June 14, 2013

Food Of The Future?

Insect delectables for sale in Thailand

For decades academics have been warning us that current lifestyles are unsustainable and put the planet's life supporting capabilities at risk. Scientists from many different disciplines have been telling us to do things differently, or be prepared for big changes ahead. Changes like eating insects.

You may think that is gross, but over 2 billion of us (not me) already include insects in our diets. Insects are important food sources in parts of Asia, South America, and Africa.

Turns out the little crawly critters are high in fiber, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc, as well as energy providing protein.

A designer working with a major kitchen appliance manufacturer have obviously been listening, and have teamed together to design a bug terrarium in order to cash in on the grow-op of the future - growing edible insects at home.

The culinary product is highlighted on the inhabit.com website, and is being touted as a way to deal with the giant honkin' footprint resulting from the industrial production and over consumption of beef.

"As global populations continue to grow, our appetite for meat is likely to cause severe resource shortages in the not-so-distant future. To address the problem, a recent UN report suggested that people should be eating more insects, because they're much less harmful to the environment than traditional meat."

Raise and eat bugs instead! It would be much easier than having a cow in the yard, I guess, and the environmental impact is minimal (insect farts, for example, are much smaller) while the nutritional benefit is substantial. The UN, designer, appliance maker, and current insect eaters may be on to something with this insect ranching idea.

You wouldn't need as much land (a corner of your pantry would do fine). Your barbecue wouldn't have to be as big, and you would probably get tired or grossed out before you could eat enough insects to make you fat.

I'm not against trying a plate of nicely prepared grubs, but I usually try not to eat things with heads and faces and stuff, even if they are "just" insects. However, it would be good to know what insects are edible in my area... should it ever come to that. And it might.

Will insects be the food of the future on our stressed out planet? What do you think? Have you tried eating insects, or are they part of your current diet?

Want more information? The recent report by the UN, "Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security", is crawling with juicy downloads explaining how to raise, harvest, prepare, and preserve edible insects.  Bon Appetit!


  1. Anonymous6/14/2013

    I just read an article on this in Sierra Magazine. I guess if I was starving, maybe? There just isn't enough there to bother.

    Off topic: Cancelled Sierra Magazine today. Maybe it was your post on avoiding slick magazines that want to sell you stuff, that pushed me over the edge. It is filled with things to purchase to be more green. You can't buy your way to green! All the travel deals, how is this saving the planet? I'm done!

    1. Miss Marla, I agree - the green market or industry has just become another life-sucking capitalist ploy to get more money from well-meaning, unsuspecting consumers.

      And don't get me started on air travel. Just one flight can swell your ecofootprint to the size of an atmosphere tainting big, floppy clown shoe.

      They are all oxymorons - "green development", "ethical consumerism", "sustainable growth", and so on.

      Congratulations on freeing yourself from this type of faulty thinking. If more people stopped doing things that don't agree with them, perhaps decision makers would start getting the message.

  2. And now I know what would make me become a vegetarian....eek! This post makes me a little queasy actually. I'm with Miss Marla, only if I'm starving would I eat bugs.

    1. I would definitely try them. Billions of people can't be wrong.

      Can they?


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