We’re headed for a locust plague in Australia in a few months and if what occurred earlier this year is any indication, it’s going to be a doozy; supposedly the worst such event for decades. Earlier this year, some places in Australia were seeing concentrations of hundreds of locusts per square yard.
Some enterprising locals have already suggested eating them as is common in other parts of the world; even going to the extent of writing cookbooks and renaming the insects to the more enticing “sky prawns” (for U.S. readers; a shrimp in Australia is called a prawn).
As I watched a band of locusts slam into my van in the hundreds in an incident in May, I contemplated the prospect of snacking on them, but cleaning the mess left on my bumper and radiator sort of turned me off a bit.
Eating insects has been seriously suggested as an alternative to meat in the developed world for environmental reasons. Over 1,000 types of insects are known to be eaten by choice around the world – and in 80% of nations – according to this article on The Guardian.
It seems that breeding locusts for food emits 10 times less methane than livestock and also produces 300 times less nitrous oxide, also a greenhouse gas.
As a meat eater, I always find myself particularly challenged when these sorts of alternatives come up and no doubt when the plague descends in September, I’ll have the frypan an a few recipes at the ready – but as to whether I’ll take the plunge I’m still not sure. I’ll keep you posted.
How about you, would you eat insects or have you already? Eating worms at the age of 3 doesn’t count though ;).