You might think that entomology professors would be dedicated to defending—not serving up—the insects that they study. But you would be wrong if you were talking about Arnold van Huis, an entomology professor in Wageningen, the Netherlands, who did a Q&A in Ode Magazine about why we should be eating bugs.
He makes some thought-provoking points:
Why should we eat insects?
‘... Insects have a much lower environmental burden, while their nutritional value measures up to chicken or beef.’
Some practical points:
Isn’t the psychological barrier in the West simply too great?
‘... there are ways to handle this. Insects can be ground industrially so they’re less recognizable, just as a filet doesn’t really resemble a particular animal.’
And at least one point that seems a little bit like a cop-out:
Don’t they taste awful?
‘... sautéed crickets in a warm chocolate dip make a great snack.’
Yes, and if you took some ants, put them in goat cheese, stuffed the goat cheese in a date, and wrapped it in bacon, you’d probably have a great party appetizer, but it would be cheating. Anything dipped in chocolate becomes a lot more palatable, but not everyone who’s eating insects for economic reasons has melting chocolate on hand to make the experience a pleasant one.
Regardless, it’s a fascinating interview, and it comes with a recipe for banana worm bread, compliments of the Iowa State University Entomology Club.