Tuesday, July 14, 2015

COULD I EAT BUGS?

Why does the thought of eating insects repel me so much that I don't even want to write about this?




I guess it started a long time ago. I hated the bugs that I saw on the gorgeous white flowers that grew on the bush surrounding our house.

My wise older sister read this to me from the Bible, Leviticus 11:20-23.
All the winged insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you. 'Yet these you may eat among all the winged insects which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth. 'These of them you may eat: the locust in its kinds, and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds.

Reading in Newsweek Magazine about insects as food -- seeing photos of them on plates and in bowls nicely prepared as food, I was so repelled that I almost threw away the magazine. But I forced myself to read.

The United Nations has recommended that we eat insects. They are a highly nutritional source of protein, high in iron, and they are part of the diet  for much of the world. Many researchers believe they are safer for human consumption than livestock.
     The edible insect industry is growing rapidly. Though the Food and drug Administration (FDA) does not yet have clear regulations for insects as food, sellers must follow what applies to other foods -- proper labeling, and keeping the products contaminant free. A company can't just pick up grasshoppers from a field and sell them at a market -- the insects have to be raised explicitly for human food.

Yes, progress is being made, but in order to get confirmation from the FDA of "GRAS" (Generally Recognized As Safe), sellers  know that one of the biggest problems to over come is the "yuck" factor.

With grants from Bill and Melinda Gates, who are supporting efforts to get insects accepted as food, also grants from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), the head of the USDA'S National Institute of Food and Agriculture, NIFA, Sonny Ramaswamy, a card carrying entomologist, has used insects to teach kids about climate change and environment.

Ramaswamy says, "I go to a school, taking insects with me -- pop a live caterpillar in my mouth and start chewing. The boys run over and say" Oh I want to do that." Because children are highly adaptable, Sonny R plans to use them to get insects into our diets.  He's sure he can get them eating his curried cricket dish.

Golly,  maybe  a kid could inspire me to give curried crickets a try, but as I picked up the fork or the spoon... eek ...I'd be sick to my stomach.

Anyhow, times are changing. Progress is being made, so sooner or later, you and I will adapt to eating other kinds of food.  

Did you ever watch "Fear Factor," the TV show? It promised the winner $1 million, if contestants passed a series of horrendous tests, among which was eating awful looking giant cockroaches, and spiders, (also other nauseating things). Nothing,  could ever get me to do what you see in this horrifying video.)


4 comments:

Stan said...

Great article Em, a little "buggy" however. No bugs for me thanks.

Carola said...

I remember when my husband's ancient aunt ate crickets in Mexico but I wouldn't touch them.

Granny Porkchop said...

As a 17 year old, I gleefully served chocolate covered ants, bees, grasshoppers and crickets at a very expensive elite catered event in 1983. Most of the attendees were LGBT, even though that wasn't a designation in those days. If edible bugs were going to catch on, it would have been with the hippest, cutting edge crew in the world starting then. So, just, no..

SafetyMentalst said...

Dear Em,
i love powderd cricketts
on my ICE CREAM ;-) ..
VERY GOOD FOR YOU !!

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