage

    savagesalvage said 4 years ago

    Surprisingly, I just found myself making yummy noises over the pic of the fried cricket. Perhaps this is something I should explore further....I'm intrigued.

  • wmalexalvarez

    wmalexalvarez said 4 years ago

    I tasted some buggy goodness in Thailand once. It wasn't bad! I'd totally eat bugs if it came down to it.

  • drewiska

    drewiska said 4 years ago

    AttractionPaintings, you are right: lobsters, shrimp, and crab ARE "big bugs" of the water. They are very, very closely related to terrestrial insects. I think it is closed-minded for one to refuse to eat insects before even trying them, especially since so many other cultures embrace them as food, we eat their aquatic relatives, and they're nutritious. I guess it's easy for spoiled Americans to say "I'll stick with my 'normal' meat."

  • laf1110

    laf1110 said 4 years ago

    Holy hell they are called beans! Easy to grow, cheap, great for soil, full of nutrients, fiber, don't have eyes or legs, and once dried they last forever. Let's not go crazy here people!

  • MakeMeDigi

    MakeMeDigi said 4 years ago

    I would give it a shot. Just no roaches. Couldn't handle that!

  • nicilaskin

    nicilaskin said 4 years ago

    nope, sorry, beans for me like laf1110 i will not eat anything that has more then 4 legs

  • RedsRodPortraits

    RedsRodPortraits said 4 years ago

    I think it great for mass produced cheap food particularly for those in need, but I think they would make great fillers for protien. Sorry if you can eat tofu instead of a burger and act like its the same then why not a locust? Unless youre a veggie I dont see the problem.

  • nicilaskin

    nicilaskin said 4 years ago

    why is the sentiment so anti american, my family as a whole is german and we would not eat bugs, sorry, and i know a lot of my friends would not, so before you say oh the americans that and the americans and canadian this , no i don't think so, my mexican friends would not eat it either so as the germans say Verallgemeinere nicht

  • forrestinavintage

    forrestinavintage said 4 years ago

    Yes, it's intriguing, but I have absolutely zero idea what this article has to do with Etsy.

  • Alaroycreature

    Alaroycreature said 4 years ago

    I would eat insects, but only if the were well seasoned :P

  • unfortunatecookie

    unfortunatecookie said 4 years ago

    That's disgusting. I'm not exactly a "green" person, and I think "global warming" is one of the biggest hoaxes of all time, so I'll stick to beef and/or chicken.

  • TheWallaroo

    TheWallaroo said 4 years ago

    Haha, I love the pictures in this post. I can almost see the gooey stuff inside the bug's crunchy body. yummmmy right?

  • tikalovesbarry

    tikalovesbarry said 4 years ago

    If I had to choose between eating a cow, a lamb, a chicken or insects to survive, I'd choose the insects. You'll never convince this generation that eating insects was not gross, but with the right marketing it could be a definite possibility for future generations. Why not? If none of you had ever eaten animals or even considered them as a food option and someone pointed out a cow to you and said: "that is what we are going to eat for dinner", I imagine you'd be horrified too!

  • afternoontees

    afternoontees said 4 years ago

    @nicilaskin I meant to say "Westerners" not "Americans," but yeah preferences definitely vary by country. I'm American so that's why I mentioned it, I'm only speaking for myself.

  • blackrootboutique

    blackrootboutique said 4 years ago Featured

    Grass Fed Meats are Good for the Environment and For You...bugs aren't going to solve the problem of monopolized factory gmo agriculture. Check out Joel Salatin and Weston A. Price....we need to regain what we lost this last 100+ years and return to local sustainable bio-diverse farming for whole-food production. There'd be a lot less sick/dying people in the USA hopped up on medications if we did though...gee wonder who loses money when that happens? p.s. milk isn't really milk, get the real stuff: raw-milk-facts.com

  • BlueberryCream

    BlueberryCream said 4 years ago

    No, thanks...

  • zatanah

    zatanah said 4 years ago

    Hmm? No thanks! Nice try though.

  • xaosart

    xaosart said 4 years ago

    Let Europe have their bugs. America is NOT Europe. We're the greatest nation on Earth not about to be degraded to eating insects.

  • MollCutpurse

    MollCutpurse said 4 years ago Featured

    Historically, humans will eat the largest animals available to them for protein, so long as that does not negatively impact their society. (Hence, the Inca domesticated llama for wool and transport of goods, while they ate guinea pigs.) The peoples of the world who eat insects as a significant source of their daily protein tend to not have larger animals available for their populations to eat. (Think food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa.) The question is not whether we should eat insects (chocolate-covered ants have been a novelty joke food in America for decades), but whether there are any other viable options for providing protein to animal-poor regions of the world. (i.e. Are cattle more valuable in Africa for their milk or their meat?)

  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    TheLittleRagamuffin said 4 years ago

    One of the first nights I lived in Bangkok, Thailand, a street vendor passed us wheeling a cart of insects. A friend of ours asked him to stop (as our Thai was not yet up to snuff). He gave us a grasshopper each to try. I wish I had known to pull off the legs as the little barbs were stuck in my throat for the rest of the night. His thorax was quite tasty however.

  • estellelle

    estellelle said 4 years ago

    I am actually not turned off to this idea. I think if they were cooked and seasoned right, I could probably eat bugs, as strange as that sounds! I mean, we eat shrimp, snails, frog legs and lobster...so how bad can bugs be?

  • pickledcorn

    pickledcorn said 4 years ago

    I don't understand why people would consider eating bugs before they'd consider becoming vegetarian.

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    VoleedeMoineaux said 4 years ago

    Go for a bike ride with your mouth open. Yum!

  • shawnstpeter

    shawnstpeter said 4 years ago

    As my 2 year old little girl says, No thank you please!

  • blueberryshoes

    blueberryshoes said 4 years ago

    WAOW!!! Very interesting, eye opening and disturbing!

  • RossLab

    RossLab said 4 years ago

    NO WAY! I made it to the post, despite the initial photo scared me to death. This article is very interesting and makes me think it's all related to habits!

  • Belledazzled

    Belledazzled said 4 years ago

    The world would be fine with plenty of food around us. It's disturbing to eat insects, I pass on this one. Being a vegetarian is an option. Interesting article..thanks for sharing.

  • kinokostudio

    kinokostudio said 4 years ago

    Ew, gross. The most sustainable and environmentally friendly diet is a vegan diet. Also, much less disgusting than eating dead bugs (> _<)

  • palisanskrit

    palisanskrit said 4 years ago

    I'm a Chiangmai native and I have never eaten bugs. Some says it's good for protein source but I'd rather eat chicken instead of insects :)

  • Spinarama

    Spinarama said 4 years ago

    I'm a vegetarian. No thanks.

  • TheMechanicalKoi

    TheMechanicalKoi said 4 years ago

    I'll try everything once.

