Entomophagy- Let Bugs be Grub | Teen Ink

Entomophagy- Let Bugs be Grub

June 6, 2022
By SherlockGan SILVER, Pottstown, Pennsylvania
SherlockGan SILVER, Pottstown, Pennsylvania
7 articles 9 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Forgive your enemies, but don't forget their names.

On bleak autumn days, hunters in Japan rummage through the forest floor, trying to find giant hornets and their pupae. The foragers use the hornet’s dead bodies to make liquor, which has a taste likened to whiskey, and eat creamy larvae simmered with ginger. This traditional yet sensational diet undoubtedly intimidates most people from western countries. Yet, regardless of how horrifying this diet might sound, it is renowned worldwide, generating innumerable benefits for humans and society. 

With over two million people enjoying this dining option, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations refers to this practice as entomophagy. Julie Lesnik, an anthropologist at Wayne State University, points out in her study that in warmer areas in the world, bug-eating is more prevalent. However, her research does not reveal why people in temperate zones prefer to eat insects. Imagine you had land that could sustain almost all crops and livestock. Why would you still seek to catch scattered insects that provide less energy to consume?

It's because by embracing bug-eating, people could significantly reduce their ecological pressures begotten from livestock rearing and corps mending while continuing to meet their nutritional needs. It is counterintuitive that these puny creatures have such gigantic impacts on our daily life.

We can picture insects as small livestock reared in a compact space like a warehouse in an urban area. Yet, the productivity of insects is unparalleled to traditional livestock. For example, thirty crickets can generate roughly 3,000 offspring in a six-by-six-by-two-inch container, like the size of a typical bathroom sink. 

Imagine raising a livestock group that does not require water intake to understand better how insects release the ecological pressures. Thanks to insects' exoskeletons, for sealing water inside of insects, they do not sweat and, accordingly, do not need much water. So, here's a jaw-dropping statistic: 2,000 crickets require only a liter of water every 45 days. In contrast, traditional livestock uses 70 percent of the Earth's available freshwater.

One might be concerned: “Such environmental benefits of bug-eating might risk humans' well-being." But, in reality, the practice of entomophagy offers copious nutritional advantages. For instance, vitamin B-12, essential for neurological functions, blood production, and DNA synthesis, is twice as plentiful inside crickets compared to beef. Moreover, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, insects offer amounts of protein comparable to those provided by traditional sources such as beef and chicken. 

The practice of entomophagy may halt the escalating livestock pressure on the global ecosystem. As Sam Nejame writes in his New York Times article, "Man Bites Insect," insects do meet the test of environmental sustainability and create more edible protein per pound as cattle. Traditional livestock is the SUV, consuming considerable energy to propel the passengers sitting inside; insects are the bicycles, providing eco-friendly yet powerful propulsion to the rider. 

Overall, entomophagy is a novel diet that helps maintain the subtle balance of man and nature and provides an alternative solution for future sustenance crises. 

The author's comments:

Eating bugs, Saving world

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.