For many of us, BBQ season can’t come soon enough. All around the country, men are trying to decide whether they should scrub their grill sclean or leave it to “add to the flavour”. And sales of burgers and sausages are steadily rising.
But food shortages are a huge, worldwide, problem and in the not too distant future things like burgers and sausages may be a little more difficult to find. It’s bad enough that supermarkets are wasting food because it’s the wrong shape and farmers are growing food for fuel instead of for eating.
Maybe we need to look for new food items.
Maybe we should think smaller.
Maybe we should think more legs.
Over here, eating insects is seen as something we only do as part of Reality TV shows like, I’m a Celebrity, but in other countries and cultures eating insects is just a fact of life. You might have seen pictures of Asian people eating sticky crickets on sticks. In Mexico, grasshopper tacos are popular and insects form a staple in African countries, in fact it appears that it’s only us andthe US who are pulling our faces at the thought of munching on crunchy insects.
The bad news is that we probably eat more insects than we realise. Insect “bits” appear in our foodstuffs during manufacture so often that they’re seen as inevitable. So inevitable, in fact, that it doesn’t get mentioned.
So should we eat insects on purpose?
Soon, you might have to. But on the plus side, they’re a huge source of protein. They produce much more meat per kilogram of feed than the more usual farmed animals do, and more of their body mass is edible which makes them a very eco-friendly product. And they’re healthy too.
You might not be planning to change your BBQ from beef burgers to bee burgers just yet, but it might be time to at least give it a thought while you still have a choice.