  • VeiledIntensity

    VeiledIntensity said 4 years ago

    Most of you have probably eaten insects already anyhow. Carmine is in a lot of our common foods. I don't think I would like to feel an insect body crush in my mouth. That seems odd. I would understand if they disguised it, but then it would probably become over-processed with too many additives like most of our American food... I guess if we eat the insects instead of the spiders then maybe the spiders would die out... That would be nice. Spider bites are nasty, and I hate the way they stare at me with their eight green glowing eyes.

  • LisaMarino

    LisaMarino said 4 years ago

    Oh, bugs creep me out as it is - I can't even imagine eating that... ick! lol

  • EnglishTransferware

    EnglishTransferware said 4 years ago Featured

    The reality is that, as Americans, we are already eating insect fragments, rodent hairs, maggots, fly eggs and parasites every single day in the foods we buy at our local grocers. Our government allows portions of all of the above mentioned things (and more) to be found in our food, as they are 'natural contaminants'. Here's one example of an allowance of natural contaminants that will really whet your appetite. RED FISH AND OCEAN PERCH Parasites: 3% of the fillets examined contain 1 or more parasites accompanied by pus pockets (mmmmm). If the percentage for red fish and ocean perch is more than 3% contaminated with parasites and pus pockets that is when the FDA steps in to investigate. One university ( I think in Ohio) did a study and found that Americans eat between 1-2 pounds of insects per year! Very interesting and thought provoking, if not stomach turning, article.

  • twistedfreak

    twistedfreak said 4 years ago

    I just threw up a little. Not because of the insects, but because of the umpteen-millionth reference to "saving the planet". Get over it! The planet is dong just fine thank you very much, and eating or not eating an insect, fowl, fish or mammal will have virtually NO effect on the planet's well being.

  • shelleytilton

    shelleytilton said 4 years ago

    Never, EVER going to happen.NEVER. I would rather starve.

  • HeirloomOrphanage

    HeirloomOrphanage said 4 years ago

    We have a lovely and delightfully cute Opossum that lives in our backyard and she/he takes very good care of eating all the bugs and little critters that are available - thank you very much.

  • Sacculus

    Sacculus said 4 years ago

    Its funny to me,to read how proud we have become.In my mind eye , i can not forget my grandmother and grandfathers account of what food was like in times of war and famine.They told me people would fight and kill for a dog or a rat ...as a last resort bugs were good eating in the camps. Oh and there were no veggie to be had. Some of you sound like those Romans setting in there high places thinking they could out last the siege at the gate.As a Chef i look to the world for what is food and whats the new wave of food, Whats old is new again even in the old testament it lists what bugs are kosher to eat. As for me and my house i am welling try it ...besides its kept others alive before.

  • sweetolivejewelry

    sweetolivejewelry said 4 years ago

    Do escargot count? Slugs with a shell, right?

  • katrinaalana

    katrinaalana said 4 years ago

    I can't imagine eating insects. How do you clean them anyway? You'll have to eat the ENTIRE bug. All the parts. No thank you.

  • WildCherryThreads

    WildCherryThreads said 4 years ago

    You Jest! So we've gone from "let them eat cake!" to "let them eat bugs?!" No, not happening here, sorry. LOL!

  • Postindustrialist

    Postindustrialist said 4 years ago

    Meh. I've eaten the aforementioned escargot. It's not bad. Same with frog's legs. And seafood (shrimp, lobsters, crabs, etc..) are essentially undersea insects. I agree with the ugliness factor though. I've eaten fried BBQ flavored larvae before, and it's not bad (not great either. Escargot is far better, or at least it was prepared far better.) Would I seek out insects like I do rabbit and lamb (and you should see the looks on people's faces when you order rabbit, and then tell them your family members used to raise them for such purposes), but if it was properly prepared (and that's a key factor) and put in front of me, I'd at least give them a try.

  • CarefreeJewelry

    CarefreeJewelry said 4 years ago

    sorry, no.

  • berrysbeanies

    berrysbeanies said 4 years ago

    I can't even look at the picture of the insects on the plate, let alone eat any.

  • Stylishstems

    Stylishstems said 4 years ago

    Ugh. I can't even eat lobster because it looks like a bug. LOL

  • beenadolls

    beenadolls said 4 years ago

    Can't be much different than eating lobsters,crabs,or shrimp.Technically aren't they just big underwater bugs,and we already eat those ...

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 4 years ago

    Maybe...

  • ninetrial

    ninetrial said 4 years ago

    Perhaps, eventually, eating mammals will be a thing of the past? Perhaps, in generations to come, eating a cow will be a horrific as eating a beloved pet? I am certainly not a vegetarian, and while I'm not eager to dig into a plate of crunchy critters, I do find the spread of this idea quite encouraging. It's progress, after all, and I think it has a lot of potential.

  • Yuuichi

    Yuuichi said 4 years ago

    How about GOING VEGAN? The only ethical way to think. Never is animal exploitation going to "save the planet"; non human animals are part of the planet just like we are, we ought not to treat them as property.

  • BeaumontStudio

    BeaumontStudio said 4 years ago

    I think the responses are more fun here than the blog post itself. . . I find myself wondering how many have actually tried? It's all in the seasoning!

  • LeighsArt

    LeighsArt said 4 years ago

    yummmmy crickets!

  • Nikifashion

    Nikifashion said 4 years ago

    Interesting!

  • HendersonPipes

    HendersonPipes said 4 years ago

    Meal worms taste like whatever seasonings you cook them with. Just like chicken just about everything else. You just have to get over the number of legs (think about having several tiny drumsticks instead of just two). It is time we rise up against our insect overlords (they vastly outnumber us humans). Eat a fly for the Future!

  • molleyourada

    molleyourada said 4 years ago

    i would eat bugs...yes it is repulsive a little but i bet i would get used to the crunchy goodness. lol. I would hope it would help with the over population of chicken farms and maybe they would not put steroids in bugs......

  • molleyourada

    molleyourada said 4 years ago

    i would eat bugs...yes it is repulsive a little but i bet i would get used to the crunchy goodness. lol. I would hope it would help with the over population of chicken farms and maybe they would not put steroids in bugs......

  • KathyPanton

    KathyPanton said 4 years ago

    the texture and the crunch would just make me throw up. Seriously gross

  • KathyPanton

    KathyPanton said 4 years ago

    there actually wouldnt be a lot of meat in them ,youd just be eating crustacean shell, and prickly little legs. Oh vomit.........

  • fbstudiovt

    fbstudiovt said 4 years ago

    To be honest, as someone who became a vegetarian at age 11, is now in my 30's and hasn't remotely considered going back to meat, I don't understand the aversion to eating one kind of animal but not another. Eating bugs doesn't gross me out anymore than eating a cow. I understand that current agricultural practices are unsustainable and that large scale commercially grown soy that is coated in pesticides and trucked in from 3000 miles away isn't doing the world any favors, nor is large scale animal farming that wrecks havoc on the animals and the unregulated pollution of manure run off. So I try hard to keep my food choices local and grown by people I know. There's no one size fits all solution to food shortages - both man-made and natural. I don't believe in eating animals, but support other people in their own choices. Though seriously, if it came down to dwindling protein sources (beans and legumes included...there are all sorts of plant diseases that can wipe out crops) and starvation, would y'all really balk at insects?

