I’m just going to start off by saying that I am a vegetarian, and almost a vegan at that, because of ethical reasons. That is where I am coming from with this piece, I am biased towards that point of view.
Are you really going to eat me? Look at my cute floppy eats!
However, that does not mean that I think that everyone should be like me. I am not here to convince you that you should stop eating animals. I am here to convince you that there are other options in addition to meat.
I realize that the veggie life style is not conducive to everyone’s day to day routine. I get it. If you wake up in the morning and have about 20 seconds before you need to be out the door, and you have to make your lunch, you are most likely going to grab the hot pocket rather than make a salad. Why? Because nuking a little meaty pocket of cardboard food is WAY more convenient than getting out the lettuce, maybe cutting up some fresh tomatoes, finding a container to put it in, grabbing the dressing, and of course you need silverware. Next thing you know you have a duffle bag full of green stuff for your lunch.
Today I’m only eating food that resembles some portion of clothing.
OK, so unless you are obsessed with picnic baskets like Yogi Bear is, salads are out, and now I’m saying meat is off the table too? What am I supposed to eat you might be asking!?
I’m not sure I really like where you are going with this.
That’s right I am in all seriousness telling you that a viable alternative to eating red meats could be insects. Wait, before you go finish throwing up… ok well finish throwing up, I don’t want you to get it on the screen. There are a lot of compelling reasons why we should switch over to eating insects.
My FAVORITE reasons to eat insects
1) They are surprisingly healthy
One of the advantages of eating insects is that there is a lot of diversity of what nutrients you can eat by consuming them. Even within the same species there is a lot of nutritional variation, depending at what point in their developmental life you are chowing down on them. Furthermore, they are packed with protein, fat, and fiber.
“Many edible insects provide satisfactory amounts of energy and protein, meet amino acid requirements for humans, are high in monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids, and are rich in micronutrients such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium and zinc, as well as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin and, in some cases, folic acid. – Rumpold and Schlüter (2013)
TLDR: Insects are full of more good stuff than Santa’s presents bag.
And what do you want Timmy? Did I hear you say you want a cricket paddy? Because that’s what you’re getting you little…
2) Raising cattle can be very bad for the environment
Some estimates claim that 70% of the agricultural land used by man is used for cattle and live stock. That is an unbelievable amount of land! If you went to the dictionary and looked up the definition of “Crap-load of land,” next to it you will see, “The amount of land used to raise cattle.
There is also a little problem when ranchers want to use land but the land has one of those pesky old growth forests on them. Ranchers, being smart men, have devised a good way of clearing the land. Burning it to the ground.
When the whole world is eating insects, this will not be nearly as much of a problem. Imagine how many crickets you could pack into a warehouse. The answer is many, because you can stack them in cages straight up, whereas, livestock needs to have open land to range on. Insects are happy if they have a dried up potato to nom on.
3) You don’t have to kill an animal
Now, I know that, yes, insects are animals and living creatures and all of that too, but they are not going to be anywhere close to having the same level of sentience as a cow or a pig will. They just don’t have the hardware for it.
In a few decades when people are eating insects, and a study comes out that says that insects have feelings too, then we can talk about them being all sad from dying and stuff. But for now, let’s just stick to the assumption that they are just insects. Just bugs. Best we can tell, no feelings there, unlike cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, etc.
4) They will make meat better
Imagine that you are an FDA inspector for meat, and you have, say, 1000 dead cows to inspect in 1 day. How long are you going to be taking to inspect each one? It’s kind of an upsetting thought when you stop to think about it. One man, 1000 cows, how thorough are you going to be?
Now let’s say that we live in a world where people eat just 70% as much meat as they do now. Just imagine how much better the FDA could inspect all of the meat. If you want to know more, check out this post I did last week where I talked about the meat industry and over sight more in depth.
5) Lots of people already do it!
The statistic is commonly thrown around that at least 2 billion people are eating insects as a part of their diet already. I have yet to find a credible source confirming this, but I can tell you that it is still going to be quite a few people. People in the following countries already eat insects regularly: Central Africa, Thailand, Ghana, Mexico, China, Brazil, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, and even some in the USA. -US News
Mmmmm, just like momma used to… uhh… how do you cook these again?
There you go, my top 5 reasons why we should all start eating insects. I’m not going to lie, the concept is still a little, you know,… well you’re eating insects and there is no way to sugar coat that.
At the end of the day, is it really any more weird to eat crickets than it is to eat beef? I mean look at the ridiculous amount of effort we have to go through just to get a piece of beef! I can go into my back yard and start a cricket farm for FREE! That has to be worth something, right?