Though it’s possible to purchase edible bugs – trademarked “Crick-ettes” – at Pumpkin Moon, these “snacks” are undoubtedly designed to elicit more of a “Ewwww!” than a “Yum!” Even though these packaged crickets are now flavored with “Bacon and Cheese” and “Salt and Vinegar” (my favorite), they seem not to be presented as real food; they’re scary, nightmarish…icky.

Overcoming what I call the “ick factor” is the main problem people have with entomophagy, or the eating of insects.

Still, earlier this year, the United Nation’s Agricultural Organization published a report entitled “Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security.”  In their 200-page study, the authors concluded that “Insects are a highly nutritious and healthy food source with high fat, protein, vitamin, fiber and mineral content.” They envision a future that holds the “full development (from the household to the industrial scale) of production and international trade in insect products as food and feed sources.”

Even though insects may be efficient sources of nutrients, and more environmentally friendly than other protein sources, it’s unlikely most people will find them appetizing. And it’s equally unlikely that most people on the planet – even those who regularly eat insects – would prefer a bowl of grasshoppers to a steak or strip of bacon. Still, you can’t eat steak and bacon all the time, and although insects may not be our first choice for dinner, they are, indeed, one choice for dinner. 

 

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...

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