  • magicjelly

    magicjelly said 4 years ago

    This is ridiculous. Where insects have been part of a particular culture's diet for generations, fine, not for me to judge. But as an alternative, sustainable protein in place of cows, etc? Stupid. Here's an idea...what about vegetarian sources of protein? Does it have to be a carcass to be valid? Seitan, for example, has more protein than beef & is MUCH more sustainable than cows or bugs - & not gross & crunchy like chomping on a cricket - it's delicious. This article is just perpetuating the outdated notion that the only protein worth eating is the carcass of a dead creature - which is absolutely untrue.

  • KnittyTurks

    KnittyTurks said 4 years ago

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  • ViragoCreations

    ViragoCreations said 4 years ago

    Insects are Arthropods, as are Arachnid (spiders) and crustaceans (shellfish)...so all who say they would never eat bugs/insects, if you've eaten shrimp, crawfish(mud bugs), lobster, crab...you kind of already have eaten them! LOL U. S. Department of Agriculture allows a certain amount of insect parts and rodent hairs in processed foods ...so who knows how many insects you've eaten without knowing it.. Cochineal extract and carmine, used to dye food, drinks and cosmetics various shades of red, orange, pink and purple, are extracted from the dried bodies of the female cochineal bug. I've actually eaten ants, dry roasted crickets and a trail mix that included mealy worms...

  • LaurasVariety

    LaurasVariety said 4 years ago

    No thanks, I'm quite content being vegan.

  • ericzapata

    ericzapata said 4 years ago

    I'm down!

  • SchneiderGallery

    SchneiderGallery said 4 years ago

    Did you know that: Carmine, also called Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red, C.I. 75470, or E120, is a pigment of a bright red color obtained from some scale insects, such as the cochineal beetle and the Polish cochineal, and is used as a general term for a particularly deep red color of the same name. Carmine is routinely added to food products such as juices, ice cream, yogurt, and candy, most notably those of the ruby-red variety. So most of you ate insects, and you liked them didn't you? :)

  • SchneiderGallery

    SchneiderGallery said 4 years ago

    I've just noticed that ViragoCreations wrote the same :)

  • BrittneyWest

    BrittneyWest said 4 years ago

    I have to personally pass as a Vegan, but this was a good read at least. "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." --Rumi

  • ShelleAnne

    ShelleAnne said 4 years ago

    Interesting blog. I work for a Travel Advisor and we just planned an extensive trip to Thailand; I learned a lot about their food, including the insects they eat. It is interesting how some people have such strong aversions to certain food sources that are considered "normal" in other countries. All in all, I'm not totally sold on the idea, but the question "Would you eat bugs to save the planet?" is so broad and makes it sound like those eating bugs are super-heroes. Some of the bug snacks I learned about while studying Thailand honestly didn't sound like they would taste that bad. If only I didn't have to look at it, perhaps I could get past it. You know, and save the planet too. ;-)

  • NeatNat

    NeatNat said 4 years ago

    Yeah, I'm sure insects will be part of the western diet of the future. Many ppl are not prepared for them yet, but I think it´s a cultural issue...

  • Soulmadeshop

    Soulmadeshop said 4 years ago

    I don’t eat meat, and don’t plan to eat insects, but in the end it’s all just an idea, never say never!

  • Tenacious333

    Tenacious333 said 4 years ago

    I don't see how anyone can eat meat now a days. The things they do to the cows and all the other animals we get our meat from. I watched a very informing documentary and it explained that in one package of one pound meat there is over 50 cows ! 50 COWS ! They feed them all corn which cows are not suppose to eat ! Cows are suppose to eat grass. And all of that corn has crap in it that is giving all the cows cancer, and do you know who is eating those cows. They give all the female cows an excessive amount of hormones so they can produce milk all of the time, not just when they have a calf. They are also give our chickens hormones to make them bigger,fatter in less amount of time. It takes a regular chicken about six months to get to full growth, it takes a chicken with all of those hormones in it to grow fully in 3 months. JUST THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE EATING !!! I would rather eat bugs any day as long as the government doesn't get ahold of them !

  • theancientmuse

    theancientmuse said 4 years ago

    I am not eating meat (only eat fish). I on ecological side. I would eat incests rather than a cow. I believe mammals have souls like humans but not the other animals. But only if i starve...

  • JulesSam1984

    JulesSam1984 said 4 years ago

    I was my cousin's +1 to her boss's dinner party. His wife was Mexican from Oaxaca, she prepared "Chapulines," as in CRICKETS, for the aperetif!! I was mortified!! I'm Mexican myself but never had I thought about trying them!!! We couldn't be rude, we tried them in a taco topped w/fresh salsa. They weren't bad @all!!!!!! They're crunchy & they didnt really have a specific flavor. They were basically salted & roasted. The thought was scarier than actually trying them.

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 4 years ago

    I love the comments more than the article..LOL! In Hawaii we eat some pretty strange things but I'm pretty sure that bugs would have been taboo in our culture, however, we would eat limpets and fern roots..ha! ha!

  • AriaCouture

    AriaCouture said 4 years ago

    I have a severe phobia to bugs, so won't eat them. Ever. I'll starve to death first.

  • UnusualEwe

    UnusualEwe said 4 years ago

    My first thought isn't really about "green" or "icky" or "the future" or any of these other buzz words, but something I think is a more practical question. What's the point in eating a grasshopper or a handful of mealworms "to save the planet" if it is going to take an entire stick of butter and 12 secret herbs and spices to make them palatable? I won't say "Never!" to the notion, but I will say that this idea's going to have to develop a little before I see bugs on my plate.

  • VictoriaWest

    VictoriaWest said 4 years ago

    Very interesting article and lovely comments! Most of the things I'd like to say have already been mentioned above, great sharing guys! As so many aspects of our diet, I think it's just an issue of getting used to the idea. Crabs, shrimps, shellfish don't look all that different compared to insects. What makes consuming beef or pork easier is probably that we are so detached from its production, and just see it in its final state, in the store. Personally if I have to prepare poultry and get to see a whole chicken, I'm not all that enthusiastic either. The problem with insects is their small size - if they were ever to be successfully introduced to Europe, they would have to be in preprocessed powder/patty form. I think it is very simplistic to say "eat insects to save the planet", there are SO MANY things that can still be improved before treating insectophagia a a last resort. And even then, if we don't change other aspects of our over-consuming and wasteful culture, eating bugs will still not save the planet. It is beneficial to discuss though-provoking issues as these though; it reminds us to be conscious of our choices, open-minded and not mind-dead. In my opinion, the key is to be less wasteful and stop over-consuming.

  • VictoriaWest

    VictoriaWest said 4 years ago

    It's a pity you can't use the character for posts. You end up with these long, illegible blanket posts that no one -quite understandably- will want to read. Sorry guys!

