The issues on food shortages is a problem many countries are trying to solve. Because the production and maintenance of food products also relinquishes resources, they are also trying to find other means to reduce resource consumption (which may also be one of the major reasons why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being pushed in the food industry today).
There is one source of food that is untapped in the United States but is now being pushed: insects. To be frank, eating bugs is not a taboo as many other countries consider them as food, especially in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. Even certain Native American tribes have indulged in insects. Even the Inquisitr reported on the benefits of consuming insects, especially crickets. As a matter of fact, there are American companies that are trying to make the consumption of crickets more palatable for Americans, such as processing them into chips called Chirps.
However, the incorporation of insects into the American diet is one that needs to be done with tender care, both slowly and surely. However, a researched op-ed article by Oliver Micheals of RYOT states the United Nations (UN) wanted Americans to eat insects last week for Thanksgiving.
According to the article, Oliver Micheals utilized many past articles, research, and online tools (such as an online pamphlet by the UN) on how insects should be a part of American diets. Stating the fact they are rich in protein and iron along with another fact that it requires less water and resources to raise insects, Oliver does his best to push for mainstreaming bug consumption. The icing on the cake is linking it to Thanksgiving, a holiday well-known for eating large quantities of food. In that sense, it can be said that the UN didn’t exactly say they wanted Americans to eat insects for Thanksgiving, as that was a title-bait by Oliver himself. Yet, the final outcome the UN is striving for is that Americans will have insects as a part of their daily diets.
The problem with incorporating insects into diets is the perceived view that they are icky and disgusting creatures. We do give insects the derogatory moniker of “creepy crawlers,” right? It also doesn’t help that the media associates that view with fear. Movies like Arachnaphobia and television shows like Fear Factor are prime examples.
This has made adding insects into the American diet very hard. As a matter of fact, two years ago during Thanksgiving weekend, The Daily Meal reported on “Bug Chef” David George Gordon and his attempt to serve insects in front of Ripley’s Believe It or Not in New York City. Anyone who ate the bug-filled dishes would get into the museum at half-price.
“We have cranberry cockroach relish, we have stuffing with chestnuts and crickets, and then we have dessert — we have chocolate-covered chapulines — those are very small grasshoppers from Mexico — that have been seasoned with chile and lime and salt.”
Unfortunately, most New Yorkers avoided the insect dishes despite the city’s cosmopolitan stance. David George Gordon states the city is comparatively low on insects, so its resident are more squeamish around them.
“New Yorkers are very, very cautious about insects, so it’s hard to get a New Yorker… to eat something like an oven-baked cockroach or even an oven-baked cricket.”
That may be true, but most people probably wouldn’t eat insects because of the general view that insects are disgusting and feared creatures. Nevertheless, what do you think about incorporating more insects into American diets? Do you find it a viable option on pertaining to personal health and the food crisis? If given the option, would you try it out?
[Images via Bing]