Buckle up, kids: Bugs are the protein source of the future

Fried bamboo caterpillar, a Northern Thai snack and just one of many popular insect dishes.
Fried bamboo caterpillar, a Northern Thai snack and just one of many popular insect dishes.
Photo: wanessa-p (iStock)

Terrified of raising children on a planet with dwindling resources and overfarmed land? Have no fear, our descendants can eat bugs! This, according to a recent Washington Post article in its KidsPost section, which tees up our youngest generation for a lifetime of eating scorpions.


The paper ran a profile this week on Brooklyn Bugs, an organization that raises appreciation and awareness for insect consumption through programming at museums, schools, and universities. To Brooklyn Bugs, eating insects isn’t just some fine dining trend or novelty fad, but an environmental necessity. They’re a great source of protein and are far more sustainable to farm and consume than, say, cattle. As climate change continues to fuck all our shit up, turning to bugs could be humanity’s lifeline. But there’s one major problem with bugs: to the uninitiated, they’re gross. So Brooklyn Bugs’ goal is to dismantle the stigma of bug-eating in America. Humans have been eating bugs since forever, and according to the Post, one-third of the global population eats insects and arachnids today.

The best part of the piece is a breakdown of gateway bugs that kids will love. Channel your inner box turtle and eat crickets, which the Post says have their own “cotton-candy flavor,” a claim I simply refuse to believe until I try them myself. Or chomp on some mealworms that, when roasted, are snackable like sunflower seeds or peanuts. Black ants apparently have a “zesty, citrusy flavor.” All told, there are over 2,000 species of edible critters, and Brooklyn Bugs wants you to eat every last one of them—for sustainability and alleged enjoyment.

Looking for more bugspo? Check out Brooklyn Bugs’ Instagram. It looks like any other fine dining Instagram account, and then you squint your eyes, touch your nose to your screen, and realize that that flowered plate is covered in fried maggots. Slimy, yet satisfying.



I get all of the rational reasons behind this movement, and I support it in theory. I also know that “crustaceans are very much like the arachnids of the sea” or will listen to any other perfectly correct and well-intentioned comment you can throw my way. But I cannot imagine eating bugs as anything other than a dare.