To Eat…or not to Eat
The idea of eating bugs as source of protein has been picking up steam. The reality is that there are many places around the world where insect consumption is commonplace and not in least bit repulsive. Getting the rest of world to sign on and sauté our multi-legged friends and enemies is easier said than done. The most persuasive argument for consuming insects is sustainability. When you consider that insects can be grown easily and efficiently not unlike corn, it makes you think. Insects can also provide a rich and abundant source of protein with few environmental risks.
In order to get people past the state of revulsion, understanding genetic development and just how closely related insects are to some species we find tantalizing to eat is an important step toward opening minds. In order to do this, one need look no further than the lobster. Most sea food lovers have no problem eating lobster, but the truth is they’re not sustainable, and, believe or not, new research suggests that bug-like species Westerners find delicious come exclusively from the sea.
For a long time, it was believed that crustaceans and conventional insects had separated a long time ago. Similar features like antennae were merely examples of species evolving along the same lines but separately. New research tells a different story and identifies modern insects as closer relatives to lobsters, crabs, and shrimp than centipedes and millipedes.
While lobster meat as insect meat may still be a hard sell to many, consider the facts. According to the data it is accurate to think of lobsters as ocean beetles. So when you look at the proposition this way, eating insect meat doesn’t seem so unnatural. With the right life-cycle, it would be possible to create a credible food-bearing insect species. It would possess the lifecycle of a lobster and potentially challenge, in meaningful ways, western aversion to insect meat and the very idea of eating bugs.