While Americans clearly need to be wooed into jumping on the insect food bandwagon…or shall say bugwagon…many people in the U.S. are welcoming the trend as the benefits it has for the entire planet keep increasing in number and this food is looking more and more like it could be the answers to many of the world’s problems such as health and helping the environment. The number of restaurants adding insects to their menu is rapidly growing, and gives adventurous diners a tasty way to explore this trend. You can find crunchy grasshopper tacos at New York’s Toloache Mexican restaurant, or if you’re feeling more like Asian fusion, try the Taiwanese crickets at restaurant Typhoon in Santa Monica, California.
The advantages to an insect-filled diet are numerous. Insects have way more protein packed in a small package than any traditional mammal such as cows or pigs. They also contain boosts in other nutrients such as iron and zinc. Palm weevils have two times more dietary zinc than beef, and more iron and healthy fats. And while their dietary benefits are huge, their environmental footprint is tiny. Insect farms don’t need nearly as much water, land, and other resources as cattle farms, and they produce much lower levels of greenhouse gasses. Not only does insect farming benefit our health and the Earth, but it also can apparently make a serious dent in poverty. Insect farming has created a job that people with very little resources can do and end up making a pretty good living. A number of stories have popped up of formerly impoverished people in Africa starting their own insect farm. With this simple job they’ve been able to get themselves out of poverty and provide for their families when they previously couldn’t. With so many benefits, I’d be willing to munch on a cricket if it will change the world.
Do you think consuming insects could possibly change the world for the better and how?