by Douglas Rivelli
Every generation has a fad of foods. For some it’s going to the malt shop. For others it’s getting a good burger. But there is potential that the incoming generation’s trend will be eating bugs. It may seem off-putting at first, but there are numerous benefits to it.
There are already countries that are getting in on this fad, for example, in Korea a popular street food is 번데기 (Beondegi) is a type of silkworm pupa. It is normally served boiled or steamed and eaten individually. Other nations, such as China, Japan, and Vietnam also serve a similar type of bug in street vendors.
It may seem gross for anyone to be eating a bug, but there are plenty of reasons to get on this trend. Firstly, they are incredibly healthy. The chitin most bugs have are loaded with fiber that can fill you up in place of a chocolate granola bar, which has more sugar than you may care to know.
Secondly, the world is so overpopulated with bugs that eating and producing them will cause little harm to the environment and create less waste. Cattle and poultry farms are inhumane and fatten up livestock with chemicals. Not to mention that the process of making the meat is dangerous and creates all sorts of air pollution.
If bugs became a regular part of an American diet, then the waste would be dramatically reduced and we would be putting less of a strain on our environment. Also, the short lifespan of an insect and their rapid reproduction means that there would be a nearly limitless supply of this, effectively decreasing the global hunger epidemic. Because bugs can be produced for such a low cost and in such vast amounts, eating bugs could be the reason that world hunger is nearly put to bed.
Lastly, and probably the biggest obstacle, is that the off-putting nature of eating bugs makes it hard for America to even start on this trend. While it may not appeal to everyone, the taste of most bugs are hardly present, and when they are, many say it tastes like chicken. While some bugs may have a gross gusher-esque feel, most bugs (and actually the healthiest ones) are the ones that have chitin, and they are cooked and seasoned in such a way that, when ready to eat, they taste more like a potato chip than they would a gross bug.
Now, just because bugs may be a new superfood doesn’t mean fan favorites like hamburgers and chicken cutlets will be gone. Adding bugs to our menu is just a possible option on your family lunch trip. Since bugs are so small, eating a ton of then wouldn’t always make a meal, but they can be a great snack or a meal before a workout to get you pumped up and energetic.
So, the next time you think about how gross eating a bug can be, think about all the benefits it may have for you and for the world as a whole.