“Entomophagy” is the name given to the desire for humans to eat bugs. Humans have been eating bugs since prehistoric times. Third world countries with little food often depend on insects for sustenance. China’s roach farms are becoming a booming business. In fact, even countries as close to America as Mexico enjoy yearly festivals where people collectively consume the stink bug. Of all bugs to eat, why the stink bug? I cannot imagine any self-respecting human happily munching away on the only type of insect that is named for smelling like everything that you want to avoid, but apparently, despite smelling like death, the bugs offer a refreshing cinnamon-like taste. So what is the problem with America? Why no bug-eating clubs?
Well, for the most part, other countries have resorted to bug eating out of necessity and/or desperation. Whereas other countries have regarded bugs as a staple to their national diets, America is just too wealthy of a nation to indulge in bug eating for protein when we each consume seventy one pounds of meat annually from abundant livestock.
However, there are two reasons as to why Americans will eventually embrace chewing on roaches. One reason being the fact that we cannot sustain our current diet trends. A report from the United Nations supports this belief by claiming that meat prices will skyrocket along with the coming boom in population, which is expected to reach ten billion by 2050. It is not that beef and chicken won’t be around anymore, rather the global demand will be so high that only the rich can afford it; beef will become the next caviar.
The second reason has to do with saving the world. If America cut back on its meat consumption then a whopping thirty percent of earth’s land could be freed up to make way for more environmentally sound projects. At the moment, thirty percent of the planet’s land is being used to raise cattle, which has resulted in rapid deforestation and greenhouse gas levels that cannot continue without serious environmental consequences. If cattle grazing were to be replaced by insect farming then greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by eighteen percent. So no matter how much you hate to even look at a cricket, your children will most certainly have to eat them at some point, if not you! Or we could continue to avoid bugs and then watch the world fall apart in front of our very eyes.
Do you believe that insect consumption, as an environmental necessity, will occur in American within your lifetime?