I had tried fried crickets in England, after attending a debate on the use of insects as a replacement for meat. Apart from my squeamishness (don’t think of the legs, don’t think of the legs), it didn’t taste half bad.
When I was in Mexico, markets were full of large sacks of edible insects. I wanted to try some more, but embarrassment stopped me. Thankfully, I was given another chance on a boardwalk in San Francisco. A TV crew was doing a feature on eating insects and wanted someone to eat one, live, and then answer a few questions. This time the cricket was flavoured (chili and lime) and was pretty nice. The pressure of having to eat it on film was enough to make sure I swallowed!
It’s strange to think how normal eating insects is in other cultures. But entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) is at least as strange as eating cows, or chickens. I’m 100% certain that if I’d grown up somewhere that this was an acceptable meal, I’d be happily munching away. What we see all around us becomes our normal, and anything outside this – no matter how logical, or enjoyable – is difficult to accept.
And I do think eating more insects is logical. After all, it’s estimated that the number of insects one earth must be measured in ‘quillions‘. So there are enough to go around, even if we only count edible species.
Insects are full of protein, and would be significantly easier, and cheaper, to farm for food. Predicting that we’ll all switch to grub burgers might be going too far, but I think a shift towards eating some insects will be prevalent in the West in the next few decades.
So I better get over my squeamishness fast!