“Let them Eat Bugs,” proclaim Climate Cultists

During my career as a foreign correspondent, I often found myself in situations where it would have been impolite or culturally inappropriate to decline food that didn’t seem edible.

So I took a deep breath, closed my eyes (sometimes), and ate what was put in front of me. (Usually).

Okay, there were a few dishes I had to decline.

Monkey Brain Sushi was one. (You allegedly spooned the fresh brains directly from the open top of a monkey’s head.)

Deliberately decomposed and rotted fish was another. (The stench alone was beyond off-putting.)

Broiled or fried dog or cat was yet another meal I eschewed. (I couldn’t bring myself to eat animals I considered household pets.)

But beyond those disagreeable culinary repasts, I tried just about everything that was put in front of me.

Take a look at this menu of delicacies that I have consumed and lived to tell the tale:

  • Cobra, fried or broiled. It tastes like frog legs. (Thailand)
  • Crocodile meat, fried or boiled. Tastes a little like crab.  (Indonesia)
  • Natto. Fermented, slimy, and sticky soybeans. Healthy, but a bit malodorous. (Japan.)
  • Haggis, made from a sheep’s liver, lungs, and heart mixed with onions, oatmeal, and suet and cooked inside the sheep’s stomach. (I didn’t have it in Scotland, where it originated. I ate haggis while listening to a bagpipe serenade in the now-defunct Hong Kong Hilton Hotel when the hotel’s Scottish general manager threw a party to celebrate a Scottish holiday).
  • Fried spiders. Marinated in sugar and salt and fried in garlic. Arachnophobes need not apply. (Cambodia.)
  • Rocky Mountain Oysters. Bull testicles fried in a deep batter of flour, pepper & salt. It’s an acquired taste. (U.S.)
            Haggis: A Scottish Delicacy


As you can see, I am fairly adventurous when it comes to food.

But I still prefer traditional grub whenever possible, and I am glad that most of the food here in the United States is familiar chow—Rocky Mountain Oysters, notwithstanding.

So, when I heard that Tyson Foods, Inc. the giant American producer of beef, pork and chicken, was going to build a $500 million factory to produce food from insects, I was a little surprised to say the least.

Specifically, the meat processor is purchasing a minority stake in Protix, a Netherlands-based insect ingredients maker. According to Tyson, the to-be-built facility in the U.S. will house an enclosed system designed to support all aspects of insect protein production including the breeding, incubating and hatching of insect larvae. In addition to ingredients for the aquaculture and pet food industries, processed larvae may also be used as ingredients within livestock and plant feed.

“Our partnership with Protix represents the latest strategic investment by Tyson Foods in groundbreaking solutions that drive added value to Tyson Foods’ business,” said John R. Tyson, chief financial officer of Tyson Foods, in a press release. “The insect lifecycle provides the opportunity for full circularity within our value chain, strengthening our commitment to building a more sustainable food system for the future.”

Okay. That is just so much “corporate speak.” So, does it mean Tyson is going to forgo its chicken, pork and beef food production operation to sell us crickets, cockroaches, and grasshoppers.

Not just yet. Apparently, those insects are not going into human food at this point.

“Today, we’re focused on more of an ingredient application with insect protein than we are a consumer application,” Tyson explained.


Now, as you can tell, I’m pretty liberal when it comes to my food choices, but I’m not sure what I would do if I couldn’t buy bags of Tyson’s breaded chicken nuggets or fajita chicken breast strips at my local Sam’s.

God forbid that Tyson might soon substitute those with crunchy fried crickets or barbecued grasshoppers. I’m not quite THAT liberal of a foodie just yet.

But the writing is on the wall, as they say.

The climate cultists and green new dealers are insisting that we stop eating red meat and abolish cattle and pigs—all of whom are polluting the air and killing us with their flatulence.

Eat bugs instead, they are telling us. They are a more efficient delivery system for the protein our bodies and brains need than the millions of bovines that spend their days eating grass and farting until they are shipped off to the slaughterhouses and converted into porterhouse steaks or ground beef.

        Grasshopper medley

Remember that most humans are omnivores, meaning we eat meat and veggies like chimpanzees, pigs, and bears.

I don’t know about you, but I am not disposed to eating grasshopper burgers or cricket casseroles. When I go to my local In-and-Out Burger restaurant, I want a burger furnished with juicy beef, not some concoction consisting of desiccated mealy bugs or grubs.

I don’t care if some two billion people around the world (mostly Asia, Africa, and Latin America) are already eating insects to supplement their diet, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

And by the way, the practice of eating bugs has a name. It’s called “entomophagy.” So when you see somebody eating mopane caterpillars in southern Africa or weaver ant eggs in Southeast Asia, they are practicing entomophagy. So don’t shrivel your nose and say, “Eww, gross.”

But wait. Entomophagy is being practiced right here in the good ole USA—and in some of the most interesting places.

For example, celebrity chef Jose Andres’ Mexico City-inspired Washington, D.C. restaurant serves tacos with chapulines or grasshoppers. A top-selling concession item at the stadium of Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners is a four-ounce cup of toasted grasshoppers served with savory chili-lime salt seasoning. A popular East Village restaurant in New York City offers, among many other insect-infused dishes, black ant guacamole that features a garnish of salt and – you guessed it – ground-up ants.

Eww. Sorry. I can’t help it. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t want a cup of toasted grasshoppers when I’m at the ballpark. I want a hotdog on a fresh bun slathered with mustard, onions, and relish.

Take heart, all you red meat eaters out there. Just like those electric vehicles that the climate fanatics are pushing us to buy instead of gasoline cars, we are decades away from giving up beef and pork for dehydrated beetles and cricket powder brownies.

At least, I hope so.

Or perhaps we should heed what Mark Twain once said: “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”


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About Ronald E. Yates

Ronald E. Yates is an award-winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. Read More About Ron Here

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