Monday, May 25, 2015

Crickets, Anyone?

It seems there are people out there convinced we need to start eating more bugs. In particular, crickets. On account of them being chock full of protein. And because there are a lot of cricket species–about 2,000–folks can eat. Since those little rascals pack a lot of nutrition in their little bitty bodies, they’re an eco-friendly, sustainable protein producer.

The answer, maybe, to the upcoming food shortages due to the human inability to control natural urges and stop overpopulating the planet.

I was mainly interested in this whole crickets for food thing because I’ve been wondering where the crickets have gone. The last few years, I’ve been noticing a definite lack of crickets in these parts. There didn’t seem to be any of them hopping and chirping around the house. Learning they’re wanted for food, it’s obvious my crickets have been grabbed by a rustler out to make big bucks by taking them to a cricket farmer.

That’s right, cricket farmer, because if you’re going to feed the world’s population on bugs, you need a more sophisticated system of supply than just going out into your backyard and plucking up crickets wherever you find them.

Enter the cricket farm. Or the grasshopper farm. Or the agave worm farm. Which leads to the cricket farmer. Or the grasshopper farmer. Or the agave worm farmer. Can you imagine writing that in the IRS occupation slot?

Any cricket eating I’ve done in the past has been purely accidental and I plan to keep it that way. The very idea of eating bugs makes most of us go “yuck,” but the truth is, we’ve been eating bug debris all our lives. While we probably don’t consume near the amount of bugs debris our ancestors did, still, Consumer Reports has reported finding bug debris in the foods they test. Nobody bats an eye and the FDA doesn’t get their panties in a wad over a little bug debris and the processed food is waved on through.

And while I appreciate the fact we need to find more sustainable food sources, I think the marketing guys will have to come up with some great ad campaigns to convince folks to eat bugs rather than steak. Of course, they’re trying to convince us by putting crickets into snack foods and cookies. With America’s preference for these products, the cricket food guys may have hit on the best route to luring us to sample bugdom treats.