Punch Your Mealworm Ticket for the Bug Main Course


Aardvarks as ant herders

Aardvarks as ant herders

A story in the Wall Street Journal, about none other than a worm grown and harvested for culinary purposes, may give some people the willies. But growing the Mealworm as a source of protein in foods may be one solution to the world’s coming food crisis.

Could beetles, crickets, dragonfly larvae or even bug caviar be ground up to put between the bread of your Big Mac? More and more it looks as if the world will have to turn in this direction to feed the burgeoning population. Strain on the world’s food supply is already making the headlines, and while the situation is not yet so grim, factor in additional billion souls – things could get a bit out of hand. We need more renewable sources of food, particularly protein.

There are over 1,000 edible species of bugs on Earth. And everyone knows the little buggers multiply better than rabbits. As this story suggests, it turns out our little six legged friends may be friends indeed, when the world needs them most. And in case you did not know, much of the world already eats bugs. Yep, gobbling ant pupae in Laos is about as common as grabbing a cheeseburger at the drive thru.

Okay, bugs as food may well prove to be the marketing and PR equivalent of selling snow cones to Eskimos, but when push comes to shove, the idea of alternative foods has to take hold. Here in Europe, in the Netherlands, entomologists have been trying to convince people to supplement with bug juice, all manner of meals.

Taking things a step further, Holland actually has companies that raise insects for food. Animal feed that is, but never the less food. And we all know about chocolate covered ants from Boy Scout training, right? Bugs are simply more efficient to grow for protein.

Thai bug eating is all the fashion

When bug gobbling is in vogue

If you think this story is far out, observe from this National Geographic story how this idea of “six legged” main courses is progressing. Silk worms sold in open air markets? Crispy roasted ants in theaters in South America? Yeah, me too. But aside the insects being consumed “as is” think about the protein supplementing other more popular foods. Like cheeseburgers for instance. With all the salt on the Whopper, it is unlikely any burger fan would notice say 20 percent grasshopper guts.

What’s the harm? Come on people, we have to start conserving sometime. According to the National Geographic story Americans already consume up to half a pound of insects a year unintentionally. On a serious note, we are rapidly approaching a crisis point where many decisions will have to be made.

Even discounting global warming and other environmental situations, Earth is going to have trouble feeding all her inhabitants under the current situation. Corporations talking about making alcohol for fuel, what does that mean for the food supply? Just how much can Earth sustain? If you think about it, raising bugs for something other than biting our butts at the picnic make a lot of sense.

For more information on how bugs can be included in your diet, or even the possibility bugs will be coming soon, please visit Insects Are Food.

The report below will give the reader a heads up on what this “buzz” is all about. Bon Appetit!

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  1. Dave Gracer says

    As this article implies, we’re seeing a turning point in human history. The resource pressures of our continually increasing population, combined with a changing global environment, will usher in all kinds of changes — some of them will be uncomfortable. Since insects are so much more environmentally efficient, they’re the optimal choice to feed an overburdened planet. And yes, they taste fine.

    I operate a company centering on entomophagy; there’s a slowly-growing community of entrepreneurs and other visionaries working in this subject. Though it’s true that cultural conditioning is a powerful force, some people see the logic and advantages. There’s nothing to be afraid of.

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