The Case For Eating Bugs

The Case For Eating Bugs

Would you eat bugs if it meant helping to
save the planet? I’m Anna and this is Gross Science. Let me start off by saying that, depending
on where you live, the idea of eating insects may not gross you out at all. According to a 2013 United Nations report,
insects are included in the traditional diets of at least 2 billion people. That said, most Westerners, especially in
northern latitudes, don’t tend to eat bugs—and in fact, find it pretty disgusting. So, why is that? Well, no one knows for sure, but there are
a bunch of ideas. One is that it’s simply easier to eat bugs
in the tropics, because they tend to be larger, there’s a diversity of species available
there all year round, and those bugs may have predictable harvesting seasons. Another idea is that traditional agriculture
may have made eating insects less desirable. Agriculture first began in the Fertile Crescent,
and then spread to Europe. And those regions already had large mammals
that could be domesticated, so collecting bugs for food may not have been as much of
a priority. And, as time went on, insects may have gone
from being accepted as benign parts of the environment to being seen as agricultural
pests, and invaders in our homes. Whatever the reason, the fact that most people
in the US and Europe regard the idea of eating bugs with disgust is mostly cultural. After all, when you think about it, it is
a bit strange that our mouths water for this creature with an exoskeleton and pinching
claws and not this one. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Who
cares! I still don’t wanna have bugs for dinner!” And to that I say, “Let me lay out the case
for entomophagy—the practice of eating insects.” To begin with, insects are efficient at putting
on weight. In order to raise a cow to maturity, you need
a lot of food. But to rear the same amount of cricket meat
takes 12 times less feed. What insects eat is also more sustainable. We need to devote a lot of agricultural land
to traditional livestock—so we can grow food for them, or so they can graze. But many bugs can live off of waste products,
like manure and compost. That said, the risks to us of raising edible
insects on organic waste are still being studied. On top of that, livestock like cows are notorious
for releasing tons of methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas. But very few insects produce methane at all. Of course, none of that would matter if bugs
were bad for you. But it turns out that they can be a great
source of proteins, healthy fats, and minerals, depending on the species. Clearly, there are lots of economic, environmental,
and health reasons to eat insects—though we’d have to figure out sustainable ways
of harvesting lots of bugs if entomophagy were to catch on more widely. But that’s not gonna happen if people don’t
like how they taste. So, how do bugs taste? Well, people say crickets taste nutty, scorpions
taste like shrimp, and the grubs of the palm weevil taste sweet when they’re raw or like
calamari when they’re cooked. And I can tell you that everything I ate today
was pretty good, except for those grasshopper tacos, which were really not great. But I think that was just probably because
I cooked them poorly. I don’t blame the grasshoppers. I’m gonna put links in the description to
all the recipes I used today, and you can try them out yourself. I especially recommend the scorpion curry. And if you do try bugs, let me know what you
think, and how you prepared them! Take a photo of your creations and tag me
on Instagram! I’d love to see what you cook up. Ew. By the way, there’s one more reason to eat
insects—as pest control! Palm Weevil grubs (the ones that taste sweet
or like calamari) are becoming a big problem in places like southern California. My friends over at Deep Look actually made
a whole video about these guys. So head over to their channel to see how weevils
could harm the iconic palm trees of Hollywood. And if you like Gross Science, hit subscribe! That is not delicious.

100 thoughts on “The Case For Eating Bugs”

  1. Hey guys! A few people are wondering how the ants tasted. Gotta say, they were pretty good! Sour, almost citrusy. I'd totally eat them in a salad, or maybe with some hummus and veggies. Also, yes, I cut my finger while slicing the onions. Classic—I am the biggest klutz. Lol. Finally, would you like to see more videos like this? Some people have been mentioning taboos against eating organ meats, etc… Does more food science sound interesting?

  2. I am asian and my mom told me she ate crickets, snakes, and dogs I was like “WTF EW GROSS YOU NOT MY MOM” I DISOWNED U

  3. I was born in Acapulco. Sometimes After it would rain we would get millions of winged ants littering every corner of our yard. They were Atta Mexicana. My Grandma would make a paste off of their butts! lol it smelled and tasted just like peanut butter, but a little spicy! Google Chicatanas and youll see its all food stuff lol

  4. I could eat bugs, but I don't think I could do it with them whole. They'd have to be ground up or something for me to find it appetizing.

  5. I love eating ants, cockroaches but mostly animal tongues.
    i cook normal rice for 1 hour and put dark soya sauce, onions, ice cream inside a pot. I stir them to mix and put non dead ants and cook them for 1 min yummy~

    I roast the cockroaches and cut them 4 by 4. And put the things which are in salads and wa la! Cockroach salad!!

  6. I've got to admit, the idea of eating lost insects is gross to me, as an American. However, I'm actually totally open to the idea of eating bugs and there are a couple I've wanted to try for awhile, like tarantulas. Scorpions would also be an easy one for me, and a few species of ants. Even though my initial reaction to eating bugs is negative, I believe I can overcome it and I do wish it were an idea being pushed more in the US. I think if we had more outlets and opportunities to try it out it could catch on fairly quickly and as far as I know, incorporating insects and arachnids in our diet is pretty much all upside. It would benefit our health, the economy, and the environment for! That's assuming proper research is done and we know which ones to NOT eat.

  7. I think humans as a species were designed to eat plants and bugs…. Just think, we don't have any physical features that help us hunt larger prey.

  8. Grossed out becuase people eat bugs
    But you think it's normal to eat chiken, lamb, fish, cow etc etc :/
    Bugs and mammals are the same thing

  9. I literally started running around in circles with my arms screaming home alone when i saw her eating grasshoppers :")

  10. I looked closely and saw in the grasshopper taco there was already a ‘bite’ in it, and once you took a ‘bite’, you didn’t actually eat it. I already saw that the probably cut out a bite sized look alike so you didn’t have to eat it. You can’t fool meh! 😂 😀

  11. Grasshoppers can taste real bitter if not done properly but can be absolutely delicious if prepared properly.
    In Mexico they are often sauted with garlic, butter and oftentimes chilli peppers, giving then an appetizing dark red color and a spicy savory taste with a crunchy texture not unlike corn nuts.
    I'd actually argue grasshoppers could become the most popular bug to eat since they are easy to raise and are largely vegetarians, if the stigma of eating bugs went down.This would also mean grasshopper would also become cheaper as demand rises because right now, even in Mexico buying prepared grasshoppers in this way is still on the pricier side.

  12. I know how to eat an insect.
    Get 1 bug. Poor 10 liter of the chocolat over it and eat it whit 2 packs of cookies

  13. For science everyone failed the final, and to make it up everyone had the option to eat from a pot of grasshopper chili. Just to let you know, there was nothing left in that pot.

  14. Wow! She put recipes for those dishes!
    You are gonna earn all the two billion bug eaters as your subscribers…

  15. once i eat a fried spider and its hair is itchy in the throat and they gave me some soda for me not to vomit

  16. Everyone jn the comments:Ew how can you eat that

    Me: We have our own opinions like we have diffrent likings, like how do u know if its discusting if you haven't even tried I mean tbh i would eat bugs (No, i'm not mad like u do u)

  17. The reason bugs are offputting to me is the fact that it's harder to shell a beetle/spider compared to a crab/lobster. And also, they seem to thrive in unsanitary conditions, which as a mesophobe, gives off the impression that they are disease spreaders.

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