Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

eating bugs!

Janie Kullmar section H01
Cultural values and tradition impact far more than clothing and holidays. Culture is described by E.B. Tylor  "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." Food is certainly a part of culture. Bugs are already eaten regularly in Thailand and were historically a common food source. So why are we farming chickens but not crickets?
Why are we ignoring this resource? How can society change?
            Cultural reactions are not set in stone and they change often. People often attempt to say that humanity will never change. While selfishness will always exist humans adapt so quickly that we quickly forget that we have changed. An example of conditioned responses is the responses that we have to gender assignment. Right now pink is feminine but less than 200 years ago it was a masculine color. 50 years ago people believed that separate but equal was a reasonable and thankfully that is totally appalling.
            Morality is not universally recognized. In this post on philosophy now.org https://philosophynow.org/issues/82/Morality_is_a_Culturally_Conditioned_Response morality and emotions are seen as "conditioned." They cite cultures with cannibalism as examples of morality being subjective. This feels very counterintuitive and is surprising to people who have never heard of such different cultures. Even trying to come up with a shocking, but understandable difference is hard. Imagine the intersection of cultures that have never collided, with very different views. Rules of morality that seem inherent are questioned. This may enforce an attitude of superiority. However they also likely questioned the values and systems this may have led to relativism within philosophy. 
This relates directly to eating bugs because it indicates that we do not eat them because of cultural influences and that these cultural influences have a massive impact and ability to change.
            Historically in North America and Europe bugs have never been eaten. Bugs are gross! This is likely because bugs picked up a bad connotation in cold climates where bugs indicated poor housing. Stomping and running away terrified are all acceptable responses to seeing a spider. Cold weather required housing that stopped bugs from entering and so bugs became gross and they were then not used as food. This reaction needs to be stopped before we will eat bugs. https://askentomologists.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/why-dont-we-eat-bugs-in-western-culture/

Squash the Bugs!

            This may seem like a difficult task, and certainly marketers in the field have a rough path ahead, however it is not impossible and it has been done in the food industry recently. Food is a quickly changing market. Diets come and fade. Low carb was very popular only a few years ago. An example of food perceptions changing that could mimic this change is sushi. The nations first real sushi restaurant opened in 1966 and it was met with fear but by the 1980's sushi had taken off and its popularity is still growing. Hopefully this is reflected with bugs as well. Already there are restaurants serving bugs in major cities. The idea of cricket bars was given huge media attention when they were featured on shark tank. A senior in Auburn pledged to eat prepared bugs for 30 days and his diet has certainly inspired me. I ordered cricket bars and think those would be great but I would love to attempt preparing my own insect infused meals. This college student's blog can be found here http://30daysofbugs.com/day-1/ and I really hope to try some of these recipes. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg9AhysJaHi_zgahH_7d1rQ

bugs are on the menu!
here are some restaurants that serve bugs in the states.http://wikitravel.org/en/USA_Top_Restaurants_Serving_Insects
The little menu searching that I have done indicates that it is fairly expensive. In Paris the restaurant I found only had them served with a four course meal that costs around 70 dollars.


  1. it is all about the society we live in! it is not normal here so many want to despise it or call it absurd.
    Although, I will say, I am scared of a bowl of worms for dinner...

  2. To paraphrase the Bard, nothing is appetizing or repulsive but thinking makes it so.

  3. http://www.sixfoods.com/#products

    these looked good too!!