Save the planet by eating bugs?

Did you know that grasshoppers contain a third of the fat found in beef and water bugs have almost four times as much iron? Make mention of it at your next dinner party.

I’m known to eat odd things, but I can’t say I’m a bug connoisseur – I’ve never even sampled one of Australia’s famous wichety grubs as yet; and I’m quite happy to hold off on the experience for a while. One of my colleagues has sampled tarantula (not really an insect I guess, but an arachnid) and he said it was quite tasty – reminiscient of crab.

David Gracer, a hardened “adventurous eater” would like to see more of us switching from meat to insects because of the massive impact a diet high in meat has on the environment. For example, livestock account for 9% of all human activity related carbon dioxide emissions and 37% of all methane emissions – both greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. Livestock require a great deal of food, water and room to move, with grazing lands occupying 26% of the ice-free land globally.

Insects by comparison require miniscule amounts water, food and space.

It’s just a cultural thing I guess, but my stomach does churn a little at the thought of crunching down on a cricket and I suspect I’m by no means alone in that – however, 1400 species of insects are eaten around the world! Maybe we don’t know what we’re missing out on.

If David has his way, we may see insects becoming an accepted part of our diet soon – but like the sewage recycling vs. desalination issue in relation to drinking water, I think he’ll have quite a job ahead of him. Still, more power to him for offering a solution and raising awareness!

Insects – the other white/grey meat :).

Read more about David Gracer’s culinary insect quest

Not the adventurous type? Try my article on cutting meat consumption.