  • VictoriaWest

    VictoriaWest said 4 years ago

    in my previous post, that was meant to be the enter character. (I should stop talking now!)

  • Aya1gou

    Aya1gou said 4 years ago

    Prawns and shrimps looks very similar. I'm totally fine to eating bugs if it tastes as good as shrimps!

  • Kosmika

    Kosmika said 4 years ago

    Uhm.. if they are good enough.. why not?? In the meanwhile I leave the pleasure to taste insects to you.. and don't forget to write a review :)

  • redcordelia

    redcordelia said 4 years ago

    The reason I wash my kale so carefully is to get the bugs off. I associate insects in my mind with dirt, bacteria, disease, and uncleanliness. I can't say what I might do if I were desperate enough, but for now I prefer not to eat bugs.

  • amandawho

    amandawho said 4 years ago

    While On honeymoon in Thailand hubby and I walked past a stall of insects. While trying to convince him to have one a Thai lady purchased a bag and offered us one. So we tried a cricket, not that bad although hubby would strongly disagree!! They were fried so tasted like prawn tails, don't think I would eat a whole bag but at least we tried it.

  • Reclaimedcrafts

    Reclaimedcrafts said 4 years ago

    Nice artical, not a veggy myself but respect people who are :)

  • TheWallaroo

    TheWallaroo said 4 years ago

    @ScheiderGallery I've extracted the carmine from the cochineal before (school science project) and they are not gross looking insects to me. I think I would eat them. But you are right, we already sort of do. Carmine is also used for lipstick and other cosmetics. Also, they live on one of my favorite fruit plants :)

  • ArtbyMaz

    ArtbyMaz said 4 years ago

    I wish more people would become vegetarians as I am. The cruelty in the meat industry is totally unacceptable to me. Growing fruit and veg in place of raising animals for meat is much more earth friendly and efficient. A quote from Albert Einstein - "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."

  • Mimssy

    Mimssy said 4 years ago

    I've had some boiled worms and baked cricket. Both were pretty decent. Now that I think about it, grilled/baked/smoked insects would taste pretty good on pita with tomato and spinach.

  • Lazyfish

    Lazyfish said 4 years ago

    not now.not later.not EVER!!!!

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDconnection said 4 years ago

    Never! I"m with Lazyfish :)

  • LoucheLab

    LoucheLab said 4 years ago

    I'd eat it, but not to save the planet, just to try something new. Shrimps and lobsters are basically very insect looking and we all love those.

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 4 years ago

    No thanks. Unless I was on the TV show Survivor.

  • TheHickoryTree

    TheHickoryTree said 4 years ago

    Wow there are a lot of comments here. I'm just not sure I've evolved that much where the bugs start looking tasty yet. Now if there was chocolate on them... Conversation at the dinner table would have been so different. "Now sweetie, you know you can't leave the dinner table until you've eaten all your mealy worms and grasshoppers".

  • bjhissong

    bjhissong said 4 years ago

    You were right when you said this was a Traditional diet staple for people in the past. Tribes used bugs as their protein source. I disagree with you about a low-fat protein being better for you. Saturated animal protein (from pasture-raised, grass fed animals) is the only source of natural vitamin A and D. Our society is sick because of the low-fat diet. I agree with a statement above: go to the Weston A. Price Foundation to learn about real nourishing foods and health. We don't need to resort to insects and becoming vegan because you disagree with industry farming does nothing-- support farmers who are raising food the healthy way. That's the only way to turn around this health crisis.

  • malam

    malam said 4 years ago

    I tried fried crickets and worms in Thailand - Once you can't look at them because they're in your mouth, what it really tasted like was... fried oil :) a bit like eating a crispy (cricket) and a soft (worm) peanuts :) Can't say I would eat some everyday, but the taste certainly makes it totally edible.

  • mairitales

    mairitales said 4 years ago

    Better vegetarian or vegan.

  • spartasoap

    spartasoap said 4 years ago

    I know "eating bugs to save the planet" is mostly a catch phrase, but we all know it's going to take much more than that. I'm squeamish, so insects would not be for me by choice. For many people, becoming vegan or vegetarian is not a health option. People never want to hear that, but it's true. If you really want to save the planet, lay off the fossil fuel trips and stop with all the plastic waste and that sort of thing.

  • AntoinettesWhims

    AntoinettesWhims said 4 years ago

    <---- Loves eating that bug underwater bug ~ Lobster. Yes I'm willing to eat more lobster to save the planet. Yes lobster is indeed a bug. Look at a lobster, look at a scorpion, About the same really, replace flipper for stinger and completely different habitat.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 4 years ago

    Eating LESS, transporting less, buying less, processing less is the key to future survival, not eating differently in any way. Eat bugs if you want to, eat cows if you want to, but make sure ALL you eat is produced as naturally as possible, transported as little as possible, processed with chemical additives as little as possible... & if you buy it make sure you eat it, not throw it away.

  • AquaMoose

    AquaMoose said 4 years ago

    Hey, why not! I would be willing to try it. I don't think my food has to look cute to eat it.

  • earjeans

    earjeans said 4 years ago

    I'm sorry....I just couldn't do it. I freak out seeing them wonder in my house every blue moon. There's no way I could calmly sit down to a dinner plate full of them saute'd in a special sauce! *gags at the thought* then *searches for another way to help save the planet* lol

  • earjeans

    earjeans said 4 years ago

    yalls comments are hilarious! (sorry, I'm a little bit country)

  • deetwelve

    deetwelve said 4 years ago

    I would only eat bugs if they were processed into something like a patty, tasted great, and--most importantly--you didn't TELL me what I was really eating.

  • GiftsWithCharm

    GiftsWithCharm said 4 years ago

    Never say Never!!! You never know! In Colombia they have these ants with really robust bottoms and they are a delicacy. They roast them with spices and taste just like bacon bits! I had them when I was a kid. Quite good. Why not? Except roaches, there I draw the line!

  • decorarockstar

    decorarockstar said 4 years ago

    I think it takes even less "feed" to simply not rear animals at all and divert the feed straight to humans. If this is an argument for sustainability, veganism conquers. Personally, I don't think I'd be so squeamish not to try a bug! I'm quite curious to how they taste actually :) And people who like cute food... what's not cute about bugs!? I think they're adorable X3

  • paprikapapaya

    paprikapapaya said 4 years ago

    nah, vegan all the way, babyyyy.

  • vianegativa420

    vianegativa420 said 4 years ago

    I have some serious safety concerns...what about insecticides? Most insects are now developing resistance to known ones used in the past, so theoretically, an insect could have consumed quite a bit of an insecticide and be not affected by it, but the person or animal who eats the insect will be! These poisons are designed to be readily absorbed by the insect's body in high amounts. Given the present-day practice of pesticide use everywhere, from farms to homes and restaurants, I hope people are not eating wild-collected insects that are apt to be toxic. I know some people who keep reptiles and they are very careful of the source they get their bugs from for that reason.

