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What's Stopping Us From Eating Insects?

timothy posted 1 year,22 days | from the there-will-never-be-a-fast-food-place-called-thoraxes-etc. dept.

Earth 655

Lasrick writes "Scientific American has a really nice article explaining why insects should be considered a good food source, and how the encroachment of Western attitudes into societies that traditionally eat insects is affecting consumption of this important source of nutrients. Good stuff." Especially when they're so easy to grow.

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655 comments

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Good Question (5, Insightful)

MikeDataLink (536925) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424177)

It's all in our heads. We choose to eat some animals (like cows) and not others (like cats) because of cultural reasons. Same with insects.

Re:Good Question (4, Funny)

Type44Q (1233630) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424215)

We choose to eat some animals (like cows) and not others (like cats)...

Speak for yourself; I find cat makes a fine goulash. Okay, well I might if I lived in Lousiana... :)

Re:Good Question (5, Funny)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424305)

in many places in the world, they walk their dog. in some places in asia, they wok their dog.

Re:Good Question (4, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424493)

in many places in the world, they walk their dog. in some places in asia, they wok their dog.

It is believed among the first domesticated animal, raised for consumption were dogs.

Re:Good Question (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424643)

They served as a dual purpose... dogs actually were a result of wolves domesticating themselves. The socialable wolves were not killed by humans as they hung out eating their scraps. The new dogs served as companions and were used as "reserve" food supply. Humans used to eat wild horses regularly, and later used them as a beast of burden AND a "reserve" food supply.

Once you start having a relationship with something, you tend to want to avoid eating it, because you cannot undo it. So, you keep looking for another food source. Eventually, it becomes taboo.

Re:Good Question (4, Insightful)

unique_parrot (1964434) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424629)

I think eating non-vegitarian animals is not a very clever idea.

Re:Good Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424311)

Go to a market in rural China sometime. Those people will eat about anything (and I'm not even joking).

Re:Good Question (2)

gewalker (57809) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424669)

They probably won't eat cheese -- the Chinese are generally not fond of consuming spoiled milk.

Re:Good Question (4, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424737)

Spoiling the milk gets rid of all of the lactose that will give those Chinese the biggest bellyache and case of the runs they've ever had.

That is why humans consume a wide variety of fermented milk products (not just cheese).

Fermentation is not bad and it's not just limited to dairy.

Re:Good Question (-1, Offtopic)

dmbasso (1052166) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424697)

Including aborted fetuses. They're crunchy. [let's see who gets the reference...]

Re:Good Question (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424357)

That, and cat is stringy and greasy. It's not really "good" in anything, no matter how you prepare it.

Beef, on the other hand, is heavenly if prepared correctly.

Alligator and snake are two typically taboo meats in the States (though admittedly less so than cat) that can be awesome when cooked properly, if you're looking for examples.

Re:Good Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424569)

Great treat, fresh snake blood. Bring snake to table, cut off head, hold up snake and let blood drain into mouth.

Re:Good Question (1)

MightyYar (622222) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424635)

I don't think 'gator is "taboo" so much as "novel". It's common either in burger or fried form at Florida tourist traps.

Re:Good Question (1)

bonehead (6382) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424725)

It's common either in burger or fried form at Florida tourist traps.

Hell, it's not exactly hard to find up in Iowa and Illinois. Not cheap, but not hard to find. Off the top of my head I can name half a dozen grocery stores that carry it, and 2 or 3 bars that serve it.

Re:Good Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424391)

nope, its the taste stupid

Re:Good Question (1)

MikeDataLink (536925) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424639)

Are you 12? You're mother should teach you some manners.

Re:Good Question (1)

firex726 (1188453) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424411)

I eat insects occasionally and at first it does take a bit of willpower to get past the grossness of it.

If you grind them up like meal worms in flower then it's much easier.

Re:Good Question (4, Funny)

Doug Otto (2821601) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424515)

I love cats. I just can't eat a whole one myself.

and a) mammals aren't poisonous b) cats are useful (5, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424585)

Part of it is in our heads. Also, we eat mammals, not creepy-crawlies, because mammals aren't poisonous. Meat (mammals, birds) is also highly concentrated food.
Insect shells, legs, etc. aren't as good for food, and they are far more likely to be poisonous. Some bugs are poisonous themselves. Others, like flies, hang out in rotting meat which is full of bacteria and toxins. So we evolved to not eat bugs because bugs are likely to make us sick.

