60-Second Science

Entomophagist Calls for Cricket Casseroles

Entomophagist David Gracer advocates the addition of insects to the menu. Cynthia Graber reports

Want to feed a hungry world? According to David Gracer, add bugs to the menu. Gracer is, he says, a normal guy who’s also an entomophagist, an advocate for insects as food. He gave a talk about ingesting insects at a May 16th TEDxCambridge conference called “How We Eat.” The event was a spin-off of the popular TED talks.

Here’s one of the reasons Gracer’s a fan: "They can’t give us pandemics. So the mass production of insects—farm insects—really easy. There’s no cricket flu on par with avian flu or swine flu or E. coli."

And then there’s this: "Look, crickets are not better than beef in every category, just most of them."

Gracer says a bowl of grasshoppers has more vitamins than beef and is lower in fat—and uses far fewer resources to produce. Our disgust for insects is just cultural, Gracer says. After all, we eat lobsters, which are arthropods, as are insects. Ready to crunch a cicada?

—Cynthia Graber

[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]

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