Bugs on the dinner table!
Teeny tiny little steps toward eating more sustainably
I’ve had a few people tell me that I can’t be serious about conservation or be an environmentalist if I don’t stop eating meat. I completely disagree. Well, not completely, but I do disagree. I personally do eat meat, granted, not very much, always of high quality, and as often as possible sourced from great producers like those you will find on this lovely website. I do not believe in fundamentalist environmentalism like I do not believe in fundamentalist anything. All of us are on a journey and we need to do what we can, and guide our fellow humans to make better choices. I’ve dealt with many people who think because they stop eating meat they no longer have to think about the environmental impact on their food decisions, which I think is not only wrong, but lazy and hypocritical. However! There is a way that we can all win. I do believe that we can all make better choices and that’s why I’m super interested in the new trend of eating bugs.
I am super excited to see the idea of eating insects becoming popular more in western culture! In Spain, I have seen Carrefour stocking cricket protein bars, dehydrated mealworms, grasshoppers, and crickets all flavored in different ways. I would also love to shout out the brand. It was the first cricket brand I saw readily available and their name is so clever! Jimini. It’s too good! It really makes you think of the product as inviting and friendly.
I am currently in California and was looking to see if any companies were starting to work with insects here and lo and behold. There are a couple. Unfortunately, I could only find some dog treats at my local hippie grocery store. I’m sure I’d be fine if I ate them though, am I joking? I also discovered that Oaktown Crickets from Oakland is selling bags of flavored dehydrated crickets at baseball and football games! So instead of popcorn, we should all start eating crickets! They are also available at Amazon.
Okay so everyone thinks I’m disgusting for being passionate about eating bugs. So let me go into more detail about why I am so excited. Sadly our current animal production industry contributes to deforestation, habitat fragmentation and destruction, climate change, uses a ton of fresh water, then contaminates it, pollutes a ton in general, the list goes on. We also have to talk about what all these animals are eating. Thirty-three percent of agricultural land is dedicated to just growing food for these animals and 70% of US grain is fed to them(1).
So a really exciting talking point about eating insects is their low environmental impact. When compared to pigs and cattle, mealworms, crickets, and locusts produce about 100 times less greenhouse gases and ammonia(2). Insects require less food, water, and space than any type of livestock we produce.
The world’s population is at 7.53 billion at the time of writing this blog and is continuing to grow. According to worldpopulationbalance.org the world population has increased by 750 people in the 5 minutes it will take you to read this blog! That’s a lot of people and a lot of mouths to feed. If we could supplement at least some of our protein for a more sustainable, low impact source, that’s a win in my book.
Claimed by some to be the biggest food revolution of our time. The New York Times praises entomophagy (the consumption of insects) as low cost, eco-friendly, and high in protein(3). WebMD tells us how crickets could enhance your microbiome and reduce inflammation(4).
2.FAO. 2010. Environmental Opportunities for Insect Rearing for Food and Feed
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