Of course, fungus is similar. Mushrooms are an acquired taste, not something that most people enjoy immediately, but with modern practices we can separate the edible fungus from the poisonous. We eat some edible fungus and smoke one of the poisonous ones. :)

Cats and dogs aren't "all in our heads", we have them for a reason, and that reason isn't food. Evolutionarily speaking, it's better to let your cat keep the rats away than to eat the cat. "Don't eat your friends" is a good idea, not just a cultural convention.

Re:Good Question (2)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424707)

Carnivore flesh is not that tasty. Notice we really don't eat carnivores.

LAND SHRIMP (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424183)

Insects taste like shrimp, crab, or lobster. It's just the cultural bias that keeps people from eating them.

Re:LAND SHRIMP (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424447)

Insects generally have a lower meat to shell ratio than sea arthropods.

Re:LAND SHRIMP (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424469)

Camel spider can pass of Langestino Lobster.

Re:LAND SHRIMP (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424601)

Insects generally have a lower meat to shell ratio than sea arthropods.

Yeah, but most insect shells are edible and have a lot of nutritional value in themselves.

Re:LAND SHRIMP (2)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424459)

Insects taste like shrimp, crab, or lobster. It's just the cultural bias that keeps people from eating them.

Psst, they're free if you know how to find the best habitat!

Re:LAND SHRIMP (1)

AvitarX (172628) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424485)

This may very well be a compelling enough argument for me to get over myself and eat them!

Arrrrggghh it's Creepy crawly thing with legs (0)

HxBro (98275) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424185)

Nuff said.

Re:Arrrrggghh it's Creepy crawly thing with legs (2)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424509)

Nuff said.

Yet, people will pay more for a crab with all of its legs than one missing one or two. Go figure.

I'm in. (1)

Petersko (564140) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424189)

I'll give it a try. I just ask that it be cooked well. Give me some tasty recipes.

Re:I'm in. (2)

Abstrackt (609015) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424313)

You can dry roast mealworms in your oven and pulverize them in a blender or spice grinder for a cheap protein powder. It adds kind of a nutty flavor to whatever you put it in.

Re:I'm in. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424537)

I'll give it a try. I just ask that it be cooked well. Give me some tasty recipes.

Feh, just toss a handful of grasshoppers or locust into your blender and make a protein shake. Add chocolate to taste.

Re:I'm in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424591)

Seriously? Grab any one of the big black ants in the US (not fire ants or small ants), pinch the head off and eat it. They taste surprisingly good. If you're in Australia, the ants will eat you, but the ones with a green but taste like a lemon trop if you lick their thorax.

Seriously though, the problem is that the "eat bugs and grubs" thing is focused on particularly disgusting insects: Grubs and maggots grow in rotting shit. Literally. They're the worst possible place to start. Grasshopers look alien, but at least they eat something reasonable, like grass. I'm sure that there are edible bugs that aren't gross.

How about, though, let's start with using them in chicken and pig feed, and reduce the impact of those. That will, in itself, have a net positive impact on the planet.

wait for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424199)

Ummmm wait for it, wait for it...TASTE!

SA has become a joke of a magazine.

Re:wait for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424409)

Woosh, AND I'll explain why (always bugs me people don't (pun intended, wait for it...)):

The point is that it's not to do with actual taste but a pshycological distaste in western culture.

AC has become a joke of a poster.

Re:wait for it... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424453)

Ummmm wait for it, wait for it...TASTE!

SA has become a joke of a magazine.

Some bugs taste great. Ever have fried locust? Puts hamburgers to shame.

If it weren't form some weird stigma we could eat like ... uh ... even more pigs!

Where it's their source of protein, some people have no problems with eating big chewy beetles, grubs and worms.

omnivore nom nom nom

In Florida, the insects eat you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424207)

In Florida, the insects eat you.

