The Bug Eaters Dilemma

Apparently, cows are bad news for the planet. All that farting and pooping heats the atmosphere a hundred times faster than regular CO2. And lamb is the same. I heard nothing about sheep. If a lamb hides in the forest and waits to grow up, will it be kinder to the environment? I’m not sure. I had to get out of the car and didn’t hear the rest of the CBC program.

Apparently the most sustainable, environmentally friendly meat sources in North America are White Tail deer, feral hogs and Canada Geese. This sounds very Hunger Games to me. My son in law, Bob, has a freezer stocked with the stuff, so he is the moral champion of the family. Clarence used to hunt, but our butcher lost his hand in a meat grinder and that was that. Now, we prefer to buy our meat in plastic packaging from the grocery store. Or, as one vegetarian friend calls it, ‘meat that has suffered for you.’

According to many sources, the protein choice of the future will be bugs. Yes, there will be beans aplenty, but my digestive system has met few kinds that actually agree with me. My methane output would thus put me into the cattle category.  So. There are a few choices available that could be raised quickly and provide enough protein for the whole planet. Here are the two I’ve heard the most about.

Mealworms and crickets. Apparently, the upperwardly mobile, food conscious consumer is looking into these two items. Famous chefs are frying them up and hiding them in plates of egg noodles and such. Oh, the dilemma. It’s like buying eggs. Do I get Omega 3’s, with their flax laden health boost, or opt for cage free eggs from chickens with a life? Hmm. Back to the bugs.

I can’t eat a worm. I don’t care if it’s dried, frozen or pureed, I can’t do it. However, a cricket that’s been killed humanely (someone else has to figure that part out) and then sauteed with salt and pepper and a little olive oil, well. I would order the deluxe cricket powder made from this process. I would have to take the word of the company in charge that they actually used genuine olive oil, and not one of those knock off brands I’ve been reading about.

Powdered cricket added to a fruit shake, with yogurt, mixed berries and a banana? I wouldn’t even know it was there. I’m actually willing to do this to help save the planet. Plus, those big brown eyes. It’s harder to eat beef than it used to be, now that I can’t kid myself about the conditions they live in. What about those white tailed deer, you might ask? Well, a good outdoor life, a short panicked run, then boom. I’d rather eat that meat than what my friend calls ‘concentration camp beef.’ I really, really have to stop hanging out with her.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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