Eating Insects Kylie Kamba It is estimated that by 2030 there will be more than 8.5 billion people on this planet. These 8.5 billion people will need to eat if they wish to live a life free of suffering. By 2030 it is also predicted that our society will not be able to support this growing population due to our environmental actions. We can anticipate major destabilization due to shortages of food and water. These shortages will lead to corrupt governments, wars, and the suffering of many people. We are currently feeding the world through methods of mass production. Most Americans rely on a diet of mostly meat and processed corn products. The production of these foods requires vast amounts of resources. We are currently using 30 percent of Earth’s land for livestock production. These animals are usually on grain or corn diets and require a lot of water. If we are not using land and water to feed livestock we are using it to grow crops for ourselves. Also, livestock is one of the biggest contributors of methane, a greenhouse gas that is destroying the atmosphere. In addition, energy is needed to run slaughterhouses and for transportation. If we want to stand a chance in surviving the catastrophic events that are coming we must adopt a new method of eating. One solution lies in insects. Insects are full of protein and iron but are also low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. Insects are abundant on Earth. This could be a stable food supply that would be beneficial to the health of its consumers and is sufficient. The environmental consequences of eating insects are close to none. Insects in specific, crickets require very little space. They don’t require exercise or attention and need little to no care. We won’t need to use land to grow food for them for they quite literally will eat anything. In terms of water, these organisms are so small that they barely need any water to survive. This decreases the amount of resources that are used to produce them. Also, they emit extremely low amounts of greenhouse gases. So if eating insects has all these impressive positive effects, why are they not popular? One way to explain this phenomenon is through the idea of moralization. Moralization is when our morals persuade us into deciding what is socially acceptable versus unacceptable. In our current society eating insects is seen as morally and socially unacceptable. It is seen as gross and disturbing. However, insects are just like any other animals that Americans eat. They are all living organisms with very similar systems and living patterns. In places like Canada and Thailand eating insects is seen as a new, trendy form of eating. If we can get past these stigmas against eating insects we will be a step closer to solving the puzzle of feeding our growing population. Personally, the idea of eating insects is quite disturbing to me. I’m pretty scared of bugs and wouldn’t be the first one in line to try them. However, I do care about the environment and what happens to society. After realizing all the positive effects of eating insects I’ve decided that I would be willingly to give them a try. Some even see insects as quite delicious. Instead of eating the entire insect in full some have experimented with eating them in different forms. Some ingest insects through cricket flour and energy bars. The idea of eating insects in the form of a cookie seems a lot more appealing than eating a whole, intact cricket. By using insects as a new form of food we can be a step closer to feeding the world and limiting the amount of climate change we are inflicting. Eating insects requires fewer resources than eating meat, in terms of land, water, and feed. They release a lower amount of greenhouse gases and can help to restore our ozone. If we want to be able to feed our growing population and stop climate change, eating insects might be the first step.