Re:In Florida, the insects eat you. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424385)

In Florida, the insects eat you.

Only if you don't bathe in DEET. Ha!

excuse me, I'm going to molt my skin now.

Or they choke you to death: (2)

ZahrGnosis (66741) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424555)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/bug-eater-choked-death-article-1.1208649

Which actually is an interesting problem. Bug legs are notoriously small, stiff and designed to stick to things... precisely the opposite of what you want going down your throat. Not insurmountable... as with bones in chickens it's going to come down to preparation (boneless) and making good choices (don't eat chicken bones).

And I don't know how I feel yet about getting wings stuck between my teeth like popcorn kernels.

But, you know... tradeoffs. ;-)

They're gross looking (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424223)

Why is this some mystery? The *smart* thing for humanity would be to eat nutrition sticks composed of a solid mash giving us all the nutrients we need for a day. But, we're humans not robots so we don't simply dismiss emotion from our diets.

For those of you who disagree, cicada season will be here shortly. I invite you to test out your theory in your backyard.

Re:They're gross looking (1)

jovius (974690) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424371)

True. I'd guess processed insects will be introduced to replace some ingredients, and the first mass marketed products could be flours and such powders.

There already are insect parts in our diets.

Re:They're gross looking (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424499)

Do you know anyplace that actually really makes meal sticks or something like that. I have actually looked at all the ones I can find are very poorly researched in terms of nutrition. They just go for natural ingredients and consider that healthy without any other testing.

I want a well researched meal replacement system that is actually healthy long term and simple.

Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (0)

Mad Bad Rabbit (539142) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424227)

and we pay extra to eat them

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (4, Interesting)

Chris Mattern (191822) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424363)

Didn't use to be that way. They got turned into gourmet items in a process that rather reminds me of Discworld's gourmet muddy old boots. In colonial Massachusetts there was a servant strike; one of the concessions made to return peace was a contract stating, among other things, that the servants would not be forced to eat lobster more than three times a week.

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (1)

paiute (550198) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424495)

In colonial Massachusetts there was a servant strike; one of the concessions made to return peace was a contract stating, among other things, that the servants would not be forced to eat lobster more than three times a week.

We find that amusing, but I will bet you that those lobsters were not properly cooked and tasted like shite.

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (2)

mjr167 (2477430) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424557)

Ever tried lobster without the butter? Can you think of anything that is not yummy when drenched in butter?

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424367)

and we pay extra to eat them

Crawdads, too! Mudbugs!

I had some of these at Popeye's, like itty bitty lobsters.

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424399)

Those different animals altogether, they are arthropods though, sort of in the same way that you and a dog are both mammals.

Are you a dog?

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424443)

Shrimp, lobsters, and crabs are insects in the same way that dogs, wolves, and coyotes are primates.

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (1)

Barsteward (969998) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424547)

shrimp etc are the cockroaches of the sea

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424475)

No. They're not.

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424549)

I don't! Plus, insects are spider food... and I don't want anything to do with them.

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424559)

None of the above are insects; they're arthropods, but none of them have six legs.

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424615)

Eh? No they're not. They're invertebrates but they're not insects.

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (5, Informative)

David Betz (2845597) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424641)

Arthropod != Insect

Re:Shrimp, Lobsters, and Crabs are Insects (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424695)

At one time, contracts for indentured servants limited the number of times the servant could be required to eat lobster in a week.

Processed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424229)

Maybe if you turned it into something that didn't look, feel, or taste like insects I might consider eating it.

Re:Processed? (2)

zlives (2009072) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424433)

use lots of corn syrup.

because we can (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424233)

Why would I eat a bowl of spiders, scorpions, ticks and mites when I can have a cheeseburger? When all the farm animals die of global warming I will consider it.

Cuz they're BUGS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424239)

Yuck!

/sarcasm

Uh... (5, Funny)

korbulon (2792438) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424245)

Would you like flies with that?

*crickets*

Re:Uh... (2)

OzPeter (195038) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424477)

Would you like flies with that?

*crickets*

Yes please .. I'll have a serving of crickets, and if you have them can I get a serve of Snowy Tree Crickets to go??