  • PaigeHeatherBoutique

    PaigeHeatherBoutique said 4 years ago

    Very interesting perspective; however you won't find this girl eating insects:)

  • Gifket

    Gifket said 4 years ago

    i'm a very adventurous eater. i would absolutely LOVE to be on shows like andrew zimmern's bizarre foods. i would eat bugs. not only to help the planet but also just for the experience. :)

  • charlenesbags

    charlenesbags said 4 years ago

    A very interesting idea. I agree, the US would have to commit to a huge campaign. Of course, grasshoppers covered with chocolate may be more palatable.

  • opalsjewelry

    opalsjewelry said 4 years ago

    I can see the logic in it for sure! It would be a way to replace meat while solving a lot of problems. Honestly I couldn't do it. If bugs were the meat option I would go vegitarian. I know a big part of that is just being programmed to think it's gross and that it really isn't as far as how people are designed bugs are naturally a part of our edible choices and I give major props to those who go for it.

  • BlumesBlooms

    BlumesBlooms said 4 years ago

    Cook'em up I'll eat them. Just as soon as someone explains to me how I'm supposed too. To I suck out the insides or just pop the whole thing exoskeleton and all in my mouth and crunch? Heck it might be really good. I'm willing to at least TRY it. It really shouldn't be considered any grosser to us then eating shrimp. It's certainly less gross then sausage (meat packed into pig intestine) and most of us eat that without a second thought.

  • MishaGirl

    MishaGirl said 4 years ago

    I tried fried crickets not too long ago....they are pretty tasty.

  • SpringwoodSoaps

    SpringwoodSoaps said 4 years ago

    I don't think I could eat bugs...

  • nomadcraftsetc

    nomadcraftsetc said 4 years ago

    I would love to travel the world and try all the insects from different cultures. These people have been eating them forever-I am sure they find them satisfying and tasty. If I don't like them I will just move on-but I would still like to try them. As for eating them on a regular basis-if there wasn't another choice(which there probably are many hundreds of other choices and I am just speaking hypothetically)-sure? Why Not. There are worse things in life than having to eat bugs. Like not having anything to eat at all.

  • vinskord

    vinskord said 4 years ago

    That's just wrong. I would eat them as a last resort, if nothing else was available.

  • Athenianaire

    Athenianaire said 4 years ago

    insects are a very pure source of nutrients. I do not agree with eating them live, many "gameshows" and "reality" shows on TV that are popular irritate me with their having contestants eating live insects for shock value. They deserve respect because of their importance in our world. What's your passion? Insects helped make it happen in one way or another....

  • MarieN2

    MarieN2 said 4 years ago

    Ladys and gents, don't knock it before you try it.

  • Balanced

    Balanced said 4 years ago

    no.

  • EForestCreations

    EForestCreations said 4 years ago

    Maybe if like you said, it has to ground up and hidden in something. I have tried alligator tail and rattle snake. The alligator tail was very good,they serve it in Key West battered and fried, better than chicken but the snake was horrible. The texture was not good at all.

  • HelenesDreams

    HelenesDreams said 4 years ago

    At this moment, my instinctive nature is to say "no". But, I am really lucky that I don't have a problem with food options here in Oregon. I am not sure what I would do if I lived in a country where food is more scarce though. Bugs just do not look at all appetizing.. Thanks for the write up! It's great to open your mind to new things.

  • EverythingU

    EverythingU said 4 years ago

    I have had a colony of mill worms growing in my home for over 3 years. I paid $6 for a thousand from a friend that had them for her pets to eat. I got them for my chickens as a treat. Chickens adore mill worms. They are very easy to take care of. I have not tried them myself but if need be, I know they would be safe to eat.

  • jmayoriginals

    jmayoriginals said 4 years ago

    thanks, Etsy, for such an interesting article.

  • nearlywild

    nearlywild said 4 years ago

    I'll keep grasshoppers and crickets in mind in case I'm ever in a survival situation. I'll remove the legs so they don't stick in my throat. Useful piece of info, that.

  • smokeatillyjane

    smokeatillyjane said 4 years ago

    I would rather use fish bait to catch fish and eat the fish. Only for survival.

  • jack5225jake

    jack5225jake said 4 years ago

    I would be willing to give it a go. Other responders already said we eat bits of it in our processed food products. Here is a sampling of allowable FDA products: Here is a very brief sampling of the FDA's Food Defect Action Level list. They begin investigation when foods reach the action level they've set. According to the FDA, typical foods contain about 10 percent of the action level, but others say they contain more like 40 percent. CHOCOLATE AND CHOCOLATE LIQUOR •Insect filth: Average is 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams when 6 100-gram subsamples are examined OR any 1 subsample contains 90 or more insect fragments •Rodent filth: Average is 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams in 6 100-gram subsamples examined OR any 1 subsample contains 3 or more rodent hairs CITRUS FRUIT JUICES, CANNED •Insects and insect eggs: 5 or more Drosophila and other fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml RED FISH AND OCEAN PERCH •Parasites: 3% of the fillets examined contain 1 or more parasites accompanied by pus pockets MACARONI AND NOODLE PRODUCTS •Insect filth: Average of 225 insect fragments or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples •Rodent filth: Average of 4.5 rodent hairs or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples PEANUT BUTTER •Insect filth: Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams •Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams POPCORN •Rodent filth: 1 or more rodent excreta pellets are found in 1 or more subsamples, and 1 or more rodent hairs are found in 2 or more other subsamples OR 2 or more rodent hairs per pound and rodent hair is found in 50% or more of the subsamples OR 20 or more gnawed grains per pound and rodent hair is found in 50% or more of the subsamples WHEAT FLOUR •Insect filth: Average of 75 or more insect fragments per 50 grams •Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 50 grams Save the Planet!

  • thegoodgoose

    thegoodgoose said 4 years ago

    You don't have to eat bugs. Just eat veggies. Go Vegan for your health, for animals and not least- the earth!

  • fiera2

    fiera2 said 4 years ago

    If the people who are saying "no way!" to eating bugs were taken on a tour through a slaughter house or meat processing plant, perhaps they might change their answer to at least "maybe". The gruesome images of the interiors of those places rival any discomfort you would feel over eating a little crunchy critter.

  • KissKissBoom

    KissKissBoom said 4 years ago

    I would do it in a heartbeat if it meant 'saving the world', heck, I'd probably be the one coming up with locus tacos and things... however... It's not the answer. Like so many have said, it's not that we have a food shortage right now, it's just distributed poorly to the 'rich' countries - for instance to the US. And since more food = more people, it's basic sociology, our population will continue to grow, and so will our perceived need for food, then that surplus will = more people... It's a dangerous cycle we've been in for forever now. What we really need is population control. 2.1 children is the number to yield zero population growth - and we need something below that to reduce our population to a sustainable level - and it's the honest key to the future. Too bad so many people don't believe in population control, and probably won't, even after it's too late. (This is just my educated sociological opinion, no hate mail, please.)

