Every once in a while I come across a news story that lets me know that I’m getting older, and the world is going in a direction that is beyond me. The article that put me in this weary state described that mealworm margarine and cricket flour is on our horizon. Crickets will boost the protein in flour and mealworms are rich in nutrients and easy to farm.
Bugs! Bugs in our food, and not by accident. No. No. And No. That’s the end for me. If bugs become an environmentally friendly, fat free food source, then one of the core tenets of my existence is obsolete. I have built a life on the principle of bugs being icky. It’s part of my fabric. No amount of fat shaming or earth- loving green tyranny will change that.
If this becomes a reality, what will it mean for our relationship with bugs? Will exterminators go out of business? If your house gets overrun with ants will it suddenly be like when your bananas go bad? You just make a bread? If your kid comes home with lice will you say, Good for you. Now you have your after school snack. And kudos to you, kiddo. You’re self-sustaining.
And how will the margarine be made? Is it not butter because it’s not milk? Or are they milking these worms with tiny little pumps? Or, just gross speculation here (with an emphasis on gross) are they mashed up into a fine paste? Is their poop part of the paste, or how do you keep the poop out of the product? Then again, perhaps feces is a trifle when, after all, you are eating worms.
What is outside the social parameters now? What is unfit to eat? Will all social taboos dissolve under the buckling pressure of healthy fats and global warming?
I think bug eating will change us as a people. And I guess I’d rather be dead, than eat a worm.