They're gross, that's what. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424257)

I'll leave the "gock" or however it's spelled, and the tube grubs to the Klingons and ferengis. I'd have to be pretty damned hungry to eat bugs.

"Eww it's like a pus explosion in my mouth!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424259)

That is pretty close to what the guy (Bear Grillis [sp?]) said when he ate a bug on one of those survival shows.

Re:"Eww it's like a pus explosion in my mouth!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424327)

And this is from a guy who drinks his own piss!

Re:"Eww it's like a pus explosion in my mouth!" (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424455)

Another paraphrased quote:

"When I eat bugs, it always tastes like they get a last bit of revenge on me by taking a dump in my mouth."

What's Stopping Us From Eating Insects? (5, Funny)

capebretonsux (758684) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424283)

What's Stopping Us From Eating Insects?

Windshields.

Re:What's Stopping Us From Eating Insects? (1)

instagib (879544) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424439)

I use a bicycle, you insensitive clod!

Re:What's Stopping Us From Eating Insects? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424465)

Or full-face helmets (also keeps you from eating pavement).

First Prawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424285)

The bug growing kit would be great for feeding chickens or ducks, or other animals suited to growing in small gardens.

Chickens that feed on bugs lay eggs with much darker yolks due to the high protein diet.

Well, do it, then (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424315)

The insect thing has been brought up multiple times in the western media already. So what are we waiting for? Shouldn't someone already set up an insect farm and make a deal with a supermarket? Personally, I'm cool with the idea.

All programmers already eat Bugs (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424345)

Yummy, yummy bugs.

I used to get by on the radiation from my CRT, but since LCD monitors I have to get my nutrition from bugs. Unfortunately, the internet is so full of bugs I'm considering going on a diet.

Mc Donalds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424347)

Anyone?

Yuuuuucckkkkk! Bleah! Ugh! (4, Insightful)

silviuc (676999) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424351)

No matter how much I'm trying to train my brain it still thinks that insects and their larval forms are absolutely repulsive. You can't defeat that unless you have grown up eating those things and then it's the norm. In a "survival" scenario we might be able to overcome the repulsion as the hunger sensation might override our other instincts. Anyway, I reckon that, for my remaining life span, pigs, cows, chicken, turkeys, rabbits... etc won't go extinct and neither will we suddenly lose the ability to grow them..

Ugh that risotto with grubs did not help either... yuuuuucckkkkk! Bleah! Ugh!

Culture and society (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424625)

are the words you had been loking for.

Back in my day . . . (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424353)

Well it used to be Western cultures were less squeamish about eating all parts of the animal as well. I think pig's cheek was considered a delicacy in upper Victorian society. Yet these days, processed synthetic foods are accepted more than natural food.

*Sigh*... Are you implying... (1)

gwolf (26339) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424539)

That us Mexicans are not a Western culture?

Yes, when I receive toursits here, a mandatory stop is at the local butcher store, to see the hanging pig head (from which delicious although extremely fatty food is made). And yes, some even agree to have "chapulines" (grasshoppers) sold in the market nearby.

Yummy :-)

Re:Back in my day . . . (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424545)

Head meat is where it's at.

Re:Back in my day . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424667)

...Yet these days, processed synthetic foods are accepted more than natural food.

Facts? Statistics? Or did you watch Soylent Green recently? & just who is it that does all this "accepting"?

BTW, are there unprocessed synthetic foods?

What's Stopping Us From Not Eating Any Creatures? (1)

vovick (1397387) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424379)

Nothing, apart from whimsical craving for tasty food. At least for the civilized countries where pretty much anyone has enough money and supplies to switch to a veg{an,etarian} diet.

How the sausage is made (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424389)

"Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made." - Otto von Bismarck

Look, life is disgusting. There's a reason why "How the sausage is made" refers to anything that should be hidden away.

The only reason people eat sausage and beef and pork and poultry and sushi and other animal innards, etc., is because some trained sociopath has already taken on the burden of turning something repulsive into something delicious.

