And the plants and the animals eat each other
April 17, 2018 10:59 PM   Subscribe

Insect farms gear up to feed soaring global protein demand - "Layers of squirming black soldier fly larvae fill large aluminum bins stacked 10-high in a warehouse outside of Vancouver. They are feeding on stale bread, rotting mangoes, overripe cantaloupe and squishy zucchini."

insect protein powder/paste in bags... or tubes:
Enterra Feed, one of an emerging crop of insect growers, will process the bugs into protein-rich food for fish, poultry - even pets. After being fattened up, the fly larvae will be roasted, dried and bagged or pressed to extract oils, then milled into a brown powder that smells like roasted peanuts... Fast food giant McDonald’s is studying using insects for chicken feed to reduce reliance on soy protein...

Insect farmers grow black soldier fly larvae and mealworms because they are docile, easy to grow and high in protein and digestible fat. Mealworms can be grown with little water and studies have shown they can “rescue” nutrients by consuming grains not fit for livestock production without passing on harmful toxins. Black soldier fly larvae also contain high levels of calcium and iron and can feed on a broad array of food waste.
charts:
-Bug farms feed soaring protein demand
-Fish farming expansion drives demand for feed

bonus 'future of food' stuff:
posted by kliuless (77 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
We’ve all seen Snowpiercer, right? Something tells me that the people intended to eat most of this in the future aren’t the people who came up with the idea to industrialize and monetize it.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 11:10 PM on April 17 [27 favorites]


I dunno I’d rather eat mealworm-derived protein units than jellyfish.
posted by silby at 11:16 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


It's not Kareen's Butter Bug Ranch... yet. I'd give insect-derived protein a try as soon as it's sufficiently processed to make it indistinguishable from other forms of protein powder. If anyone tries to tell me I should make this stuff from scratch, maybe not so much.
posted by asperity at 11:29 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Never has a limited life span seemed like such a gift.
posted by maxwelton at 11:34 PM on April 17 [19 favorites]


I'm sticking to fruits and vegetables, thanks. Or am I not going to have a choice?
posted by pracowity at 12:04 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Okay I know this is tricky... but like... what if... we stopped feeding soy to chickens and pigs and fish and whatever and we just... eat the soy ourselves? And other protein-rich vegetables like lentils and beans (bonus: shelf-stable). What if?

I'm feeling pretty good right now not eating bug-protein-infused animal flesh... but I guess that's just me. You know?
posted by sixohsix at 12:54 AM on April 18 [16 favorites]


That's what I was trying to get at.
posted by pracowity at 1:01 AM on April 18


I'm feeling pretty good right now not eating bug-protein-infused animal flesh... but I guess that' just me. You know?

Maybe you're vegetarian/vegan and don't eat meat, bug-infused or otherwise. If not, that's a pretty odd stance, especially for chickens: bug-infused is pretty much their natural diet.

Of course we'd all be better off climate and health wise if we exclusively ate plant matter, but in the near future omnivores gonna omnivore...
posted by Omission at 1:06 AM on April 18 [16 favorites]


Not if the choice is being a vegan or eating bugs.
posted by pracowity at 1:12 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


So, the solution is simple: stop importing soy, feed our waste to these production insects, and feed the insects to the chickens and pigs.
posted by bouvin at 1:24 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I dunno I’d rather eat mealworm-derived protein units than jellyfish.

jellyfish is really quite good

Honestly, once the protein is in a form that doesn't immediately scream "bug", I'd probably give something like cricket powder a go.
posted by lesser weasel at 1:49 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


I dunno I’d rather eat mealworm-derived protein units than jellyfish.

After seeing a couple of black soldier fly videos, I'm ready to pledge fealty to team jellyfish.
posted by fredludd at 2:08 AM on April 18


What if?

If we did that, a little more of the joy of living would be extinguished for most of us.
posted by Segundus at 2:08 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Most of the time Americans try as hard as possible to not be reminded of where their meat comes from, to the extent that the most popular forms of meat are the ones ground up and re-shaped so that they resemble viscera as little as possible: hamburgers, sausages, chicken "tenders", and so on. Guys, the "pink slime" slurry of miscellaneous pureed animal parts was invented right here to feed this demand, catering to America's demand that they remove as much of the evidence as animal from the food as possible, at as high a volume and low a cost as possible.

