Edible Insects May Not Yield The Benefits That Experts Are Hoping For
There are two things that Americans know about edible insects. One is that they are repellent. And the second is that widespread edible insect consumption can help to reduce the environmental burden that results from mass beef production. Some particularly ambitious experts claim that edible insects can wipe out world hunger at some point in the future. Ever since edible insects became a trendy topic of discussion in America, well-meaning edible insect enthusiasts have been stressing the benefits of cutting beef-protein in favor of insect-protein. Although edible insects have been considered legitimate food sources by most cultures in the world, people living in the western world, especially Americans, feel disgusted by the idea of eating bugs. Most westerners would probably never consider consuming insects if it were not for the many purported benefits that result from consuming edible insects as opposed to beef. Americans will certainly not take up bug-eating because they think that crickets, termites and grasshoppers taste good. However, not all researchers are convinced that edible insects will solve the problems that many experts are claiming. One academic from Oxford claims that much of the hype surrounding the benefits of edible insects is misleading to the public. Many entrepreneurs looking to make money in the edible insect industry are exaggerating the benefits of edible insects for marketing purposes.
Joshua Evans, a Canadian PhD candidate at Oxford University, has written a book about eating edible insects that is aptly titled On Eating Insects. According to Evan’s research, if the edible insect industry were to replace the modern beef industry, all of the same negative consequences of production, processing and transport would still exist. For example, when soy protein became available for public consumption, many experts thought that the negative environmental impacts involved with meat production would decrease. Sadly, this was not the case as soy production still resulted in rapid deforestation in order to make room for soybean plantations. Evans believes that any substitute for modern animal proteins will ultimately cause the same global problems, and possibly entirely new problems as well.
Do you think that there is a valid reason for believing that insect production will be more sustainable and less environmentally damaging than beef production?