Package those insects up as cheap, tasty patties for the summer BBQ, ramp up the marketing campaign about gettin' to enjoy a Burger while also savin' the planet AND your money at the same time, and get Burger King to sell the [grass]Hopper in place of the Whopper.

Then, in 50 years, we'll be eatin' insects as though we've always been eatin' insects.

Re:How the sausage is made (4, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424621)

You are deluded, there is nothing sociopathic about killing and preparing an animal's flesh for a meal. Mankind and his predecessors have been hunting, preparing and cooking animals for over a million years. It's natural.

Humans also have eaten certain insects, most of us have eaten some of the aquatic kinds of insects. But most prefer fish, livestock, poultry, amphibians. Eating one is no more evil or wrong than eating the other.

Re:How the sausage is made (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424727)

Then, in 50 years, we'll be eatin' insects as though we've always been eatin' insects.

FTFY: "Then, in 50 days, we'll be eatin' insects as though we've always been eatin' insects."

In modern world, just as fast as people forget things, they can also quickly adapt to new ones.

how the sausage is made (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424401)

What's stopping us is that everybody assumes that you have to eat something that still looks like an insect. Nobody (okay, almost nobody) would eat beef if it still looked like a cow. Insect protein paste just needs to be coagulated into some kind of inSPAMsect loaf, add some salt, seasoning, and a dab of HFCS, and you've got a million dollar industry.

You could even add a little red food coloring, just to remind everybody that we're already eating bugs, since carmine, cochineal extract, and natural red 4 are all made from bugs.

Health Reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424407)

Many can carry bacteria, parasitic worms, and other pathogens as well as causing allergic reactions.

Re:Health Reasons (1)

fullmetal55 (698310) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424581)

So can pork, chicken, eggs etc. if not prepared properly, no-ones saying you eat raw uncooked bugs... and as for allergies... well there are enough food allergies out there already... Just ask anyone with a peanut allergy. I myself am allergic to potatos, corn and chocolate, (so sayeth the allergist, of course potato and corn are RAW potato and corn... cooked is just fine.)

Don't forget about pesticides... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424421)

A certain school tragedy in India comes to mind (yes, I know, unwashed vegetables... but how are we to know that today's pot o' insect brew was not made from the exterminator's cleaned out roach motels?)

Also, fresh organically grown insects just doesn't have that certain ring to it.

Perception. (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424437)

You constantly hear about the problems with insects and arachnids. Ticks carry lyme disease. Mosquitoes carry West Nile. Bees sting but honey is delicious. Wasps. Hornets. Plagues of locusts. Poisonous spiders and scorpion venom. Fictitious depictions of flesh-eating scarabs (actually a type of dung beetle).

It's a matter of perception.

Re:Perception. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424595)

Swine Flu
Avian Flu
Mad Cow Disease

Profits, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424521)

It's still profitable to make and sell meat

It has not been shown that selling insects is profitable (especially if you factor in the cost of marketing to change public perception)

The TFA makes faulty analysis in order to push its own liberal pro-insect agenda. For example:

"In the West African country of Mali, it was common for children to forage for grasshoppers among the crops grown by their families. Their diets consist of millet, sorghum, maize, peanuts and some fish, so grasshoppers were an important source of protein (Looy 2013). However, when their families began to grow surplus crops and make use of pesticides, parents began to actively discourage their children from eating grasshoppers, which means that theyâ(TM)re now short of an important protein option."

How dare these African families grow surplus crops! How dare they overproduce and make a profit, and earn savings which they can then use to buy meat without having their own children toil away foraging. How dare they be capitalist and improve their own standard of living!

Size problem? (1)

oxnyx (653869) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424541)

The Royal Ontario Museum a number of years ago did a poster (think normal movie poster from HMV etc) with all the insects on it life size and the tag line "Bug Your Parents take you to the ROM" I got a free copy as being part of a camp run by the Museum. Very very few of the bugs on that poster were even as large as a chicken wing.Then there would be the reducing to shell them. I believe for most of the first world there would be a huge cost to grow them in the winter to meet standards of livestock and keep things cleans and that nothing about controlling the populations from breaking out. Even in the "Banana Belt" of Southern Canada we only get 1 crop a year of most things...I not interested in risking it.

