Here I am, talking about eating bugs again. PBS' YouTube show "The Good Stuff" is delving into the future of food with three episodes that explore meat alternatives. One of the episodes, "Why You Should Eat Bugs," has some compelling reasons why we should consider dining on our six-legged friends.
Some of the statistics about the resource efficiency of raising cows versus bugs are astonishing, starting with the percentage of the creature that is edible. We can only eat 40 percent of a cow versus 80 percent of a cricket. When you start looking at the resources consumed when raising it, you start to see that not only do cows use an enormous amount of resources compared to crickets or other bugs, but also so many of those resources are wasted on the 60 percent of the cow that is not edible. (Although some of the non-edible parts, like the hide, do end up getting used in some way.)
Here are just a few of the statistics that just might make you consider eating a cricket taco.
- It takes 10 pounds of feed to create 1 pound of beef, but 10 pounds of feed can create 6 pounds of insect protein, the kind of protein powder that Wayback Burgers uses in its High-Protein Cricket Milkshakes.
- That same 1 pound of beef takes a whopping 1,800 gallons of water to create, but 1 pound of insect protein only uses one gallon of water to create.
- One cow uses the resources from two acres of land during its lifetime. It takes only a 4' x 6' pen to raise 55-65 pounds of crickets.
Watch the video to the end to see edible insects prepared in various culinary ways. As you watch, think about what you would do if presented with something like a cricket taco, knowing what a sustainable source of protein insects are. Could you eat it?