Friday, January 15, 2021
No menu items!

Bite back and munch on insects, environmentalists say

By: Paige Hubbard 

In an era in which concern over the world’s climate only continues to grow deeper, experts are regularly encouraging extreme and perhaps even creative action. One such strategy that’s growing more popular, yet is still unthinkable for many is the consumption of insects.

This year’s Earth Day is being marked Monday (April 22), and advocates of edible insects are singing the environmental benefits of sprinkling your dishes with crickets, grasshoppers, and ants. Gourmands concur and say the insects are a treat.

Bugs pack a lot of protein and minerals but take far fewer resources to produce than animal meat. Indeed, the market for edible insects is growing in North America, even as it’s long established in many cultures throughout the world.

Among those leading the critter call in the United States is Joseph Yoon, a self-proclaimed “bug advocate” based in New York. Yoon is the executive director of Brooklyn Bugs, which hosts an annual edible insect festival. He is a regular on the lecture circuit in his advocacy for including insects in food.

“It takes a fraction of the resources to grow a pound of crickets as it does a pound of beef,” he said in a recent interview.

He regularly points to a 2013 report by the United Nations Food And Agriculture Organization that says that critters “provide food at a low environmental cost, contribute positively to livelihoods, and play a fundamental role in nature” despite their creepy fame.

According to the FAO, entomophagy, as the act of eating insects is known scientifically, should become more common for three main reasons: insects are rich in protein, healthy fats and vitamins; insects emit much fewer greenhouses gases than livestock; insects don’t require the same land use for production.

Yoon does not underestimate the public relations challenge for insect cuisine.

“The creative mission for me is how do I take something that people don’t perceive as food and make it crave-worthy, make it something so that people go like, ‘Man, I never thought I would want to eat insects but looking at his food, I really want to try it,'” he said.

And so he supplements trendy, delectable cuisine with insects, whether it’s shrimp and jalapenos or chips and guacamole.

Edible insects are in fact a mainstay of many cultures and countries like Mexico going back centuries.

Mexican chef, Gerardo Alcaraz, has brought the fare to New York with his downtown-Manhattan restaurant, The Black Ant. Its menu includes items like, “Croquetas de Chapulin,” or “Locust Croquettes.” Baby grasshoppers are sprinkled on top.

In a recent interview, Alcaraz didn’t just emphasize attributes that delight environmentalists or nutritionists the world over.

“It has an incredible flavor,” he said.

Latest News

Teen dead after shooting in Cypress

CYPRESS, TX - Harris County Sheriff's Office says a teen has been declared dead after a...

The City of Katy Dog Park takes action on pet dumping with a new security camera

KATY, TX - The City of Katy has taken a new initiative to cut back on the excessive abandonment of dogs...

Man arrested after he threatens to shoot everyone at Wingstop because his food was not being ready

HOUSTON - A man has been arrested after he made threats to shoot everyone in a restaurant on the Northwest side...

Woman charged with murder after her boyfriend’s body is found submerged in a canal

HARRIS COUNTY, TX - A woman has been charged with murder after the body of her boyfriend was found submerged in...

Pelosi doesn’t answer when asked about sending Trump impeachment article to U.S. Senate

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not answer when asked on Friday (January 15) about when she plans to send...

More Articles Like This