Working with small companies in China, Thailand, and Mexico, I found a disturbing trend. Young people are moving away from certain traditional foods because we look down on them.
From an early age, we’re taught that this food is disgusting and we’re afraid to even try it. These unwarranted cultural fears are keeping us from an entire food group simply because we’re conditioned to be scared to try it. Logic is on its side, but emotion makes us recoil at the thought.
Odds are, you’re afraid to eat insects. This fear of an entire food group affects the world in ways you may not imagine.
You look at insects as survival food, or worse, food of the poor.
Your revolt at the thought of eating this food shames people worldwide into giving up traditional foods. Your reaction of disgust is keeping people from a sustainable food source that’s available to almost anyone anywhere.
The downward trend is happening because people around the world follow our lead. They’re influenced by our poor attitude toward insects as food because of what they see online, on TV, and in the movies. Simply put, in countries were insects are food, their popularity is in decline due to our perceived view of insects as the food of the poor. We need to reverse this and help promote insects as a valuable food source.
Here in North America, it was the early European settlers defending their belief in their perceived superiority by describing natives as barbarians because they eat six-legged animals that’s responsible for this attitude. The message was so strong that, still today, we revile insects as food.
Look at the places where people eat insects and where they do not. It’s Europe and North America where people are disgusted at the thought of eating insects. Much of the world considers insects as food. We do not.
Lobster and sushi were once considered gross, and we overcame those fears. Now lobster and sushi are some of the most expensive foods.
From a straightforward and logical point of view, insects as food make sense.
Insects are an Ancient All-Natural Nutritional Powerhouse! ‘Safety tested for over 200,000 years.
Insects are a real animal protein that includes all nine essential amino acids; they’re a prebiotic fiber (nutrition for probiotics), very high in antioxidants, a perfect Omega 3:6 balance, high in B12, Calcium, Zinc, Iron, and more. Insects are also a very bio-available food source.
Eating this food reduces meat consumption and supports traditional foods, therefore, reducing pollution, deforestation, and the inhumane treatment of livestock.
Insects can be grown on meal leftovers and can be grown where growing enough plants for food is not feasable. Places like in urban environments, during droughts, and in arid lands.
Insects can be grown in homes, on small farms, and by large commercial enterprises. Insect agriculture is a low-tech business available to people of any economic background.
Food insecurity is a significant factor in the strife and wars we face today. As our population increases, it’s only going to get worse.
No doubt, adding insects to your diet is difficult initially. This is especially true if you’re planning on popping whole crickets into your mouth. Cricket powder is an easier way to add this super nutritious food to your diet. In fact, you can add cricket powder to baked goods. This gives you high protein cookies with prebiotic fiber. How about getting your B12 from a donut that is also high in antioxidants?
Cricket powder is used in baking by adding it to regular baking flour in a 1:4 ratio or one-part cricket flour to four parts baking flour. At this ratio, you can use the mixed flour as you would regular flour. Too much cricket powder will make your baked goods a bit hard.
Cricket powder can also be used in many other ways. You can sprinkle it on salads, add it to shakes or mix it in with sauces. It’s a very versatile way to add real animal protein, antioxidants, prebiotic fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your diet.
It’s Time to Overcome Your Unwarranted Cultural Bias!
Admittedly, it’s not easy. Overcoming the fear of this food group is a mental challenge but once you conquer your fear, you open up a whole new food group. There are over 2,000 insects considered food and every one of them tastes different.
When you add this nutritional powerhouse to your meals, tell your friends and family and post about your experience online.
Your message of acceptance is more powerful than you may imagine. If we show the world that we accept and enjoy edible insects, it will promote a renewed interest in traditional foods using insects.
Insects are healthy, sustainable, and raised humanely. So, what‘s holding you back? Give edible insects a try and talk about your experience.
It’s a Win for the Whole Planet.
Please Note: People who are allergic to shellfish may be allergic to bugs.
Full Disclosure: I’m President of Entosense, and some of the links in this article are to our website EdibleInsects.com.
For an in-depth read on edible insects, check out the UN’s FAO publication “Edible Insects — Future prospects for food and feed security.”