Should We Be Eating Bugs?
What you think of bugs, what do we picture? Creepy crawly spawns of satan? They appear as some people’s worst nightmares while others love them. This phobia of bugs definitely develops more so in western cultures than in eastern. In most countries, they like them so much that they even eat them! Shocking, I know. I mean if so many cultures view this creepy treat as a delicacy, how can it be bad? Many people may have a defense for this. Although, this does bring the question into light: Should we eat bugs?
An infographic titled : ‘Beatlemania: should we all be eating insects?” explains why we might actually improve our health by consuming these bugs. To begin, over 25% of the population do eat bugs as part of their daily diet. If it really was that bad, that means that 25% of the population should be dead right now. If that many people can do this without any harm, why can’t we. There is also an extremely wide variety of insects to consume. Over 1,900 species of insects have been identified as safe to eat by human standards. Many of these bugs are actually eaten in the adult phase which is seen as insane! If it’s any comfort, they are most likely not alive when eaten. The wide variety of these “safe to eat” insects definitely beat the variety of other more commonly eaten meats. Along with that, insects are also a lot better for the environment than regular meats. For example, a cricket only produces a meer 2g of CO2 for each Kg of weight gain. This definitely rivals that of cows, who produce 2850g of CO2 for every Kg of weight gain. Additionally, for every Kg of pork, there is only 250g of protein but with termites, it is 350g! So therefore it is proven that bugs are actually nutritionally better for you. Bugs are also cold blooded which means that less food is used for maintaining homeostasis and more is used for growth and adding nutrition to the bug. This definitely makes you question what we have been doing all this time by viewing bugs as gross. When it all adds up, all arrows point towards insects!
TIME magazine actually put the flavors of bugs to the test by asking people about their experiences eating, selling and cooking bugs. One New York restaurant sells tacos stuffed with small grasshopper like bugs. She sells around a dozen or so orders a day, which is a lot considering how much of a taboo insect eating is in the US. In another study, a restaurant in Netherlands prepared two types of meatballs. One had regular meats and one had mealworms. To their surprise, 9 out of 10 of the testers prefered the mealworm meatball. Not only are these bugs nutritious, but delicious too!
Hypothes.is user 18Cheunga summarizes this issue nicely by saying, “Although it says here that incorporating insects in you diet is healthier and better for everyone, I still think it is gross. Personally I think insects are disgusting, but if other people think otherwise, I am fine with that”. Hopefully soon enough, this can be seen as a good practice in America and people can enjoy the ways of bugs. A lot of lessons can be taken from different cultures and this is sure one of them that we should try out. Happy crawling!
"Sample Common Core Resources." Article: Good Enough to Eat. TIME, n.d. Web. 19 May 2015.