  • keelibop

    keelibop said 4 years ago

    I'm willing to say that if i can get passed the brain washing i've experienced, and if bugs turn out to be tasty, then yes, i certainly could. If it will stop, or reduce the number of mammals, birds, and fish that we kill and scarf down every year then yes, let's try it, this planet is a gift and we need to take care of it.

  • ccdzs

    ccdzs said 4 years ago

    Years ago I worked at a residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed children. One child who came to us when she was five, was found tied to a tree in the family's yard when she was four. It was believed she had been left there alone for at least two weeks before a neighbor found her. The family lived in a tar paper shack back in some woods so she was not readily visible from the street or the front of the yard, which was substantial. This child was so resilient even though she had been severely abused and neglected. I was in awe at her strength and ability to cope. And, she was very intelligent. During the time we had her in our cottage she taught me about survival and told me how she caught insects, pop off their heads and wings and eat them because she had nothing else to eat. The point is she survived and did not suffer from severe malnutrition because she was getting the necessary protein to maintain her brain function, although she cleary lacked fatty foods and other necessary nutrients. Thank God someone found her, brought her to a good foster home then brought her to us at the facility where I worked. I was one of her house parents and spent a great deal of time with her. She's a grown woman now with a family of her own. And, while I'm sure she doesn't have to depend on consumption of insects for survival, she has that knowledge and that experience. She was an inspiration.

  • SilverspotMetalworks

    SilverspotMetalworks said 4 years ago Featured

    I wouldn't have expected to hear about entomophagy on Etsy, but I enjoyed the article! As you might infer from my logo, my husband and I are entomologists, so when we went to Mexico City last December, part of our "research" involved stopping at a market stall that specialized in insect-stuffed tacos. We tried the escamoles (ant eggs in a molcahete preparation), agave worms, fried grasshoppers, and shahui (deep-fried mesquite bug nymphs). The grasshoppers tasted a little green, like uncooked broccoli, but the escamoles and the shahui were actually delicious. The shahui tasted like Corn Nuts, only more chewable. Unfortunately, it turns out that they're so tasty that some populations of them may actually be endangered by overhunting - proof that no matter what organism we choose to chow down on, we must treat it with respect and care.

  • RemnantsOfHope

    RemnantsOfHope said 4 years ago

    Hm...if I absolutely had to I would. lol Eating fried cicada or grasshopper sounds interesting enough for me to try, but I don't think i'd be able to eat it whole with eyes....that is if I had a choice to pick something else. I keep thinking about it having a heart.

  • sarahbrown

    sarahbrown said 4 years ago

    we regularly eat insects anyways, just unknowingly. :)

  • AukinasGoddess

    AukinasGoddess said 4 years ago

    Well-done, without the legs... yes.

  • anyafenix

    anyafenix said 4 years ago

    There is an excellent Ted Talk on this entitled "Marcel Dicke: Why not eat insects?" I'll try any meat at least once. And insects look just like crustaceans and we're cool with eating crustaceans.

  • Colettesboutique

    Colettesboutique said 4 years ago

    Bugs help the planet too, so why eat them.

  • AGirlandHerDogShop

    AGirlandHerDogShop said 4 years ago

    I went vegan, I imagine that is a better alt for people who don't want to eat bugs! agh!

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    No thank you ;)

  • teatimeandroses

    teatimeandroses said 4 years ago

    Is it not easier to become a vegan and maybe get wonderful protein from beans and such. I really do not want any bugs on my plate. :)

  • thelittleantiquarian

    thelittleantiquarian said 4 years ago

    wow! when you put it like that, eating bugs seems awesome! :-D I was a vegetarian for 7 years, but I had to stop because I needed meat...or maybe bugs! hehehe xoxo bekah

  • suzettewilliamson

    suzettewilliamson said 4 years ago

    wHAT IS THAT THEY SAT? "YOU DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO SURVIVE" BRING IT ON,LOL.

  • suzettewilliamson

    suzettewilliamson said 4 years ago

    WHAT IS IT THAT THEY SAY? "YOU DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO SURVIVE" BRING IT ON,LOL.

  • LaveraVcreation

    LaveraVcreation said 4 years ago

    Hahaha no thank you♥

  • hardcorestitchcorps

    hardcorestitchcorps said 4 years ago

    Stephen Fry was going on about this on the last episode of QI. Then he ate a chocolate covered ant and spent the rest of the show horrible choking and coughing. It ended up being a pretty bad advert.

  • CalicoJewels

    CalicoJewels said 4 years ago

    I'll starve first

  • bananastrudel

    bananastrudel said 4 years ago

    But let's look at the possibilities here -- supposing Nobu, Noma, or Bocuse d'Or restaurants were to serve these as enticing appetizers in a candlelit setting, wouldn't you be curious to try?

  • vntagequeen

    vntagequeen said 4 years ago

    Um, gross! I think there are better ways to help those that are hungry. Like focusing more on the over consumption and amount of waste in our country. I do believe that would help those in need much more than adding bugs to our diets.

  • komoriuta

    komoriuta said 4 years ago

    Etsy, I love you, but... I fear you've gone off the deep end

  • seriousface

    seriousface said 4 years ago

    Nom noms! Why not give it a try? Same as eating anything else on this planet.

  • CarleighBeth

    CarleighBeth said 4 years ago

    I have eaten crickets and mealworms, they're fine, the problem is in your head. People across the globe eat insects, and have been since the dawn of humanity. How, may i ask, is it ANY different than eating crab, lobster, or crayfish? And for those of you who say you would rather starve first wait until you ARE starving to make that grandiose declaration. People will do drastic things when ones life is truly at issue. Do i think it is THE solution? No. There is not one path to solve the food issues faced. But that doesn't mean there isn't value in many americans getting over themselves and trying something new, or rather, old. Perspective people, you eat cow muscle, and chicken embryo, hotdogs are wrapped in intestines, and lobsters really are just giant sea bugs.

  • TheFlyingHippo

    TheFlyingHippo said 4 years ago

    To all who are opposed simply because "it's gross": do you have any idea where your steak and buffalo wings come from? I mean, really ... do you understand the process of turning a beautiful chicken into your dinner? Talk about atrocious. As a vegetarian, I am not interested in consuming insects, but not because I find it repulsive. I would fear the government taking over, creating insect farms--similar to the meat industry farms, and most importantly--maybe an imbalance to our ecosystem? Yes, our meat farms are environmentally UNfriendly, but surely there's a better option? Perhaps all my fears are obtuse and largely dramatized, but even if ... well, I can't even bring myself to kill a wasp, and my kiddos are highly skilled in the art of 'catch and release' for spiders. :)

  • gypsipixi

    gypsipixi said 4 years ago

    It surprises me that so many people are stating such a strong repulsion to insects. I wonder how much of that is solely from our growing up viewing "bugs" as nasty. Really the things we see as delicious are equally "nasty". Eggs are baby chickens that are not yet developed. Milk is from the teat of a cow...not to mention the practice of getting it in high volume... yup there is blood and pus in milk. Ever see how chickens and pigs are raised in "farms" in America? Yeah, not so clean and sweet. Bugs are probably cleaner than most of the meat you eat every day. A lot less nasty, not more so. Or is it the look of the insect? Ever eat a lobster, crawfish or shrimp? Have you ever LOOKED at one...? There equally as creepy, but people are programmed to think that they are a delicacy there for ok to consume. Try thinking that way about insects. Maybe if the media jumped on the band wagon we would be slurping down worms and crickets in no time!

