Before civilization was a ‘thing’, humans used to scavenge for food. And on their hunt, they would come across various flora and fauna that would serve as their diet. In such an event, it might not be too incorrect to assume that insects were also a part of the diet, considering the nutritional value they provide.
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But then, we “evolved” all the way to KFCs and McDonald’s, with no insect ingredients in our McChicken burger. And yet, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, in 2012, came up with a report that might call for us to go back to our roots. This report claims that eating bugs as food could “help in reducing pollution” while giving us “the nutrition that we need”. To substantiate their claim, the report also highlighted how a certain percentage of the global population has been doing it already.
Claims Say Eating Bugs Could Help With Pollution- Whilst Sustaining Human Lives
While this is quite a bizarre report, there is some true value to this. If we look at the nutritional value of some insects– we would realize that they are a powerhouse of protein. Caterpillars contain 28.2 gms of protein per 100 gms, while minced beef has 27.4 gms. Yet, we don’t consume what could be a delicacy in the near future due to what scientists have called ‘consumer disgust’. Most Western countries would rather starve than eat bugs- simply because they are seen as disgusting and inedible.
The report about eating bugs also makes a claim that beetles, wasps, and several other insects have been grossly “underestimated”. They claim that insect farming could be a guaranteed way to not only ensure food security but also address the several concerns that we have about the scarcity of food. The report proposes that since insects are everywhere and usually reproduce quite quickly, it would be in our “best interest” to cultivate them as food. Along with the nutritional value that they provide, they would also be “lowering the overall environmental footprint”.
As per the reports of Meticulous Research in 2018, (covered by the World Economic Forum), the edible insect market can reach $1.18Bn globally before 2023. The many reasons behind the possible popularity are not just its efficiency (as discussed above), but also the minuscule amount of water that is required in insect farming. As such, insect farming will be a radically different experience from normal livestock farming. Gone will be the days of filth, muck, mud, heavy feed sacks, or even going outside. Insect farming involves much smaller machinery as well.
Some Believe The Idea Of Eating Bugs Is Nothing More Than A Conspiracy Against Meat Farmers
But, nothing can force an individual to eat bugs if they don’t want to. And there are a lot of reasons why one wouldn’t want to. Some individuals are of the opinion that the entire agenda has been pushed forth by ‘money-grubbing bug pushers’. They believe that these organizations want us to abandon consuming meat in favor of insect alternatives- which is then ‘conveniently’ pushed under the banner of climate change and human health.
In order to extend this plan, the government in Canada has decided to fund a cricket farm in London, Ontario. This is considered to be the largest cricket farm in the world. The owners of the locust ranch at Aspire Foods are also of the opinion that the farm would be making powder for pets to consume- but that might not be the final goal. For everyone wondering, allegedly, human pet food is what they are really trying to create.
Mohammed Ashour, the CEO, and co-founder of the cricket farm believes that the world has been seeing quite a boost in the human population, and that brings a lot of issues with it. One of them would be the increasing appetite for protein- but a lack of arable land, as well as resources to produce the food that we consume. The long-term goal for the company would be to ensure that there was always a stable source of protein that would not only be affordable but also available to the general public. This simply states that eating bugs would in some form address the question of food insecurity in a lot of countries around the globe.
Interestingly, some people are afraid that the agenda to eat bugs would come at the cost of producing meat and dairy. There have been multiple reports about attacks on meat farmers, and recently, Canada also had to back off from their plan of labeling ground meat as dangerous for human health. This isn’t a solitary event, as farmers in the Netherlands have also protested after the government forced them to cull around 30% of the livestock that they have. This, the government stated, would meet the goals for carbon emission. While this does quite noble, one needs to understand that the lack of real meat will drive the prices quite high.
There is also an issue of potential transmission of diseases through edible insects to humans and animals:
What are your thoughts about eating bugs? Share them in the comments below.