So shining a white-hot NOPE light on this particular form of protein seems kinda cynical and hypocritical coming from anybody who admits to their guilty pleasure indulgences in chicken nuggets or hot dogs. You've been eating this stuff all along, only difference being so far it's pig sinuses and cow anuses rather than maggots. It's inevitable that our protein industrial complex is going to latch onto insects as a food source the moment they can do it cheaply enough and latch onto the right marketing campaign.
posted by ardgedee at 3:03 AM on April 18 [26 favorites]


I mean, I'm sure *you* don't. And I'm sure neither you nor any of your friends would find themselves at a McDonald's for any reason but desperation. I'm sure *you* appreciate snout-to-tail charcuterie. Congratulations, you're among the minority of omnivores in America!
posted by ardgedee at 3:06 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


There's already a cricket based meal powder / protein bar startup called crickstart, with sassy little slogans like 'shop til you hop'.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:07 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm finding "ugh, GOD, not bugs!" mentality amusing considering the current standard of factory farming, overpopulation, and food scarcity. I mean, at this rate, eating insects will need to be the norm in terms of cheaper protein. If you are lucky and well-off enough to opt every time for "humane" meat, great, but you really are an outlier.
posted by Kitteh at 3:19 AM on April 18 [24 favorites]


Smells like peanuts, you say? Well if it tastes as good as it smells, then that's as good as a paste that I already spread on my lunch every day.

As far as animal feed, insects are a staple of chickens' natural diets. Chickens love bugs. If you get a nice free-range chicken that was raised on a local farm where it was allowed to forage for itself (you know, the fancy expensive kind of chicken that MeFites tend to agree is the most delicious and ethical kind available) it's going to be partly made of bugs. Not nice clean bugs that were made in a controlled facility, either—just whatever bugs the chicken found lying around.

We waste 40% of the food we grow in the US; I assume Canada (where Enterra Feed is based) is similar in this regard. If mealworms and fly larvae can take some of that wasted food and put it back into the system, that's a win. If that means getting over our squeamishness about eating insects (or eating products that have some insect protein mixed into them, or eating animals that were raised on such products—we're pretty far removed from anything visceral here) then so be it. Squeamishness is not usually a very helpful response anyway.

Sure you can argue that vegetarianism is the better path, and that's probably true. But we shouldn't turn up our noses at any protein source that's cheap, tasty, and environmentally friendly. If insect-derived chicken fits the bill, then great. If it's actual insect paste then that's great too as long as it's yummy; I mean yogurt is something that was squirted out of a cow's underbelly and then left to rot, yet I happily eat it every morning. We've got seven billion people to feed here, ideally without trashing the ecosystem more than we already have. We need to get creative.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:27 AM on April 18 [35 favorites]


Dang BrotherCaine, I'd seriously buy some of those Crickstart bars and try them out for hiking if they weren't $3/each. I already buy fancy bars with nice ingredients but I'm only paying $1-1.50. $3 a pop seems like a lot for a bar whose signature ingredient is something that you generally have to talk people into trying.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:32 AM on April 18


None of you ever tried roasted or freeze-dried insects? What kind of a kraft cheese & mayo sandwich crowd is this?

Gist: they all taste like peanuts *except* bamboo worms which definitely have a kick to them. So if you're ordering two bags from Amazon, get crickets and bamboo worms.
posted by tirutiru at 4:14 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Came for the snowpiercer comment, was rewarded immediately.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:14 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


My deal with reality is, when Trump, Putin, Zuckerberg, Beyonce, George Clooney, et al, sit down together at a fancy state dinner, with all their wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, children, grandchildren, etc., and the table is set with steaming heaps of insects, maybe then I'll give it a go.

I try to live a life solely driven by celebrity and power influence. It has served me well up til now.
posted by Chitownfats at 5:25 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Dammit, too late again. Crickstart was my get-rich-quick idea back at the beginning of the year.
posted by Scattercat at 5:38 AM on April 18


There was a symposium on insects as animal feed at the August 2017 meeting of the European Association for Animal Production. Never have I been happier to be a geneticist and not a nutritionist!
posted by wintermind at 5:49 AM on April 18


I had cricket flour chips. They were tasty and offered protein.

