Entomophagy is the technical term for eating insects. Some people may be really grossed out by the thought of eating insects, but insects are a common form of protein in many countries, and, as my class found out, they can actually be quite good.

My class went on a field trip to Butterfly Wonderland. They had a vending machine with bags of snacks, but not just regular snacks, they were snacks made with insects! There were ant and scorpion lollipops, dark chocolate crickets, sriracha cricket chips, spicy bugitos (toasted superworms), and BBQ larvets. Our teacher bought some of the snacks for us to try. Several of my classmates and I were brave enough to try the insect snacks, which are unusual in the American culture.

Although a few of my classmates didn’t like the snacks, several thought that they were pretty good. When asked what they thought about the insect snacks, here is how my classmates responded: the ant lollipops were sweet and tasted like normal candy; the dark chocolate crickets tasted like Kit Kats; the LARVAE  tasted like corn; the worms tasted like candy corn. Other comments were that the insect snacks were edible, good, okay, excellent, crunchy, and delicious!

Eating insects is not a commonly accepted practice in the United States, but it is a just a cultural thing. It is different, but not wrong. Some of the countries where it is more common to eat insects include Mexico, Thailand, Ghana, China, Brazil, and Japan. Some countries eat insects as a means of survival, while others include them as part of their STAPLE  diet, and in some countries, insects are even considered a delicacy.

We learned that insects are a sustainable form of protein and other nutrients. On the bag of cricket chips, it showed that crickets need very little water and land to grow, so getting your protein from them is better for the planet. It only takes 1 gallon of water to grow one pound of crickets, compared to 216 gallons of water to grow one pound of soy, and 2,000 gallons of water for one pound of beef. Cricket protein contains all nine essential amino acids. By weight, cricket protein has more B12 than salmon and more iron than spinach.

If you want to challenge the cultural norm and eat something that is filled with protein and nutrients and is sustainably good for the planet, we recommend thatyou give insects a try.


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Lisa Ristuccia