Is Insect-Eating Really the Future of Food?

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When the collective conversation turns to how we will feed the planet in the years to come, the subject of entomophagy invariably comes up.

In this week’s New Yorker, Dana Goodyear delves deep into the past, present, and future of bug eating, which are "now appearing on the menus of high-end restaurants in North America and in grocery stores in the Netherlands" as "a growing number of scientists, entrepreneurs, and chefs are arguing that they represent a sustainable, humane source of protein that we’d be foolish to overlook."

"Food preferences are highly local, often irrational, and defining: a Frenchman is a frog because he considers their legs food and the person who calls him one does not," she writes.

"In Santa Maria Atzompa, a community in Oaxaca where grasshoppers toasted with garlic, chile, and lime are a favorite treat, locals have traditionally found shrimp repulsive."

"They would say, ‘some people’ eat it, meaning ‘the coastal people,’" anthropologist Ramona Perez tells Goodyear, before pointing out that "when she made a scampi for a family there, they were appalled."

Daniel Fromson also weighs in with a look at insects-as-food, in the latest issue of The Atlantic, noting that "with worldwide demand for meat expected to nearly double by 2050, farm-raised crickets, locusts, and mealworms could provide comparable nutrition while using fewer natural resources than poultry or livestock."

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