Also, in Thailand, trays of various bugs are a common site at open-air markets. They taste salty, crunchy mostly.
posted by kokaku at 5:51 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


If you are lucky and well-off enough to opt every time for "humane" meat, great, but you really are an outlier.

The first time I read your comment I missed the letter e. And I got really worried at where this comment was heading.
posted by Fizz at 5:54 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Somehow people are always giving us candy or snacks for some reason or another, so we just put it in the snack bowl in the pantry that is filled with candy/granola/chocolate/snack bars. If we don't see the snacks, we'll be less tempted to pig out. A few years ago my SO got a gift bag from some work-related event and inside it, among other things, were three cricket powder protein bars.

We are pretty open minded when it comes to "weird" food, but those cricket bars are still in the bowl even when it's empty.
posted by chillmost at 5:54 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Is this where I trademark "Greens, Grains, and Grubs" as the name of my counter-service lunch bowl place?
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:55 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I've eaten fried crickets (chapulines) plenty of times; they taste great and have a nice texture, mostly crunchy. There are specific bugs that make me say "ew," but the general idea of better incorporating them into the food system makes a lot of sense, either directly as food for people, or indirectly as animal feed, etc.

And yes, chickens that run around and eat bugs taste amazing, nothing like the bland grocery store chickens we mostly eat.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:21 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]




I'm just here to acknowledge the Modest Mouse reference in the title.
posted by robotmachine at 6:27 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


If not, that's a pretty odd stance, especially for chickens: bug-infused is pretty much their natural diet.


the difference is that if i eat chicken meat from animals that have eaten crickets themselves, i will not die from anaphylaxis like i will if i eat actual crickets because of my shellfish allergy. so for me i think the preventative care of just not eating bugs is actually a pretty great stance.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:35 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Is this where I trademark "Greens, Grains, and Grubs"

Only if I get to claim "Lurva Larva" and "Grubstake Grub Steaks" and "Cricket Crisps".
posted by pracowity at 6:42 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


One of the great things about insects is that they grow rapidly and require less energy to survive as they are not warm blooded creatures. If you are going to eat animal protein then they are a great source.

I have had dried crickets and meal worms. The worms were like rice crispies and the crickets (which were small) tasted a bit nutty. I largely stick to a vegetarian diet, with vegan tendencies, but I would consider humanely killed insects to be a reasonable source of protein. I don't know what the wild vegans (who will eat any meat that is not factory farmed or anything with out a nervous system) would think about eating farmed insects.

In the past two weeks I have found myself having to eat pork, bacon and chicken and I can honestly say I would rather eat a handful of insects!
posted by asok at 6:54 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


the difference is that if i eat chicken meat from animals that have eaten crickets themselves, i will not die from anaphylaxis like i will if i eat actual crickets because of my shellfish allergy. so for me i think the preventative care of just not eating bugs is actually a pretty great stance.
That comment was replying to "I'm feeling pretty good right now not eating bug-protein-infused animal flesh" . It was pointing out that chickens eat bugs naturally, and therefore their "flesh" would be "infused" with "bug protein" anyway. It is not saying "everyone should eat bugs because chickens eat bugs", but rather "eating chickens that have eaten bugs is not some new weird thing".
posted by inconstant at 7:03 AM on April 18 [9 favorites]


in the near future, cultures that are less picky and pretentious with their foods that rapidly adapt to insect protein will grow healthy populations with much smaller carbon footprints. you can bet your butt that China will be one of the first countries where insect protein will become a staple by way of government intervention

meanwhile, in the Western world, insects will start coding as 'low class food', and no might of any corporation will force the average Western consumer, who prefers their meat dyed a bright red and can't even handle the chicken giblets that come already separated from the whole chicken such that corporations have started removing them and/or leaving them inside the chicken in little plastic bags, to consume the protein. instead, Western nations will continue their massive energy intake and carbon output, driving the environment to more and more ruination, and nobody will be able to stop them because of the wealth they have already extracted via historical means from these places that eat 'low-class food'

and all the while, their denizens will make snide comments about just how yucky insects are and oh lord I will not let my kids eat that no no no, I prefer my Chickie Nobs and pigoons and what have you

which is to say: with every other prediction of the cyberpunk dystopian future coming true, there's no reason stuff like this won't
posted by runt at 7:04 AM on April 18 [10 favorites]


here I go again

I raise black solider fly larvae using a BioPod Plus.

