The August 15&22, 2011 issue of The New Yorker includes an article in the Dept. Of Gastronomy section by Dana Goodyear, entitled “GRUB, Eating bugs to save the planet”.
Many react with the ‘ick’ factor when hearing about things others will eat that we in this country have not considered before as food. As a vegan, for health, environmental and ethical reasons, I frankly don’t see the difference between eating a cow or a dog or a bug. Nor do I see a difference in the ‘ickiness’ between the breast of a chicken or the eye of a grasshopper. Body parts are body parts, whether you eat them or not. What bugs me is not whether people choose to try specialty foods from around the world, including insects, but that we are not focusing on what is really essential for personal health and the health of the planet. People need to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. People in the United States eat far too much animal protein which contributes to the poor health Americans are experiencing. We don’t need to eat bugs for protein. Fruits and vegetables give us all the quality protein we need. And the article continued the myth that plants don’t provide complete protein when talking about Florence Dunkel’s “frustration working in West Africa where for decades European and American entomologists… have killed grasshoppers and locusts, which are complete proteins, in order to preserve the incomplete proteins in millet, wheat, barley, sorghum, and maize.” All plant foods contain all the essential amino acids humans need. People, vegetarians or omnivores, thrive when they eat high volumes of unrefined plant foods. If we really want to save the planet, we need to eat less animal foods, eliminate factory farming which is destroying the environment and focus on growing and eating organic, whole plant foods. If you want to garnish your salad with a few fried stinkbugs, be my guest. Personally, I prefer pecans.