If a meatless diet bugs you, try eating insects

big_047-4.png“Flesh eating is unprovoked murder“(Benjamin Franklin). Considering all we know today, I am not sure that eating animal flesh is still unprovoked.

One day, whether we like or not, we all will be vegetarians. It is a simple matter of life and death. From many perspectives, changing our eating habits has become a compelling argument.

Mad cow disease, swine fever or dioxin-contaminated chicken have had massive media coverage those past years. Many heath issues are indeed related to immoderate meat consumption. If cigarette packs have a warning label and if public awareness campaigns are aiming alcohol or drugs use,  there has never been any public advisory on the hazards of meat consumption. How would you feel if you read such a tag on cellophane wrappings: “Caution! Meat eating may be hazardous to your health” ? OK, you have got a point. It probably would not change anything. The whole world is saturated with warning labels anyway. Still. Studies clearly show that vegetarians are about 40% less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters. I suspect that it is also because vegetarians are prone to be health aware and more environmentally friendly.

Moreover, exponential livestock  farming in Amazonia or elsewhere is a major threat to the world ecosystem. Cutting down on our meat intake is an effective way to reduce cattle producing areas and let nature reassert itself. It also means that greenhouse gas emissions will significantly decrease. A meatless choice is hence a step for a better environment in a growing world. We do not have to stop our meat intake but limiting animal flesh eating would make a huge difference.

There is another option. In many countries where meat is too expensive or rare to be a staple, proteins supply is not neglected though. Other protein sources are being taken for granted. It’s been centuries since insects are ingested in Africa or Asia. Grilled caterpillars are very much valued in Kinshasa and grilled insects of all sorts are popular in the streets of Bangkok.  Are we too picky ? Is bug eating bugging us ? It is all about culture and minds. Maybe that grasshopper will be best swallowed as a powder or as a liquid. After all, some food pigments are insect-derived, like cochineal. Yes, it is that E120 that most of us may be more familiar with.

I am no vegetarian… yet but I have cut down my meat consumption. I have never eaten a plateful of bugs and would probably feel a bit reluctant to do so, but I am not wholly averse to the idea. We just cannot go on the way we do. We are more than 7 billions Earthlings. Check on the worldometers website : http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ Quite disturbing, isn’t it ? Isn’t it high time we seriously reassess ? Our consuming habits have a major impact on industry giant. We somehow tend to underestimate the scope of our acts. This Planet has much to offer but if we rip it off and keep our conscience lying dormant, we are doomed.


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