It's pretty great for several reasons:
1) Those larvae break down organic matter fast, including meat.
2) They out compete other composting critters, like household flies, so it keeps the pest population down.
3) My chickens go cuckoooo for the larvae.
4) The leachate is really awesome fertilizer.

The downsides are that the bin is a little fussy, and it only works for about 6 months of the year. Someday I'm hoping to have a nice big greenhouse to stash it in to extend their season a little longer.

They are way less gross than you might imagine, but I would have a hard time putting one in my mouth.
posted by slipthought at 7:06 AM on April 18 [18 favorites]


Why is everyone here talking about eating bugs ourselves when the article (and company) are entirely about using bugs for animal feed?

These aren't even close to the same thing. Feeding bugs to animals is a great idea. Certainly seems better than feeding them soy, which unlike insects is not a "natural" food for chickens or fish. Is there anyone who actually objects to this?
posted by randomnity at 7:17 AM on April 18 [29 favorites]


TFA is not actually about human eating these things, though I'm on team "why not?" if someone puts a plate in front of me. I've had crickets, they were fine.

Okay I know this is tricky... but like... what if... we stopped feeding soy to chickens and pigs and fish and whatever and we just... eat the soy ourselves? And other protein-rich vegetables like lentils and beans (bonus: shelf-stable). What if?

Mostly human preference--I eat tons of lentils and beans but taste wise I can get more out of meat and like the variety.

But also the article points out the insects can eat plant matter that's not fit for feed animals, let alone humans. Not every calorie in the food chain starts human digestible.
posted by mark k at 7:20 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


"I've found a worm in my mealworm meal, but what really bugged the heck out of me was that I have no grounds for complaint."
posted by hat_eater at 7:20 AM on April 18 [9 favorites]


what really bugged the heck out of me

ISWYDT
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:29 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Yep, anyone who keeps chickens probably wouldn't bat an eye at this. I don't know how they get crickets to smell like peanuts though. The crickets I feed my chickens have a strong smell, and it's not peanuts, believe me. Black Soldier Fly larva are much nicer, but as pointed out above, not a constantly avaiable protien source.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 7:39 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Part of me gags a bit thinking about this, but another, drunker part of me ate probably five pounds of crawfish last weekend.
posted by gordie at 7:52 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


This isn't pie-in-the-sky stuff at all. Fish farming right now is a bit of a mis-nomer. You grow big high value fish in giant ponds or cages at the mouth of a river but you feed them with vast amounts of wild-caught smaller fish and invertabrate seafood, with all of the carbon intensitivity and sustainable fishery issues that implies. Some form of processed meal substitution is inevitable and insect meal at industrial scale is a lot more efficient than soy meal and probably makes much better meat (big fish are obligate carnivores). Indeed, substituting insect meal for fish meal may even be better because a lot of big fish have in the wild a diet that's heavy in invertebrates and the insect meal nutrition mix may be closer to natural for them.
posted by MattD at 8:17 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Why is everyone here talking about eating bugs ourselves when the article (and company) are entirely about using bugs for animal feed?

Because, as with all discussions of food on MetaFilter (and, really, everywhere), no one is actually discussing the topic at hand, they're just here to grind their axes.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:25 AM on April 18 [12 favorites]


I happily eat ants live/raw, so this is fine.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 8:29 AM on April 18


they're just here to grind their axes.

Them plates of cricket-beans ain’t gonna overanalyze themselves!
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:36 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


So you're saying, an insect diet is for the birds?
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:42 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Cow holding sign: EAT MOR CHITIN
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:42 AM on April 18 [24 favorites]


Remember in summer camp, when you dismissed the Kool-Aid as "bug juice"? Well...
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:42 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Something tells me that the people intended to eat most of this in the future aren’t the people who came up with the idea to industrialize and monetize it.

