Scorpion scaloppine, anyone?

Posted on June 5, 2008 by ELCA World Hunger

What are you planning to make for dinner tonight? As a source of inspiration, I wanted to start this blog with the picture of the breaded, pan-fried scorpion that appears in the June 9 issue of Time Magazine. But I don’t want to violate any copyright laws, so all I can do is refer you to it. You can find it on this page, along with an video clip that shows you how to make it.

The same Time Magazine page contains an article titled, “Eating Bugs.” Being an American, just thinking about it makes me squirm. And yet the concept intrigues me, too. The author argues that bugs are eaten regularly in many parts of the word. They are high in protein, readily available, reproduce quickly, and take few resources to raise compared to the animals we Americans typically eat. Apparently, they also add a variety of delicious texture and flavor. When you consider the current food crisis and the fact that, according to the article, livestock accounts for 18% of greenhouse-gas emissions globally, why aren’t we eating bugs?

As far as I can tell, the only real reason is we can’t stand the thought. Which makes me wonder, is that a good enough reason? That our minds don’t like it? At what point would I be willing to defy the prevailing culture and eat bugs? Is it enough to think bug consumption is good for the planet and other people? A healthy way to expand the food supply? Or would I have to be desperately hungry before I would choke them down? Which is stronger: my cultural mind or my logical mind?

Personally, I’m not that attached to meat. I think it would be easier to be a vegetarian than to eat bugs. But then again, as long as they were chopped up and didn’t look so much like a worm or spider or whatever, I might be willing to taste a bug dish. Maybe.

Whether or not there is or should be U.S. market for entomophagy (the fancy term for eating bugs), it’s an interesting idea to consider! What do you think?

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