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You probably don't want to eat bugs and I think that's a problem

2 min read

I was talking tonight with one of my favorite sparring partners about one of my favorite topics--eating bugs. Most people (including myself) viscerally react with disgust at the idea of eating a cricket. That's a valid feeling. Most people in the United States grew up associating bugs with filth and disease. I'm sure some of us as toddlers were about to eat a bug and then Mom or Dad ripped it out of our hands, sternly telling us that bugs are not food. Fine.

The problem is that as our population continues to grow and our climate continues to...change, our traditional food sources may not be inadequate to feed everybody. Bugs like the cricket or mealworm are nutritious, fairly easy to raise, and resource efficient.

With that in mind, I find it frustrating that the biggest obstacle to expanding our use of these critters for food is everyone's collective cultural disgust.

I readily concede to my sparring partner that a person's opinions and choices cannot be divorced from emotion, nor should they. Emotions are a valid means of evaluating the world around you. But I don't think they are sufficient reason to reject an idea without engaging with its possible merits.

Maybe if there were an obvious alternative means of supplying the world with cheap, sustainable food, entomophagy would be an amusing, hypothetical, what-if question. But until that's the case, your emotions are not enough. I reject the notion that feelings are immutable. They can and should change if the context demands it. Now let's go make some chocolate-chirp cookies!