  • felwong

    felwong said 4 years ago

    On the contrary, I don't think it's gross to eat insects. It's no different than eating say, a crab. Or a lobster. Don't those look "weird" too? I try to be adventurous when I travel, so I've had my fair share of insects in Thailand and Cambodia. Deep fried grasshoppers are... crunchy. That's what happens when you deep fried the s*** out of anything! Fat meal worms, I don't like as much because they're kinda powdery, while the black water beetles are kinda smooshy inside, so that takes some getting used to. I would totally consider a buying bag of deep fried grasshoppers sprinkled with fleur de sel / cajun spices if they sold it at the concession stand of the movie theater! :P

  • felwong

    felwong said 4 years ago

    I forget to add. I do have a question: Insects clearly play an important role in the ecosystem in the way they interact with plants as well as other insects (pests). If people start harvesting them en masse, would we create some other kind of disaster, akin to the vanishing of the bees?

  • CarleighBeth

    CarleighBeth said 4 years ago

    One of the things to consider is that one could potentially farm insects at home. They do take a little less space and fewer resources to propagate then say cattle.... Reptile breeders and enthusiasts do it. You wouldn't meet the full protein needs of the household, but it could help add to your families nutrition. Like a backyard garden.....

  • caseysharpe

    caseysharpe said 4 years ago

    I would like to believe that if I were in a position to try eating bugs, I would. (That is, if someone else prepared them and offered me some.) But I'm not sure yet. Might wuss out.

  • Dionsart

    Dionsart said 4 years ago

    I'm not narrow minded, I would definitely try them depending on their preparation. Insects are definitely a good resource to look into.

  • GoddessAdornments

    GoddessAdornments said 4 years ago

    In order to make something of this "nature" more appetizing I do believe it would have to be intertwined in our realities at an early stage because as a grown adult who has never intentionally eaten bugs....EEWWW!

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 4 years ago

    Nice read, I tried a grilled grasshopper one time ..not too bad tasted like roasted peanut. :)

  • jenpanek

    jenpanek said 4 years ago

    I grew up in Zambia, where flying ants were a real delicacy. They only came out once a year, before the rainy season began (if I'm remembering correctly), and you'd catch them as they swarmed out of their holes and fry them up in a hot, dry pan. They "made their own oil," people used to say. I used to catch them and cook them when I was just a kid. My mom was completely disgusted by the smell of them, and I used to have to beg her to let me use one of our frying pans. With a little salt, they were crunchy and oily and better than peanuts. I grew up to be a very adventurous, nose-to-tail kind of eater. I'd still eat those ants today, if they and I lived in the same place. But really, really couldn't do roaches. They are vile.

  • JoviesJewels

    JoviesJewels said 4 years ago

    Cannot eat bugs! Not appetizing cooked or raw!

  • cupcakegangster

    cupcakegangster said 4 years ago

    how come everything tastes better deep fried! lol

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 4 years ago

    Barf!

  • Peachcult

    Peachcult said 4 years ago

    Sounds fine to me. As long as it tastes good I'll eat most anything.

  • ManicManx

    ManicManx said 4 years ago

    As my father always said "Tarzan grew big and strong eating grubs." Insects have helped sustain people all over the world. I dont see any difference between eating a locust or a soft shelled crab. Its got to be a similar experience. Maybe not taste wise but certainly texture wise. Im up for it. I wish I could get fried grasshoppers locally. Andrew Zimmern, move over.

  • afternoontees

    afternoontees said 4 years ago

    As some people have mentioned, carmine is a common coloring derived from insect shells - it's in Good and Plenty candies, certain yogurt brands, and more...

  • marianamex

    marianamex said 4 years ago

    I've eaten fried grasshoppers here in Mexico and found them oddly good. I would deal with having to live on such stuff as long as there were vegetables still around too. And bread. And cheese. I try not to think of them as grasshoppers, but just something crunchy, like a chip. The local market has lots of things like that - the one thing I'll never eat are the live bees. I don't get that one. They have them in jars. I don't know whether you're supposed to kill them first, or enjoy them biting you as they go down your throat. Of course there's the mezcal worm - I've drunk mezcal and love it, but haven't gotten the worm yet. I think I would have to drink a lot of the stuff to down the worm.

  • daddieslittleartist

    daddieslittleartist said 4 years ago

    I would totally eat bugs if they were tasty and didn't look gross, and have before. A room mates dad brought over chocolate covered crickets, and meal worms and a grasshopper in a lollypop, and I had no problem eating them, and they were very tasty.

  • PomLove

    PomLove said 4 years ago

    this was quite an interesting article. i don't know... i'm not totally opposed to the idea of eating insects... i guess the key ingredient would be BUTTER. lots and lots of butter... so in the end, maybe not so healthy. :D i think it would take a lot of humans eating a lot of bugs to actually put a dent in the whole "planet dying" situation better, though. :\

  • LauriesPaintbox

    LauriesPaintbox said 4 years ago

    I'll not have any thanks,, no no, thats quite alright,, more for everyone else!

  • heatherurias

    heatherurias said 4 years ago

    I'd try them, as long as a talented chef was doing the cooking! ;) However, I draw the line at arachnids...

  • bluecitrusart

    bluecitrusart said 4 years ago

    Just testing

  • flabbergastbanana

    flabbergastbanana said 4 years ago

    um, how about simply being a vegetarian? so much grain is needed for cattle etc, if we were all veg's the world would be better off. let the bugs just be bugs for eff's sake we don't need to start eating them too!

  • GoddessEngraving

    GoddessEngraving said 4 years ago

    I'm with the vegitarian idea, I'll do that way before eating bugs. Well I should say eating bugs on purpose.We all know processed foods have an acceptable amount of bug parts. Ewww

  • rabbitdance

    rabbitdance said 4 years ago

    I need tons of protein to function well and to feel good. To that end, I love grasshoppers (especially the chili-dusted ones). I can eat those like popcorn!

  • raspberryhead

    raspberryhead said 4 years ago

    if bugs are my only choice for survival i am very afraid i would starve to death. My worst nightmare ever is the story of the Donner party, i would have been the first to die. i was one of those children that would starve and starve rather then eat the dreaded balogna. lol, and i thought i was a practical person. i guess not.

