You are going to eat insects whether you like it or not.
Really. The Righteous say you will eat them and you will eat them. If you don’t want to gaze upon their chitinous wriggling as you impale them with your really tiny fork, then they will be ground up and hidden in your food and the label will not say ‘made with powdered bluebottle’ in case it puts you off.
Why are we all to feast on roast cockroach and deep-fried centipede? Well, because billions of other people already eat insects so we have to do it to.
What is not considered is the reason so many people have insects on the menu. In most cases, it’s because there is bugger all else to eat! If a whole mass of locusts eat your crops then you eat the locusts. They haven’t left you anything else.
Can anyone imagine turning away a plate of fried chicken with the words ‘Nah. Got any woodlice?’
There is, of course, sound commercial reasoning behind all this. Forget the eco-nonsense, that’s just to get the green loons on board. Clues are in the article, and a big one is ‘they can even be fed on waste’.
Of those people in the world who eat insects, are any of them farming those insects? Mostly they are eaten as caught from the wild. In the wild they have been living on other insects or vegetation. The thing about that is, their guts are full of the vitamins and minerals from the plant material they have stuffed into themselves which is a bonus to the protein content of the insect itself. It’s not just protein, fat and chitin those people are eating. They also get the good stuff from the well-stuffed gut.
If you want to farm insects, you don’t need a farm. There will be no herds of dung beetles grazing quietly in the fields, before being rounded up by a farmer with a trained spider. A big building with loads of boxes is all you need. Battery bugs. There’s no ‘free-range’ in this game and ‘organic’ merely refers to the shit they get fed. The insects on offer will never have felt the sun on their ghastly little carapaces nor the soft earth beneath their creepy little legs.
The feed for these insects will be crap, sometimes literally so. Just because insects can often live on mouldy bread and soggy lettuce doesn’t mean they want to. Locusts, a popular food insect, prefer fresh vegetable matter and when they are full of that they are worth eating. When they are full of chemically treated sewage, they are much less worth eating. What these companies offer is not the generally-quite-healthy bugs that many people eat from the wild, but some factory-farmed shit-bugs that have been raised in darkness and fed on whatever waste material is available for free that day.
This drive to make us all crunch down on a beetle bar is not about health. Not about nutrition and not about the environment.
It’s about money.
I’ll spend mine on the fried chicken, thanks.