How about some insects for dinner?
Will these crawly creatures be our future food?
It is a fact that at the rate we are going, there will not be enough food to feed the billions of people on our earth.
We are 7 billion already, and in approx 13 years, we will reach 8 billion. If nothing happens, the world population will continue to grow. By the year 2056, there could be 10 billion people living on this planet. It is uncertain that this will happen since humanity is set on destroying itself.
Think Global Warming is Climate Change and its already known horrible effects, then add on the unknown surprises. Perhaps we do not make it at all. Our ozone layer could malfunction with all this 5G radiation, who knows?
A new diet for the world
But just in case we do make it, what are we going to eat? If we switch over to the Flexitarian diet, there is a good chance a lot of people will have something to put on their plate. It means we have to change our eating habits. Hopefully, by that time, the 7000 forgotten crops have become part of our diet.
Even if this is implemented, there could very well be a lack of protein, as we will greatly reduce meat intake. Remember that cattle kept for food is one of the causes of Global warming. They are responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gases, so you can understand that reducing large-scale cattle production for food is a positive thing.
I am not a vegetarian, but I do realize that the dominant method of raising livestock for food is awful for the animals and bad for our health. Massive cattle feeding operations use hormone infused grains, GMO corn (with its requisite glyphosate dosage), and they even keep the animals in pens in unclean conditions.
If you have to eat red meat, make sure the cows are happy cows, and by this, I mean that they have raised them on meadow grass and allowed to live a calm life. Please reduce your intake of meat and when you do, only eat meat from well treated and happy animals.
An alternative source of protein
Does our world produce some other source of animal protein, yes it does, but you might not like the idea. How about some crunchy insects? Eating insects is nothing new in our world, it’s just that in the Western world we are not used to it.
In the book “Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El Medinah and Meccah” written by the British orientalist, soldier, spy, and diplomat Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) one can read about how to prepare a locust.
When people do not fear for their crops, they do not mind a fall of locusts. Boiled in salt water and then put out to dry in the sun for a few days, makes them a crispy bite. The head is taken off, and the stomach is removed as are the prickly part of the legs and voila, there is your tasty locust. Prepared with a mix of onions fried in clarified butter, a pinch of salt and pepper, and your locust dish is ready.
Are you brave enough to try this?
Following naturalist and noted bug chef David George Gordon, you could become a fan too, who knows? Anyhow, this book will teach you how to make a pasta salad with a cricket-y twist. Or, as dessert, you could try a White Chocolate and Wax Worm Cookie.
Remember, bug eating is an environmentally friendly source of protein. That fact could convince more than a few people to at least try it.
From the Uganda Journal, we learn that grasshoppers and termites are eaten, roasted or steamed. Children might put insects in the hot ashes to get rid of hairs. A preparation of steamed and dried termites, which are then pounded, end up as Ekipooli sauce. It is reported that they highly value this sauce in Uganda.
The Aborigines of Australia also had quite a different menu compared to what we are used to eating nowadays. They would eat many plant types and different animals. They would also eat all kinds of insects and part of their diet was a certain type of ants, grubs, moths, and beetles.
This YouTube video is only 2 minutes long. It shows you the colorful and varied diet of the native citizens of Australia.
Before the white man came, the Aborigines would walk for miles and eat what they would find. But nowadays they have taken on the bad habits of too much alcohol and fast food and their health has suffered.
Asian countries where people eat insects
Let’s go to Asia, where people eat insects. Lots of them. It seems that in Southeast Asia, 200 different species of insects are consumed on a regular basis. Now that is what I call a varied menu, don’t you agree? This differs greatly from having a burger every day, right? Investors are monitoring the growing trend of eating bugs.
So, what do you think? Worldwide, in the past and now in the present millions of people eat insects. It looks like if we will have to reeducate our tastebuds and follow the trend. Our natural resources are getting depleted. Keeping too many cattle for meat is not good for our health and harms our planet.
We have to be open to alternative food sources. In a short time, we will hear about and start eating new foods like edible flowers, fruit leaves, all kinds of healthy seeds, and even roots. So why not also insects? They are, after all, a substantial source of protein. Studies have told us insects will be the most viable source of protein in the future.
What is your food culture?
It seems that insects do not pass our throat very well. It has to do with food culture. Even if the situation is extreme, in general, a human being will not eat anything to survive. This brings to mind a story my Mother told me about the hunger winter of 1944 in Holland during the German occupation.
It was ice cold, people were dying from cold and hunger. They had cut most of the trees for fuel. There was hardly any food to be had, and valuables had been sold already during the previous hard years. To be able to have something warm in your stomach, my Mother, who used to cook for her parents and younger brother, made soup, 2 different types of soup. She made one of stingy nettle, which is actually a very healthy plant with a lot of iron. She made the other soup boiling tulip bulbs.
Our food culture, in general, does not admit eating our pets. We frown on horse meat and very few would consider a dog or a cat for dinner. Then again, there are different cultures which abhor eating pig or cow meat, it all has to do with food culture.
As an afterthought
Eating snails is already considered a delicatessen by many, and this includes in Spain. From a snail to a grasshopper or perhaps some roasted grubs or ants is not so far-fetched, perhaps time will come when we will also consider these insects as a yummy treat.
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Source: Sur in English, May 3rd to 9th, 2019 Article by Esperanza Pelaez, the World Digital Library
Photo Source: Pixabay
Here you can read about happy cows. Perhaps you care to read the following post.