Eating bugs: an acquired taste or the new delicacy?


Johnson Yang

For many living in America, bugs are seen as small, harmless creatures that may give a small scare when close by — not as a healthy source of food.  

With the human population growing by millions everyday, the cost and amount of food will continue to rise unless something changes. Bugs often come up as a popular substitute for protein-rich foods like chicken, pork, and beef. Though consuming critters is not popular among diners in the United States, they are common delicacies among many Asian and African countries. According to Broadband, “insects require significantly less land to harvest, and 2,000 times less water than cows to produce.”

Forbes predicts that insects will be one of the four biggest food and beverage trends in 2021, largely due to the pandemic. This makes bugs a likely candidate as a more mainstream food source in the future if the human population continues to rise. 

Hailey Wills, a junior at Emmaus High School, thinks that people in America are brought up to not think of bugs as food sources.

“I think it’s strange because I was brought up that way and live in a society [where] it’s viewed as the last resort before cannibalism,” Wills says.

Barbara Vergamini, a special education teacher at Emmaus High School, thinks that bugs will have a positive impact on the environmental impact in the future. 

“It would help since it would release less methane gases,” Vergamini says. “I also heard it’s more efficient in protein.”

Vergamini would also eat bugs if they were prepared in her style. 

“I would, if it was prepared in the right way,” Vergamini says. “Sauteed or fried crickets with sauce on it.”

Tovi Anderson, a senior at Emmaus High School, views bugs as a last resort for today’s generation and generations to come.

“A lot of people really hate the idea of eating bugs and I can’t see it becoming popular unless the food supply is so low that it’s needed,” Anderson says.

In a hypothetical situation of eating bugs to live, Anderson would choose to eat bugs. 

“The idea of putting a live millipede or an earwig into my mouth is revolting, so I’d try to avoid that at all costs,” Anderson says. “But eating bugs doesn’t have to be too bad, they have bags of tiny bugs with cheese sprinkled on them which isn’t gross at all.”

Even with bugs being on the horizon for food sources, it seems some students and faculty members are skeptical about how to approach eating them.

Featured photo courtesy of Canva.