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Eating insects and changing American culture

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I was reading this article on why it makes sense to eat insects and a lot of the points made are compelling (if true). But even bringing up the question in America is met with revulsion because we see insects as pests to be removed from our homes. And I don't see how that would ever change unless we were forced to as a result of low supply of other protein sources.

I ate a chocolate cricket at a Harvest festival and I thought i was pretty damn cool. Its legs got stuck in my teeth and it felt like I ate sand after I swallowed it. But it just tasted like chocolate so it was pretty lame.

Why eat bugs, anyway?

Despite the fact that 80% of the world’s cultures eat insects (that’s right: the US is in the minority here) most people in our culture consider insects simply to be pests. But when you consider the logic of bugs as food, from an ecological, financial, and global perspective, they start to seem a lot more palatable.

Insects: The True Eco-Protein

A United Nations report found that the livestock industry is responsible for generating more greenhouse gas emissions than transport. That means the burgers, chicken, and pork we are eating are technically worse for our environment than our cars. Insects require such fewer resources in terms of food, water, and land space that, as David Gracer of SmallStock Foods puts it, “Cows and pigs are the SUVs of the food world. And bugs—they’re the Priuses, maybe even bicycles.”

Top Ten Reasons To Eat Insects

10. Most edible insect species are highly nutritious.

9. It is up to 20 times more efficient to raise insect protein than beef. That’s per pound. This is mainly because bugs don’t ‘waste’ food energy on things like raising their body temperature, or making bones, fur, feathers, and other stuff we can’t eat.

8. Also, it takes less water to raise insects — much, much less: up to 1000 times less.

7. You are probably already doing it, as the FDA allows a certain amount of insect matter to be present in most commercial foods: an average of 150 or more insect fragments are allowed per 100 grams of wheat flour, for instance — that’s a lot of bug!

6. Most cultures in the world not only eat insects, but in many cases find them to be a delicacy.

5. If insects themselves were deemed a food crop, imagine how much we could cut down on pesticide use, and its associated environmental damage.

4. Many insects are tasty: some larvae taste like bacon. Who doesn’t like bacon?

3. Many animal rights activists often won’t get up in arms over eating bugs, as they are already exterminated on a daily basis (the bugs, not the activists).

2. Insects may be the food of the future, as scientists are researching their potential as a space food crop.

And the number one reason to eat insects is…

1. Insects are a great, inexpensive, green source of the protein desperately needed by starving peoples. If we can help create a market and funding for it, there is the potential to help spread nourishment throughout the planet.
 

Brickhunt

Member
I wish there was this option where I live so I can try. Depending on how it's prepared and seasoned, I can find myself eating cooked or fried bugs.
Raw insects....nope, can't do it now. It would take shit lots of mental training for this.
 

mrklaw

MrArseFace
mash em up and sell them in the shape nuggets

This is the only way most people would eat them. I'd willingly try one as long as it didn't look like an insect. Unless it was a giant insect shaped out of minced up insect and covered in breadcrumbs.

I like Quorn too - don't know whether that is more efficient to grow than insects, but presumably it is much easier to process.
 

CSJ

Member
It's a cultural thing and to be fair, as logical as I try to be about it I can't bring myself to even want to try eat an insect. If I was raised to then I most likely wouldn't care as those who eat them do.

It's a hard thing to change, parents who don't eat them would need to raise their children to to make any impacting change, it has to start somewhere and I feel it's in the early stages.
 

bengraven

Member
I think we're at a point where we should force people to eat them. Mix them into fast foods or processed things. Better than cardboard, which is is already in there. At least this shit is literally good for you.
 

tapedeck

Do I win a prize for talking about my penis on the Internet???
I think the crunch and hairy legs getting stuck between your teeth might be a turn off.

I'll stick with steak, thanks.
 

SoulUnison

Banned
I love trying new foods, even more so exotic ones, but I'll just never be able to get myself to eat insects.

I think it's a mental barrier you have to break before it has a chance to form.

Some people can surely push themselves to try it, and might even enjoy it enough to keep doing it, but most people probably have to be raised doing it to not have a problem with the idea.

Closest I'll ever be able to get is my love for seafood, since things like shrimp and crabs are already basically the insects and spiders of the sea.
 

Somnid

Member
Insects is commonly proposed as a solution to high impact protein production. Though yes, for cultural reasons it never took off in the West. It would make more sense, I think, to figure out a way to detach the nutrition from the substance, kinda like the way we can create lab-meat. Some people balk at that idea, but these people are typically a lot more well off and not grounded in any real science. I think on the whole most can accept it as a nutrition source if you push it in the right way.
 

Rootbeer

Banned
We've been hearing about insects as an untapped food resource for years and years, yet in the west outside of occasionally appearing at food fairs it doesn't seem to be catching on at all.

Anyway, a great way to waste time is to look around youtube for the subject, there are countless documentaries, tv specials, cooking show segments about insects. Most definitely interesting to research.

I think it will eventually come, but probably more out of necessity as food prices continue to go way up and not because there's demand for it. Maybe there will be once people start eating it and develop a taste for it?

I love shrimp and other sea food so obviously you can't pretend like it's not a very similar thing.
 

DOWN

Banned
I've never knowingly eaten a bug and these don't look appetizing to me:

 

ChaosXVI

Member
Ugh, the logic is so sound and reasonable...but I just can't do it man. There's just no way. There are so many elements of culture that I could easily reject due to a logical basis for doing so...but...

Just no...I can't, I wish I could but the idea of it makes me sick to my stomach.
 

Moff

Member
we will be able to press insect meat into different forms like steaks, nuggets, whatever, and it will solve a lot of problems.
I for one welcome our insect eating future.
 

Mecha

Member
Eating insects for their meat would be a positive step in my opinion. The perfect scenario would be scientists creating a way to manufacture meat without killing an animal.
 
I'm not gonna dispute the benefits of eating insects, I just can't wrap my head around actually doing it. It's hard to get over that hurdle, you know?
 

Ran rp

Member
The only way I could eat them is if they look nothing like insects when they're going in my mouth, and if I can't feel tiny legs and wings when chewing them. Also, no crunch, please.
 

Anoregon

The flight plan I just filed with the agency list me, my men, Dr. Pavel here. But only one of you!
boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew.
 

Rootbeer

Banned
some crickets can get as big as quails.

imagine eating a stack of qual-sized crickets for dinner.

might happen in our lifetime.
 

Nikodemos

Member
PSY・S;149499470 said:
The only way I could eat them is if they look nothing like insects when they're going in my mouth, and if I can't feel tiny legs and wings when chewing them. Also, no crunch, please.
Larvae don't have wings or legs. Though there a bit of crunch when eating the head.

Whenever I buy May cherries I like to pop 'em open and nom the grubs first (May cherries are chock full of fruit wasp larvae). Always good to get some protein with your carbs.
 

Aiustis

Member
I like scorpion. It's got this flavor I can't explain, like it'd be good ground up over some rice.

I had meal worm kind of just like bland meal. They are good with a little hot sauce.

Had choco covered ants but not much else. I'd try other bugs.

Also tried cicada.
 
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