What are you saying here? Having food be available beyond subsistence farming/hunting isn't exactly the makings of a dystopia. How could anyone involved in mass scale food production be intending to eat most of what they're making?

Anyway, seeing as they're not fish or poultry, it seems like it's moot for this particular product.
posted by ODiV at 8:55 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I don't eat meat but I do eat fish. Feeding insects to fish seems like a fine idea. And feeding insects to the chickens I get my eggs from, likewise.
I'm not sure how anyone could object; it seems like a very efficient way to reap useful nutrients from matter that is otherwise wasted (or at best composted).
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:10 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Something tells me that the people intended to eat most of this in the future aren’t the people who came up with the idea to industrialize and monetize it.

What are you saying here? Having food be available beyond subsistence farming/hunting isn't exactly the makings of a dystopia.


The point is that the folks enriching themselves selling insect-paste to the masses will decidedly NOT be eating said bugs while lounging around their gated/walled/guarded compounds.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:24 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Celsius1414: The point is that the folks enriching themselves selling insect-paste to the masses will decidedly NOT be eating said bugs

Well, I can't blame them for not eating fish food or chicken food.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:32 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Best article to read during lunch!

First question: Do they sell any insects *not* ground to paste? It isn't enough to just be eating high protien content, but you are also supposed to eat minimally processed foods. So I'd like my bugs ... what... flash frozen, or flash heated or... served sake until they die. we can't scare them, or gas them... but I want them.... relaxed at their time of death...

And now, I'll go back to eating this salad covered in 4 types of beans, quinoa, cottage cheese and chicken. At least one thing in here resembles a bug in some form of consistency... how different is eating one of these guys knowingly?
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:34 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


from TFA: Fast food giant McDonald’s is studying using insects for chicken feed to reduce reliance on soy protein.

This is interesting. I don't really know how much protein chickens need - my backyard chickens seem to get by on grain feed just fine but maybe meat chickens need more protein in their diet to get to such monster proportions. But as the article points out you can raise insects on basically garbage - municipal organic waste - while soybeans need farms, fertilizer, etc. Seems pretty genius.

And as numerous people pointed out upthread, chickens naturally love grubs. I had a big outbreak of huge grubs in my backyard garden a year ago - I have raised beds with really loose dirt so I'd just rake through the dirt a couple feet down and I must have found a couple hundred immense grubs. I think they were Japanese beetle grubs. (feel free to google for images) I'd toss them to my chickens and they went nuts for them. Chickens have brains the size of a couple walnuts so clearly they're responding to them instinctually. If the damn beetles weren't so destructive to plants around here it would indeed be tempting to try to raise them.
posted by GuyZero at 11:17 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


The only insects I have directly and voluntarily eaten were fried grass-hoppers which at the time I lived in Mexico were a popular snack to serve with beer. A little lime juice and salt go on the grass-hoppers. They taste like shrimp. I’d totally eat them again, especially if I had beer with them. I was a 6 year old kid at the time and it was done on a dare.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:37 AM on April 18


I was a 6 year old kid at the time and it was done on a dare.

Childhood is a time to eat bugs.
posted by pracowity at 11:52 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Seriously these grass-hoppers are good! Now that I know where they have them in Seattle, if I go there, I can get some. I don’t get to Seattle that often though
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:55 AM on April 18


My compost bin gets overrun by soldier fly larvae every year- I'm not very consistent with the greens/browns ratio, and they love the scraps. Turns out I could have my own protein farm! The larvae do have that "wriggling mass" situation down, especially when I throw all the watermelon rinds in there. It's not very appetizing, but I'm sure the chickens would go crazy for them. Replacing soybeans with waste-fed larvae makes a lot of sense!
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:10 PM on April 18


the argument has been made since at least 1885: Why not eat insects?
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 12:48 PM on April 18


And after a century and a quarter, I'd say it's time to stop trying to make insect-eating happen. It's not going to happen.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:06 PM on April 18


Have you ever seen free-range chickens? It happens every day.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:07 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I've eaten a ton of crickets, they are quite tasty fried in chilli and garlic oil. I've also eaten Queensland fruit fly larvae but that was out of revenge. I'm happy to eat insects and insect-derived products provided the insects are treated well and killed quick.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:23 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Feeding bugs to animals that would already eat them just makes sense to me. The squeamishness seems weird. If my pets are anything to go buy, bugs are both tasty and fun to eat. Eat up, chickens!

