Did you know that in scores of countries around the world–including Thailand, where food markets are stocked with commercially raised water beetles and bamboo worms — bugs and insects have long been part of a well balanced meal?

Furthermore eating insects could be a far greener way to get protein than eating chicken, cows or pigs. With the global livestock sector responsible for 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and grain prices reaching record highs, cheap, envirornmentally low-impact insects could be the food of the future – provided people can stomach them.

Insects require little room and few resources to grow. For instance, it takes far less water to raise a third of a pound of grasshoppers (150 g.) than the staggering 869 gal. needed to produce th same amount of beef.

Incredibly efficient to raise, insects are also crawling packets of nutrition.

Some people are revolted by the alien appearance of insects, but then again lobster could hardly be described as cute andcuddly.

Consider the Waxworm spring salad. Cook waxworms as well as Queen Atta ants. If cooked correctly, what you get is crispy, meaty and flavourful.

Would you ever consider eating well-cooked insects?



  1. 1
    Chimera Says:

    Apparently, we already eat insects without knowing it (or wanting to know it — sorry for the spoiler, folks). The government regulations on adulterants in food for human consumption are pretty much spelled out — so many « insect parts » per volume (or weight — I forget which) is allowed.

    As you say, Neil, lots of cultures around the world depend on insects for much of their protein. We are a squeamish lot, here in pasture-rich North America. We eat them by proxy. First the cows eat them as a side dish with the grass, then we eat the cows.

    Did anyone see the movie, Hidalgo? Did you see the scene with the storm of locusts? See both horse and man chowing down on crunchy giant grasshopper-thingies? Yum!

    There are novelty food places where you can buy chocolate coated ants and honeyed bees with which to stupefy your party guests. Just tip the contents of the jar or can into a candy dish and set it among the nuts and potato chips. Do not tell them what they’re eating until sometime next century, unless you want to be the center of attention in a revenge plot.

    It’s a matter of what you grow up with, isn’t it? And somebody is sure to mention that insects are on the biblical menu — especially locusts. With honey.

  2. 2
    Cate McB Says:

    It’s a free country (more or less) and so if anybody wants to dig into chocolate coated ants or locusts or whatever — go for it! & may good digestion be with you. I’ll pass … hopefully forever!

    On the subject of the growing world food shortage, I notice in the latest Sojourners magazine, two articles of note: one entitled, « The Shortage Isn’t Food, It’s Democracy, » (YES!!!) and « A Human-Made Disaster. » The latter suggests 10 reasons for this disaster:

    1. Fossil-fuel-intensive farming models
    2. Biofuel production
    3. Rising meat and dairy consumption in the U.S., China, and India
    4. Poor nations’ dependence on imported staples and the volatile world market
    5. The gutting of poor countries’ farm policies
    6. The dismantling of strategic grain reserves
    7. Harmful rich-country farm policies
    8. Unfettered agribusiness (e.g., Monsanto, Cargill, Bunge)
    9. Speculation
    10. Bad Weather

    I vote that we, as a global community, deal with some of these issues, and then I won’t have to trade my beloved occasional cheeseburger for stir-fried locusts with honey or whatever.

    Watching the F-16s practicing their stuff for Canada Day here in Ottawa, I think we could do with a little less of this stuff too!!

  3. 3
    littlepatti Says:

    We have been waging a war on ant colonies for years…in our back yard. I had never considered eating the enemy.
    On second thought, no!

  4. 4
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, all!
    Before anybody waxes fervently about the « growing world food shortage, » I humbly suggest you read a classic book by P.J. O’Rourke. « All the Troubles In The World. » Read his essay on famine. Consider: in the mid-19th century, there were several severe famines in Ireland. All that time, Ireland was a net exporter of grain. Read that again, please. Famine is not about shortages of food. It is about politically controlled distribution of food. In Somalia, while relief efforts channelled tonnes of foodstuffs to starving children, there were still large fields of ripening grain, waiting to be harvested.
    Famine not only kills people, it benefits somebody. In North America, the amount of food thrown away in any year could probably feed several nations effortlessly. There is no shortage. There is only malice in determining who gets to eat.
    Nobody needs to eat bugs. Though some should. Does that make sense? CTZen.

  5. 5
    Chimera Says:

    « Nobody needs to eat bugs. Though some should. »

    You’ve got someone in mind, haven’t you? Who is it? Tell! Tell!

  6. 6

    Don’t people eat lobster? Isn’t that but a mere giant insect? A scavneger of the sea!

  7. 7
    Chimera Says:

    Lobster is not of the insect family. Neither is crab, crayfish, shrimp, krill, or other edible sea creature with more than six legs, which is one way to classify insects.

  8. 8
    Cate McB Says:

    Thank you Chimera!!

    So I can still have my beloved cheeseburgers and my lobster!

    And for CTZen: read one of my first lines above again please:

    « On the subject of the growing world food shortage, I notice in the latest Sojourners magazine, two articles of note: one entitled, “The Shortage Isn’t Food, It’s Democracy,” … » Yes, this is THE issue!

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