There are plenty of dark nooks, crannies and dirt tunnels in the United States where you can find insects, but the human mouth is rarely one of them. Eating bugs, also known as entomophagy, has been a part of the human diet until recently; now, Western society embraces an aversion to “creepy crawlies.”

Considering the typical American menu, how are termites more repulsive than a snotty-looking oyster, an egg, or the chemical concoction we know as Flaming Hot Cheetos? I have eaten (and enjoyed) all of the above, but everything can be painted in an icky light. Even something as pure as an apple becomes mildly off-putting when you realize that you’re eating a tree’s ovaries.

So, to each his own, right? Wrong. Meat industries are degrading the environment through mistreatment of the animals that feed us. To reduce this industry, bug farms could overshadow it and save vast tracts of land, provide more nutrients from less product and reduce our carbon footprint. Without consumers, no such market will arise, and this is why I’m excited about the grassroots of entomophagy sprouting up around the country.

 

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