Thursday, January 6, 2011

How about No

Photo courtesy of GiniMiniGi at the Stock.xchng.

The media is once again tabling the idea of eating insects for a sustainable foodie future. Dutch Professor of Entomology (the study of insects), Marcel Dicke stated in a recent presentation that he believes that the consumption of insects is the answer to tackling our world population's (soon to reach 7 billion people) protein requirement. Dicke claims:

  • For every 1kg of beef, you need 10kgs of grain. However you could instead raise 9kgs of locust meat.

  • We annually ingest 500 grams of insects through processed food.
I consider myself pretty adventurous when it comes to food, I've eaten water snake, crocodile, turtle, water buffalo but I draw the line at insects. I just can't bring myself to eat them despite the fact I always told myself:
  1. if you're starving you'll eat anything.

  2. I've been told time and time again they are delicious. I can remember relaying my horror to my Mother about bounding home from a long Macau shopping trip, to find my Grandmother cutting up live Rice Paddy Worms with scissors as they thrashed in a beaten egg mixture. As I looked to Mum's face for a reaction, a look of pleasant nostalgia appeared as she informed they were a delicacy and that I should have tried them.

  3. I HATE locusts. I hate their furry legs, their blood red eyes and molten gold armour. It probably didn't help a specimen the size of an adult male hand, once came straight at my face in the middle of the night.

Knowing this I should do what all humans do, and show them who's boss and conquer my fears with my fork ... but I can't and now I have good reason ...

Dicke estimates, "1kg of grasshoppers has the same amount of calories as 10 hot dogs or six Big Macs."

So I'm opting out of saving the world and leaving my cognitive dissonance in tact for vanity. I'll leave the consumption of insects to culturally inducted and the tree huggers.


  1. the answer lies in presentation and naming.

    mountain oysters and sweetbreads, for example, create a totally different idea of what one might be consuming.

    if a friend approaches with a "ento meatloaf" or "silky sausages" you may not be aware of the larve in your belly until it's too late!

    the fiend
    the real question? which wine do you serve?

  2. Oh most Fiendish one! What an honour to have you surfing my humble food blog. :)

    My recommendation would be a white wine with insects.

  3. Here's a novel thought. In Australia most of our beef are grass fed. And seeing as we have to mow the grass anyway, it's actually fairly efficent. I suspect that in Australia we can leave eating insects to creatures lower down the food chain.