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Bugs: They’re What’s For Dinner

Bugs: They’re What’s For Dinner

 

To many, the thought of eating bugs is downright revolting.  They’re creepy, crawly and often just plain scary looking. Still, bugs are packed in protein and upwards of 80% of the world’s human population ingests bugs regularly.  So why aren’t bugs showing up on menus across America?  The ick factor is mainly to blame.

According to Audubon Magazine, bugs “produce more protein with less food, energy, and emissions than any livestock.” This is impressive information, especially since Americans eat more animal meat then they probably should and factory farms, the source of most domestically produced meat, make up a significant portion of CO2 emissions associated with climate change.

Minus the horrible conditions livestock typically live in (something that’s hard to ignore), cattle, poultry and pig products require much more food and water resources to feed and maintain than does a bug.  Raising pigs, for example, “requires feeding them up to four times the food needed to produce the same amount of bug protein (for cows it’s 12 times).” Bugs also make up four-fifths of known animal species on Earth, making them readily available.  Plus, they’re healthy — providing a significant source of low fat protein unlike a lot of other meat.

Surprisingly, we already consume bugs daily and don’t even realize it.  Ocean Spray Ruby-Red Grapefruit Juice and Yoplait strawberry yogurt, for example, contain a red dye called carmine used from crushed, dried bugs.  If you can swallow that fact, head on over to San Francisco, a city that’s famous for experimentation and being on the cutting edge of cuisine. You may just be able to stop by a local food truck that dishes out meal worms, grubs and other insect delicacies. Hey, you never know, you just might like the taste of bugs!

Whatever your inclination, next time you’re looking for a meal, think again about that burger or turkey sandwich.  What you put into your mouth is directly correlated to how that product is produced.  Many prefer to tune out the gruesome details, but it’s time to realize that in order to feed the growing human population and combat climate change simultaneously, we’re going to have to get creative and open our eyes to various, sustainable dietary options, including a diet that consists of less meat entirely. Bon Appétit!

 

Related Stories:

HSUS Exposes Severe Animal Abuse at Wyoming Meat Processing Plant

Could Eating Bugs Help Slow Climate Change?

Bugs on the Menu at San Francisco Food Truck

 

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Photo Credit: Vijinathkv

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70 comments

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9:26PM PST on Dec 27, 2013

wow..80% of the worlds population eats bugs regularly. Thanks for this article.

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Intriguing and fascinating as in some parts of the world insects are eaten for protein and even sold at markets. Deep fried tarantulas are a hit in some areas (although they are arachnids) and perhaps a plump grub would be crunchy and tasty deep fried. Who knows.

Meanwhile, I will also continue to eat small amounts of organic meat and lots of organic veggies. While some insects are endangered there are many more that are not and if one wants to experiment there must be recipes online.

10:06PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

I've eaten escargot, and I know about the use of carmine in yogurt, etc., as well as lipstick, so I guess if I had the chance to try a properly prepared bug I'd give it a try. I used to say I'd never try calamari or octopus, but I've had both of them, and they weren't bad.

10:04PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

@Colleen P., I'd be interested in hearing more about how people have controlled food allergies through alternate therapies - do you have links? I know people with severe citrus and nut allergies, and though I think it would be dangerous for them to try to cure their allergies, I'd love to know if there is any research going on in this area because it would be of enormous benefit to a lot of people.

1:05AM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

Why not convert to veggies? One can find a protein rich diet that way without the Yack factor. I'd never put insects past my lips! Yack!

10:52PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

yuck

2:54AM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

Maybe one of our processed food giants will make a mashed then baked and well seasoned chip out of Kosher locusts and/or grasshoppers. According to the Bible there are several varieties of locust and/or grasshopper that are permitted as food for Jews even though pork is not.

1:57PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

All the more reason to pursue fusion and other energy alternatives. Speaking of which, does anyone want to help brainstorm the "Alternative energy future's cookbook?" Each chapter can explore the foods available when different energy supply predominates.

* Heavy on fossil fuels? BBQ Insect.
* Wind energy? Sliced bird Sandwiches.
* Solar? Sheep on a bed of clover.
* Fission? Radiative sushi.

http://www.fusionenergyleague.org/index.php/blog/article/pursue_fusion_or_eat_insects

5:19AM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

eating bugs, i think they can make slimmer look

4:59AM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

nop, thanks

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