The rise of edible insects : A new way of considering our food choice?

It’s a fact edible insects are becoming more and more popular. People are more interested by eating mealworms, cooking with crickets or trying grasshoppers. Angelina Jolie has even promoting eating bugs! But behind this, is there something more profound, the beginning of a cultural shift of which rise of entomophagy could be an answer? I believe so.

Edible insects : a tasty and healthy food choice

Yesterday, I shared an article on our tax on red meat in Denmark. This is the perfect example that strengthens my belief about a new characteristic that our food choice who need to have to satsify us : The ethics and environment.

For the last centuries, there has been a constant battle and a final reunification between the role of food should play in our life:

Should food satisfy our pleasure or should food protect our health? What’s more important; a healthy or a tasty food? From Hippocrate to Brillat-Savarin, the opinions diverged and now we seem to have a found balance, at least, in the general opinion. Food must be tasty and healthy. (That’s a good news for edible insects, they are nutritious and delicious!)

Edible insects : a tasty, healthy and sustainable food choice

And now, can we go beyond this point? The answer might be yes, now we are shifting to an outside of ourselves perspective. Food must not be good and tasty only for us.
What is the impact of my food for others? How my food choice impact the people cultivating and transforming the food I eat? Is my food suffering? What’s the environmental impact of the food I decide to eat?

This is interesting and more than important in our global world and it is fulfilling to know that the food we eat is ethic and sustainable. Good for the palate, good for the body and good for the planet. That’s exactly what edible insects are! That’s also why other food products, ideas and movements are on the rise such as vegan proteins, algae or “ethical” meat.

Thinking forward, this could also lead to a new kind of anxiety and stress. Maybe in a few years, we will feel regrets after eating an “unethical and unstainable food” just as we do know after craving on an unhealthy food.

But that’s only the beginning, there is a long way to go…

Why is the Denmark tax for me a perfect example of this shift? A few years ago, in 2011, it was already in Denmark that they tried to establish a tax on saturated fat. It failed for different reasons but the idea is here. With our food choices, we want to go beyond our own health and we globally start thinking about the future generation and the environment. That’s why I believe edible insects such as mealworms, crickets or grasshoppers, for beginning, are a possible answer for Westerners to this awareness. But it’s also the beginning, we also need to clear the technical, financial and legal aspects.

I could be really happy and excited about this “global” movement but I just arrived in China, the most populated country in the world. Meat is sold and eaten at every corner of each street at any time… There is nobody to blame, we all are differents and see the world differently. Personally, I try to follow my “entotarian” diet and raise awareness, that’s the best I can do for my health, palate and mind and leave a cool place for the next ones.


Resources:

Claude Fischler – L’Homnivore (French Edition) (1990)
Wageningen University – Food safety and sustainability : Food access

Flo

Formerly I'm an environmental engineer, personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist and "Entotarian". In the edible insects industry for five years, I've been consultant for an insect farm, free-lance writer and international speaker .Now in Shenzhen with Livin farms developing the world's first table-top farm. I would say that my life revolves around eating insects.

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1 Response

  1. ronzo says:

    Great an article. Flo, we think it won’t be so long way 🙂

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