As for me eating the bugs? I'm down with the cricket powder but once we get to roach milk is where I tap out. Good luck to the rest of y'all!
posted by asteria at 3:38 PM on April 18


Chickens have brains the size of a couple walnuts so clearly they're responding to them instinctually.

I think you are exaggerating their brain sizes by several orders of magnitude.

Seriously these grass-hoppers are good! Now that I know where they have them in Seattle, if I go there, I can get some. I don’t get to Seattle that often though

If you are anywhere near where your profile location says, I would be very surprised if you couldn't find some by asking around. People bring them back from trips home, plus what gets produced here.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:40 PM on April 18


Can Dirt Save the Earth? - "Agriculture could pull carbon out of the air and into the soil — but it would mean a whole new way of thinking about how to tend the land."

also btw...
-Protein plight: Brazil steals U.S. soybean share in China
-A different kind of regret: Trying White Castle's new Impossible Slider
posted by kliuless at 6:36 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


and nobody will be able to stop them because of the wealth they have already extracted via historical means from these places that eat 'low-class food'

Maybe. But avocados and lobster both used to be "low class food" and now they're both food royalty. Even bone broth and tripe are kind of trendy now. I think there's a fair chance in the future that insects will have something similar happen.

And then somehow the rich will take the credit and say they "discovered" how healthy and tasty insects are.
posted by FJT at 9:02 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


And then the 99% will discover how tasty the rich are.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:28 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


How could anyone object to this? In a perfect world, I'd rather eat the chapulines than the chickens who feed on them, but either one is whole lot better than what most of us do today.

A world view in which eating pigs is fine but eating crickets isn't deserves some serious ethical consideration.
posted by eotvos at 9:04 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


For most people, when it comes to food, eyes and tastebuds tend to overrule ethics.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:23 PM on April 19


Invertebrate protein is the real Paleo Diet.
posted by ver at 7:45 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


So shining a white-hot NOPE light on this particular form of protein seems kinda cynical and hypocritical coming from anybody who admits to their guilty pleasure indulgences in chicken nuggets or hot dogs. You've been eating this stuff all along, only difference being so far it's pig sinuses and cow anuses rather than maggots

Maggots live in rotten food. Finding the idea of eating them disgusting is adaptive. Hot dogs, while composed of animal bits and leftovers that ya'll rich food snobs are too good for, are still meat and are not rotten. Hamburgers, sausages, hot dogs and chicken tenders are affordable compositions of food that would otherwise be wasted, but they are compositions that resemble muscle meat, that's why people like them, the mouthfeel approximates the real thing and they taste like meat because they are.

Hamburger, gizzards, sausage, etc has always been lower class/neccessity food made good but how about not villifying people for not wanting to eat something closely associated with rot and disease? Personally, I find it hypocritical when the same people who complain about food waste get up my nose about eating hot dogs. Doesn't mean I'm obligated to be okay with eating insects on their say-so.
posted by windykites at 5:54 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Even bone broth and tripe are kind of trendy now. I think there's a fair chance in the future that insects will have something similar happen. And then somehow the rich will take the credit and say they "discovered" how healthy and tasty insects are.

and the rich restaurant owners will make $$$ while the local stores who were once doling out the same will continue to lose business

see also: every goddamn trendy fucking non-white food culture restaurant vs immigrant-owned establishments in every city, everywhere
posted by runt at 6:44 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


for not wanting to eat something closely associated with rot and disease?

Hmm, well it depends on the rot. After all, rot's healthy cousin is fermentation, which is the process that creates chocolate, wine, beer, kimchi, yogurt, etc.

And there's also the related process of dry-aging beef, which does stuff like breaks down the muscle's connective tissue and makes the meat more tender.
posted by FJT at 10:05 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]




Exploring Perception and Acceptance of Edible Insects as a Protein Source - "Western consumers will eat insects if you put them in protein bars and call it 'insect protein.'"
posted by kliuless at 6:30 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


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