  • gayretro

    gayretro said 4 years ago

    Nope, no bugs...I am a vegetarian who has not eaten any meat for 18 years; I just eat fruit, nuts, veg. and pulses....and I am perfectly healthy on this diet,. I am also very concerned with saving this planet, but not necessarily for homosapiens! If we all followed OXFAM's advice and become vegetarian, the land that is used for raising animals to be horribly slaughtered can be used to grow crops and thus feed many, many more people. Homosapiens are omnivores not carnivores (look a tour teeth and intestines) and I think we could all just as easily cope very well, as I do, with being herbivores. All the great apes, except us, eat very little protein in the form of meat and survive on fruit, nuts, berries and veg. (gorillas eat NO meat at all). We do not need much protein at all and we have to metabolise carbohydrates for energy (Krebs cycle). So leave the poor bugs in peace!!! We can survive without meat.

  • Kiravana

    Kiravana said 4 years ago

    I do not understand why some people feel the need to come here and bash those who take part in Entomophagy or take a general interest in it. Just because people like to eat bugs does not make them any less of a human or an "animal." Do some of you not know that there are many makeup products that contain carmine or cochineal extract, of which both are derivatives of insects? Or the fact that there is an average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams of peanut butter? Some people are so quick to bash something without even educating themselves. Just because you knowingly don't take part in eating bugs does not mean you still aren't eating them.

  • Zalavintage

    Zalavintage said 4 years ago

    I remember one of my mother's friends who traveled in Asia during the 60s bringing me chocolate covered bugs as a treat, I think it was baby bumble bees, grasshoppers and two other flavors covered in pastel foil, like easter eggs...

  • creativeunraveling

    creativeunraveling said 4 years ago

    I think we forget that shrimp are the insects of the sea and yet we're okay with eating them. Although it still doesn't make me feel like I could confidently eat one. I still have trouble shelling shrimp without feeling an enormous wave of guilt. :)

  • creativeunraveling

    creativeunraveling said 4 years ago

    ...confidently eat land insects I mean - ugh. The thought...

  • creativeunraveling

    creativeunraveling said 4 years ago

    Just googled it. Crustaceans are closely related to insects and arachnids, maybe they'll taste the same without the salty sea like flavour?

  • VictoriaWest

    VictoriaWest said 4 years ago

    Kiravana said: "there is an average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams of peanut butter" - ..... and I say: What??? That sounds an awful lot. Maybe it's those crunchy bits that I love?! I hope not!

  • ResaArtDesign

    ResaArtDesign said 4 years ago

    Not sure if eating bugs is negative or positive. However, there is the fact that birds and reptiles, ( and I'm sure I'm missing some others ), need them to survive, so we need to preserve enough for our little creatures who really need them, and keep balance in our world. Everything in moderation and not in gluttony or vanity.

  • booboosmom

    booboosmom said 4 years ago

    ok, i am not barfing only because i have to navigate away from the picture...whoo, that makes one queezy! i do admire the beautful story about the strong cared for foster story...i would pray that my Lord would get me through a time like that as well...as it is amazing the gifts we are given from above. to eat a fried treat is not always and mostly never a treat (unless it's potatoes)especially if it is creepy crawlers! gummy worms is as close as i can be...and still do not consider those a treat either. on a positive note...i love the topic being explored as it is very enlightening from all angles touched! blessings to all!

  • booboosmom

    booboosmom said 4 years ago

    PS GypsyPixie, enjoyed reading your thoughts!

  • salvagedshreds

    salvagedshreds said 4 years ago

    id love to eat bugs! but thats just me :) personaly the sound of a silk worm and grasshopper saladsounds wonderfuly full of protien and flavor :) but again i understand such this are not for the weak of heart of stomach (no offence) personaly id eat just about any thing but i do draw the lines at jellied moose nose though (yes it i a real dish)

  • sweetsnthings

    sweetsnthings said 4 years ago

    For years my daughter has been catching grasshoppers while we grill tofu and veggies, and having us grill them for her. Gack. But then we saw these online: http://www.hotlix.com/insect_candy/crickettes.html They're delightful, I wish they came in a much larger size!

  • Bmbyx

    Bmbyx said 4 years ago

    Growing up in Central Asia I am accustom eating many unusual things. Sure I will try bugs so long they exclude spiders and roaches though. :o)

  • NomadicTrader

    NomadicTrader said 4 years ago

    Would you eat bugs to save the planet? Can anyone explain on eating bugs will "save the planet"?

  • TheStitchAndFold

    TheStitchAndFold said 4 years ago

    they are supposed to "save the planet" as it is less taxing on resources to rear a certain amount of grasshopper as opposed to a comparable amount of say, beef. I'm a vegetarian. Full stop :-)

  • VeronicaRStudio

    VeronicaRStudio said 4 years ago

    I would never, ever eat an insect! Ewww...

  • TheLaughingLlama

    TheLaughingLlama said 4 years ago

    Yikes! This gives me the heebie-jeebies. I love my veggies and always will.

  • sarahsquiltsncrafts

    sarahsquiltsncrafts said 4 years ago

    No. Thank you very much.

  • Rabbithollowprims

    Rabbithollowprims said 4 years ago

    I couldn't eat it nope no way. I will become vegetarian LOL

  • HanaMauiCreations

    HanaMauiCreations said 4 years ago

    I would have to be starving, I think : )

  • kayratastaki

    kayratastaki said 4 years ago

    Last winter I was in chiang mai.I couldn't eat.

  • StitchWits

    StitchWits said 4 years ago

    Are y'all aware of invasivorism? It's precisely the notion of making food sources of invader species, for the purpose of overharvesting. I haven't looked into the insect side, but vegetables I want to sample include day-lily blossoms. Google "invasivore," and you'll find whole gangs of people eating for the good of the planet. I only want to know who's going to round up the Africanized bees for the pot.

  • ponderosaquilter

    ponderosaquilter said 4 years ago

    I would eat those insects as long as they're not deep fried in some oil. Stir fried in lard would be fine.

  • HairitageHydration
  • 9cirmes

    Andrew Fuller from Cirmes said 4 years ago

    It's actually kind of surprising to me to see how many people are so closed off to the idea. It really speaks volumes as to how we've grown up and what is "normal" to us. I'm a vegetarian (with vegan tendencies) for a multitude of reasons. The environment being one. Red meat, poultry, fish, all seem disgusting to me, but this is what everyone grew up on so they don't question it. The same can be said about religion. It's so much based upon where you were raised. That said, I agree with a few others that said that as vegetarians, insects sound more appealing than meat. I think it says a lot when people bluntly state that they care about our environment, but if that means no meat, that's out the window. That, and the slight raise in appeal if we pulverize the insects into a powder or form an unrecognizable patty. Has anyone seen the now popular image that looks like strawberry soft serve but is actually what they use to make chicken "nuggets"?? Disgusting. We have a very detached relationship with our food. I say open your mind, just a bit. To each his own, certainly. I'm actually just a bit surprise by how many people are vehemently opposed.

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