by Lee Stayton
Imagine a world where steak is like caviar! Humans might have to resort to eating insects as their main source of nutrients by the year 2050. With the human population growing rapidly, and resources becoming more scarce, in approximately 40 years, the meat and poultry industry will not be able to support the human population, and prices of meats will have to grow immensely.
Consumption of insects (entomophagy) is actually very common around the world, and 80% of the world’s population is already accustomed to eating insects, such as crickets, which can be crushed down and turned into a flour and baked into foods such as pizza dough or cookies.
Insects are very nutritious, and when they are crushed down to 100g, crickets have almost twice the amount of the protein in steak! Crickets also have twice the amount of iron than spinach and more vitamin B12 than salmon. Insects give off 80 times less methane, compared to cattle, weight for weight, which cuts down on greenhouse gases, therefore reducing the effects of global warming. Water usage would also decrease with increased farming of insects. Insects would use only a fraction of the land, feed, and water than cattle and pigs.
In last year’s Farm to Table expedition, the class got the chance to eat cricket cookies and brownies, made out of cricket flour, which has a somewhat nutty taste. Interestingly, when the flour is baked into cookies, the cookies taste similar to gingerbread.
In fact, did you know that you probably already consume bugs on a daily basis? The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) allows a certain amount of insects into a portion of certain foods. The FDA allows up to 30 insect fragments in 100g of peanut butter! This does not mean you should stop eating peanut butter, it only proves that you consume more bugs than you think. Insects could be the future of food, and it is best to approach the idea with an open mind, realizing that you too might have to eat insects one day!