Entomophagy, is the technical term used to describe eating insects, and specifically people eating insects or bugs.
For many, insects are an unlikely food option and although this ingredient may not result in the next cordon bleu beef patty, eating insects might just be what we must do to save the planet.
It won’t be a world first: there are a many cultures where insects are considered delicacies and are either added to daily meals or enjoyed as snacks.
Incorporating edible insects into our daily diets could be critical to reducing the harmful consequences of meat production, which research shows, contributes to the destruction of the natural environment.
Edible insects come in all shapes and sizes. They provide an environmentally sound and potentially healthier protein source than red meat.
An added benefit
In addition to the impact of entomophagy on food security, mass adoption presents the potential for it to become significant contributor to job creation. Traditionally, insects are collected, prepared and sold by people who have little political or economic power, so the commoditization of insects will provide a major boost some of the world’s most marginalized communities.
Challenging traditional attitudes
Beyond the financial reasons, eating insects also helps us to understand different cultures. Entomophagy challenges cultural prejudices and food taboos by enabling us to experience and connect with people from other parts of the world. Best of all, this could result in shared understanding between cultures and communities.
Where to start? After all, it’s just food!
There are more than 2,000 species of unique, edible insects. If you’re willing to try this new type of protein, begin with an insect that is already a major source of food and other products that humans have used for thousands of years: the honey bee.
In countries where bee populations are not under threat, the honey bee and its larvae are among the most readily available insect protein sources. Frozen larvae make a delicate and creamy treat fried in butter and with a little salt.
Depending on where you live, simply head to your local market to discover new insect indulgences, but if fresh insects are not easily available, you can always order online!