University of Florida student Donna Shin gets ready to taste fudge topped with toasted
crickets and mealworms (AP).

Scientists Say, ‘Eat More Bugs’

June 09, 2008 10:24 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Scientists are extolling the health and environmental benefits of eating insects, and the practice is gaining wider acceptance. But most Americans aren’t lining up for bug recipes.

30-Second Summary

Many people find insects disgusting or unsanitary. But their consumption is not unusual outside of the industrialized world, where some bug dishes are considered a delicacy.

Boiled, fried, roasted, sautéed or raw, 1,700 species of bug are eaten in at least 113 countries across the globe, according to statistics reported earlier this year in Britain’s Telegraph. Japanese restaurants serve boiled wasp larvae, Nigerians eat roast termites, and in Australia, Aborigines eat bogong moths, whitchetty grubs and the honeybag bee.

Scientists praise insects as a good source of protein, and some are pushing the critters as a solution to global issues such as climate change and the food crisis.

Mexican scientists say that bug consumption could “contribute to sustainable development” because their cultivation requires the preservation of forests, also reducing consumption of meat, reported the Telegraph.

In February 2008, a United Nations conference discussed insect-eating trends, and the recently published the Eat-a-bug Cookbook, apparently in hopes to popularize the trend.

U.N. conference organizer Patrick B. Durst admits, “We’re not going to convince Europeans and Americans to go out in big numbers and start eating insects,” but says he hopes entomophagy can improve health and environmental quality elsewhere.

David Gracer, a college writing instructor and spare-time bug-eating advocate, says he doesn’t understand why people are squeamish when it comes to insects.

“Most of these people are happy to eat crab, lobster and shrimp—the ocean equivalent of insects,” says Gracer.

Headline Links: ‘Insects (The original white meat)’

Opinion & Analysis: ‘Why Not Eat Insects?’

Reference: Bug Eating Society, ‘land shrimp,’ cookbook

Video Links: Maggot cheese

Related Topics: Pest Control


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