- Posted February 21, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Do you eat ethically?
Grub is the protein of the future
Not many consider bugs to be the protein of the future.
Fears of a growing global food crisis have lead researchers to explore alternative food sources, ones that expend little energy and require few resources to raise or produce.
The world's population is projected to reach nine billion by 2050, a number that can wreak havoc on world food supplies. Bugs are not only extremely abundant with over 1,000 species identified as edible, they also have many proven health benefits. Bugs like grasshoppers and honeybees are high in protein, low in fat, and loaded with B vitamins, iron and zinc.
Unlike livestock or chickens or even crops, bugs require little space or food to keep them alive. They also have a relatively low impact on the environment, whereas cows release 70-120kg of methane a year, which we now know can prove dangerous to the ozone layer.
If we consider life on a hierarchical scale, bugs fall pretty low on the food chain. I suppose it's safe to assume that insects suffer less, feel no pain, share fewer genes with humans than the cow or chicken. It may very well be more ethical for humans to be bottom feeders than to eat a creature that more closely resembles them.
I won't pretend that eating bugs is a ritual for me. They didn't taste half bad, but it isn't easy to get past the occasional leg or wing that gets stuck in your teeth.