The EU is putting 3 million euros into a promotion that could change the way we eat—assuming, of course, we’re able to get over the longstanding idea that bugs are only for eating on a dare.
According to a Telegraph story about the issue, the pros of eating bugs are: They’re both environmentally and monetarily cheap to produce, they grow quickly, and they’re relatively lean and quite healthy. “According to one study, small grasshoppers offer 20 per cent protein and just six per cent fat, to lean ground beef’s 24 per cent protein and 18 per cent fat.”
The cons of eating bugs: You’re eating bugs.
The paper also ran a creepy-crawly taste test, which is must-read material if, as predicted, the world will be eating a lot more bugs by 2020.
The verdict is mixed for a pan-fried locust and cricket salad: “I have a moment to enjoy the satisfying crunch and slightly dusty texture, then the bitterness hits. These bugs may look bad, with their stiffened wings, multiple legs, and tiny staring eyes. Their bitter bite is far worse. A swig of wine for Dutch courage. Eaten with the rest of the salad, however, the pomegranate and honey in the dressing take the edge off the bug’s bitterness. The insects add a lovely, crunchy texture and complement the sweeter stuff perfectly.”
Honeybee crème brûlée comes off better; a chocolate-covered scorpion, much worse. Food for thought as the planet careens toward an ever more likely population and/or environmental crisis.