Animal rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424551)

It's one thing to accidentally eat an insect that trespasses on your farm and eats your food, another thing to hunt down and kill an insect who never did anything to you.

Because people are dumb and ignorant of the world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424567)

They eat burgers quite happily, tell them it was from some slaughtered animal, "eww gross". Deal with it, it was an animal, stop being 4 years old.
EVEN CHICKENS. DESPITE THEM BEING WHOLE.

But really, if we want these morons of society to eat insect food, the only way you are going to do it is if you make insect patties, sausages and the like.
Insect sprinkles, sauces, jams, stuff like that too.

Once that is stuck in their head, maybe then things like insect breeders, insect-on-a-stick sweets and the countless other things will become more popular.

What's stopping us from eating rats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44424573)

For centuries there has been a fuckton of research to erradicate certain diseases from certain animals such as cows, chicken and pig and make them safe for us to eat. There are guidelines and there is quality control. These animals have been carefully breaded in order get where we are today and to provide a good yield in volume and nutrients for us. Moreover, we are used to eating them, their taste is pleaseant to us.

There is more to life than just surviving.

It's been tried (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424577)

Starbucks was nearly crucified for using a natural red coloring [cbsnews.com] in their strawberry fraps.

We already eat insects (1)

garyok (218493) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424589)

Cochineal [wikipedia.org] . That lovely red colour.

Maybe evolution? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424599)

Many insects carry disease and extremely toxic venom, so it would make sense that humans learned to avoid them. The fact that most people prefer not to have them around their homes and in their food might suggest how prevalent this is. A large subset of the population also has an instinctive fear reaction to their presence, which I'll bet is genetic. Many are also allergic to their bites, feces, and even their discarded shells.

I have tried insects before (4, Interesting)

BurningTyger (626316) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424623)

I ate insects during a special event at Insectarium in Montreal. I have to say, people do not eat insect because it simply does not taste good.

There are three problem with insects. First is the exoskeleton. With shrimp and lobster. The shells can be easily removed. Not so with grasshopper. The stir fried grasshopper with heavy sauce can mask its insecty taste, but it still feel like eating little shrimps with shells on.

The second problem is the texture. Of the insects I had, none has the chewy texture people associate with "meat". Beef/pork/chicken, or shrimp/lobster/octopus, or fish, has chewy texture. With insects, it does not. For example, I tried silk worm. No exoskeleton. But when you bite into it, its body burst gooey stuff in your mouth.

Third is the taste. People naturally like cooked meat. Without any seasoning, most cooked meat and seafood taste great on their own. With insects, there's something about their taste that is off-putting to human and require proper seasoning to mask it.

Wrap them in bacon (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424665)

Lotsa bacon.

4 the US (1)

b4upoo (166390) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424671)

Since people in different places have different views as to what is disgusting different approaches are required. Insects might be turned into pellet like feed for chickens or for fish farms with good results. We do not have to directly ingest a resource.
              However since we are over populated we could feed newborns to pythons. The skins could make lovely clothing or shoes and the meat from the pythons could be used to feed hogs or catfish or alligators. Human infants are clearly over abundant. Producing food while reducing population is the only way to go.

Economics (3, Interesting)

tmosley (996283) | 1 year,22 days | (#44424673)

And so the economic decline of America continues. Just business as usual. Now we are here discussing eating insects because meat is too expensive.

Yes, we don't insects because of purely cultural taboos. I personally will try anything once. But cultural taboos don't change because we think it they should, they change because they are forced to, either physically (like conquerors forcing natives to adopt their religion) or economically (countries sinking into abject poverty have to start eating insects because they can't afford conventional high quality protein).

That aside, insects are neat in that they convert things like cardboard into high quality protein (ie you can feed cardboard to termites kept in a plastic box). The animals we have used for food in the past have usually either converted inedible biomass like grass or waste food (think pigs) into tasty protein. Insects broaden the potential input sources. Rather than having all that cardboard and presumably paper go to rot in a landfill, why not use it as a feedstock? Even if humans aren't the target, I'd bet it would work well in dog and cat food, or even cattle feed.
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