1. Why do you think it is more popular for cultures in Southeast Asia to consume insects?
The countries of Southeast Asia have a warm and wet climate suitable for the quick multiplication of insects. The climate, plants, and ecosystems there create good conditions for a variety of insects to occur. Besides, Southeast Asia is a highly populated region; people there have to look for alternative sources of nutrition to survive. This is why insects are viewed as a source of food.
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2. What are some benefits of eating insects? How are they viewed as an efficient source of nutrition?
As a source of food, insects are rich in protein and very nutritious. Besides, cultivation of insects is cheaper and friendlier for the environment than breeding other animals for food. Finally, for the poorer areas of the planet, insects represent a very accessible and affordable meal with high nutritional value, which is a win-win case as the two most important characteristics of food are nutritional value and price (Cassimally par. 13).
3. How would you feel if you were a child responsible for collecting food to contribute to your elementary school cafeteria each day? Would you like that responsibility?
I do not view insects as scary or unpleasant creatures. I do not mind touching them, and I do not have any unreasonable phobias of insects. Of course, if the insects that need to be collected are poisonous, such gathering is not a suitable occupation for a child. In other cases, I would not mind collecting insects for a cafeteria.
4. What role do experiences as children play with how we view insects as adults?
Children pick up the habits of their parents. Growing up in an environment where the fear of insects is cultivated, a child is likely never to learn to view them with any other feeling.
5. Have you had a good/bad experience with insects in the past that determined how you feel about them as an adult?
In my family, no one is scared of insects. As a child, I used to be terrified of spiders without any particular reason; they just looked scary to me. Once, a friend dared me to hold a rather big spider to show me that they are harmless. This worked as a positive experience and removed my childhood phobia.
6. What information about insects would you promote to make them appeal to the average American?
One needs to emphasize the positive qualities of insects to attract American consumers. It is very important to mention that insects do not taste as bad as many people imagine. This way, my slogan would be: “Nutritious, healthy, eco-friendly, spicy, with a sweet flavor of pistachios, avocado, and cedar nuts. Taste it before you hate it!”
7. The host associates which arachnid with ‘land crabs’? Do you think this is a reasonable association? Why/ why not?
Tarantula is called a “land crab” in the video (AntARKTV). There is not much difference between a crab and a big spider from nutrition, so it a reasonable association.
8. How would you feel if you were responsible for collecting your food each day? How would that change your lifestyle?
Collecting one’s food means that shopping would be replaced with hunting. This would make a normal day of a western person slower and healthier because hunting and gathering require energy, movement, and is an exercise. I think such replacement would reduce obesity and heart disease rates in the Western world.
AntARKTV. Can Eating Insects Save the World – BBC. 27 mar. 2013.
Cassimally, Khalil A. Why Should We Eat Insects? It’s the Future of Food.