Should we eat bugs? – Emma Bryce

Should we eat bugs? – Emma Bryce


[Why don’t we eat bugs?] For centuries, people have consumed bugs, everything from beetles to caterpillars, locusts, grasshoppers, termites, and dragonflies. The practice even has a name: entomophagy. Early hunter-gatherers
probably learned from animals that foraged for protein-rich insects
and followed suit. As we evolved and bugs
became part of our dietary tradition, they fulfilled the role
of both staple food and delicacy. In ancient Greece, cicadas
were considered luxury snacks. And even the Romans found
beetle larvae to be scrumptious. Why have we lost our taste for bugs? The reason for our rejection
is historical, and the story probably begins around 10,000 BC in the Fertile Crescent, a place in the Middle East that was a major birthplace
of agriculture. Back then, our once-nomadic ancestors
began to settle in the Crescent. And as they learned to farm crops
and domesticate animals there, attitudes changed, rippling outwards towards Europe
and the rest of the Western world. As farming took off, people might have spurned
bugs as mere pests that destroyed their crops. Populations grew,
and the West became urbanized, weakening connections
with our foraging past. People simply forgot
their bug-rich history. Today, for people not
accustomed to entomophagy, bugs are just an irritant. They sting and bite and infest our food. We feel an “ick factor”
associated with them and are disgusted
by the prospect of cooking insects. Almost 2,000 insect species
are turned into food, forming a big part of everyday diets for two billion people around the world. Countries in the tropics
are the keenest consumers, because culturally, it’s acceptable. Species in those regions
are also large, diverse, and tend to congregate in groups or swarms that make them easy to harvest. Take Cambodia in Southeast Asia where huge tarantulas are gathered, fried, and sold in the marketplace. In southern Africa, the juicy mopane worm is a dietary staple, simmered in a spicy sauce or eaten dried and salted. And in Mexico, chopped jumiles
are toasted with garlic, lemon, and salt. Bugs can be eaten whole to make up a meal or ground into flour, powder,
and paste to add to food. But it’s not all about taste. They’re also healthy. In fact, scientists say entomophagy
could be a cost-effective solution for developing countries
that are food insecure. Insects can contain up to 80% protein, the body’s vital building blocks, and are also high in energy-rich fat, fiber, and micronutrients
like vitamins and minerals. Did you know that most edible insects
contain the same amount or even more mineral iron than beef, making them a huge, untapped resource
when you consider that iron deficiency is currently the most common
nutritional problem in the world? The mealworm
is another nutritious example. The yellow beetle larvae are native
to America and easy to farm. They have a high vitamin content, loads of healthy minerals, and can contain up to 50% protein, almost as much as in an equivalent
amount of beef. To cook, simply sauté in butter and salt or roast and drizzle with chocolate
for a crunchy snack. What you have to overcome in “ick factor,” you gain in nutrition and taste. Indeed, bugs can be delicious. Mealworms taste like roasted nuts. Locusts are similar to shrimp. Crickets, some people say,
have an aroma of popcorn. Farming insects for food
also has less environmental impact than livestock farms do because insects emit
far less greenhouse gas and use up less space, water, and food. Socioeconomically, bug production could uplift people
in developing countries since insect farms can be small scale, highly productive, and yet
relatively inexpensive to keep. Insects can also be turned
into more sustainable food for livestock and can be reared on organic waste, like vegetable peelings, that might otherwise
just end up rotting in landfills. Feeling hungry yet? Faced with a plate of fried crickets,
most people today would still recoil, imagining all those legs and feelers
getting stuck between their teeth. But think of a lobster. It’s pretty much just a giant insect
with legs and feelers galore that was once regarded
as an inferior, repulsive food. Now, lobster is a delicacy. Can the same paradigm shift
happen for bugs? So, give it a try! Pop that insect into your mouth, and savor the crunch.

100 thoughts on “Should we eat bugs? – Emma Bryce”

  1. There were meat eaters , there were vegans , now we know there is a third ; The Insectoid consumer.

  2. I dont see any problem with the idea of eating them as flour. If I don't see it, there is no problem. I mean, chocolate have a small percentage of bug part and knowing it didn't stop me from eating it. Let's have some cricket cookies.

  3. Me:Iโ€™ll eat it .random peeps: your crazy. Me: i wish I choose to eat that moth. Even though I should I am gonna look up is the ocean going I am not you but if your curious Iโ€™ll see you there if thereโ€™s any Vidios left

  4. Well, I mean, if eating bugs and insects can stop from animals getting harmed, I am up for it! But, what if insects and bugs start to become extinct like Great white sharks? People keep killing them because they want those fins and meat. On the other hand, there are thousands of bugs and insects, but I mean there were also many Great white sharks at some point in time! SO, WHO KNOWS !!!

  5. BUT IT IS CRUNCHY๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ‘Œ

  6. I don't care if there healthy i am not eating bugs unless it's lobster shrimp crawfish crab NO MATTER WHAT AND NOBODY CAN MAKE ME EVEN IF MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT

  7. Cockroaches would actually taste good if only they weren't poisonous because of being raised in sewers and such.

  8. Come to Nagaland and we will offer you different kinds of insects prepared in different ways. You can't have just one. You'll surely go for a second helping.

  9. This things letting me think like Some day we gonna start eating humans ๐Ÿ˜‚ stop it man everything , stop your greed .

  10. I have mealworms for my tarantulas and geckos. Hmmm maybe I'll try frying them in butter ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  11. hey TED-ed could you do a video on why japonese,chinese and asian pepole eat dogs and all sorts of wierd things

  12. ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ๐Ÿž๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ
    ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ๐Ÿž๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ
    ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ๐Ÿž๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ
    ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ๐Ÿž๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ
    ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ๐Ÿž๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ

    ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ˜–โ˜น๏ธ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
    Uh… Nope.

  13. I was a eating a apple that was at my house and I was eating it and then i got more in to the apple then i stopped eating it and saw a White warm and little bugs I will never eat apples again !!!!

  14. Crickets are nice and crunchy like potato chips, especially in salt and vinegar.

    Scorpions taste like chicken. Spiky chicken. Very good. That's all. Bugs are really tasty ๐Ÿ™‚

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