Is Eating Bugs Really About Saving the Planet?

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Governments around the world seem intent on destroying farms. As protests rage in the Netherlands, one of the world’s largest food exporters, the rest of us have to wonder, what are we expected to eat? If governments around the world are trying to make farming financially impossible, what do they expect us to eat instead?


The United Nations and the World Economic Forum want us to eat insects. They’ve been talking about this for a while now, and with the farm-destroying land grabs currently underway, the food most of us are used to will be harder and harder to come by.

Got bugs?

In 2013, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization published a 200-page report touting insects as an underutilized food source. Since then, groups such as the Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum have been trying to normalize eating insects.

The WEF has published many articles over the years detailing the benefits of eating insects. In Good Grub, published in 2018, they included this table about the relative environmental impacts of insects vs. our conventional protein sources.

eating bugs
Photo Credit: Bloomberg

The WEF has also published articles about insect eating in the context of reducing waste from other industries as well as its potential for reducing climate change.  

There are many other publications, too. If you’re curious, any of these above-referenced articles contain links to multiple other articles about the awesomeness of insects. The WEF really, really wants you to eat bugs.

Is a bug a chicken?

You may look at the above table and go, wow, it really does look like eating bugs uses far fewer resources. Lots of people around the world eat bugs. Maybe Americans and Europeans should just suck it up. However, none of these articles even remotely addresses any health concerns about adding insects to your diet. This is deceptive.

First of all, the pro-insect-eating lobby treats all protein as equal. You can see in the chart above that they assume one gram each of insect, chicken, pork, and beef protein are all nutritionally equivalent. This simply isn’t true.

There are countless publications out there detailing minute differences between various foods’ macro- and micro-nutrient levels, but let’s just look at something simple. Proteins are made up of amino acids, and different foods have different amino acid profiles.

You can see that there are differences between the amino acid profiles of chicken, beef, pork, and lamb. They are not all identical. Chicken isn’t exactly the same as beef. And grasshoppers aren’t exactly the same as chicken. I’m not saying that one of these is better than the other in every circumstance. Most people seem to be happiest and healthiest with a variety of foods. My point is simply that many arguments of the pro-insect eating crowd rest on the assumption that all protein is identical, which is quantifiably not true.

It is true that people around the world have eaten insects for a long time.

I’ve eaten insects. I was visiting friends in Mexico and ate some fried crickets I bought from a street vendor. I thought they were tasty. They reminded me of chili-lime popcorn. But there’s a world of difference between supplementing your diet with insects that have been part of a country’s traditional cuisine and being left with no options at the store other than industrially farmed insect food products.

Make no mistake, that’s what we’re being presented with. Food products such as cricket flour are yet another example of highly processed industrial food, masquerading as a healthy alternative to meat. There are real health risks to the kind of insect consumption being proposed.

Build a better pantry on a budget if you opt to skip the bugs!

If you’re into eating bugs, you very well may catch one.

A study was conducted in Europe in 2018 to determine if edible insects played a role in transmitting various parasites throughout the food chain. Out of 300 farms and pet stores studied, over 80% had insects harboring parasites. 30% of the farms had insects harboring parasites pathogenic to humans.

I found this gross enough, but it gets worse. If you look at the WEF articles about the awesomeness of bug-eating, they regularly refer to insects’ ability to process waste. They frame this as a wonderful thing. It’s true; insects do process waste, but let’s think about what that actually means for a minute. The authors of the European study referenced above found that some farms were feeding their insects animal feces from pet shops, corpses of small animals, and rotting food. Eating grasshoppers you find while foraging in the woods is one thing. Eating a grasshopper raised in a shed, eating dog poop, is something else entirely.

The authors of this study did not condemn insect-eating, but they condemned the lack of regulatory oversight. They believe that, for insects to be a safe food source, they need to be part of the same regulatory framework that oversees conventional food production. Otherwise, the risks, not only to humans but to other animals such as pets and livestock, are very significant.

Don’t get caught up in the hype on eating bugs.

Furthermore, marketing any highly-processed food as “sustainable” is disingenuous. When you read that 2 g of greenhouse gases are produced for each kilogram of live weight, that literally just means “live.” It does not include the energy required to dry and grind the insects, which is considerable when done on a large scale. When you add in the additional energy required to make insects widely palatable, insects may not be that different from more conventional livestock.

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A study conducted in California in 2015 suggested that the benefits of eating insects were overhyped, as well. Scientists at UC Davis conducted a series of experiments feeding crickets different substances and then measuring their feed conversion ratios. Just like everyone else paying attention, these scientists had heard about how eating insects could save the world, and they wanted to quantify it.

They made some interesting observations. They raised crickets on five different types of feed: poultry feed, grocery store food waste that had been pre-digested via an enzymatic process, minimally processed consumer food waste, wheat/maize silage normally used for dairy cows, and a 2:1:1 poultry manure/wheat straw/rice straw mixture. They raised three batches each of crickets on these five different substances.

The first two groups did indeed have a good feed conversion ratio, but poultry feed and enzymatically treated grocery store waste require a lot of energy to produce. Crickets raised on this are only marginally more sustainable than poultry. And, as the authors pointed out, a huge infrastructure for raising, processing, and packaging poultry already exists. When you add in the infrastructure investments that would be needed to make insect-eating economically significant, there really isn’t much difference between eating crickets and chicken at all.

The WEF likes to promote insect-eating as a way to process waste, but the three groups of crickets that were raised on minimally processed waste all died before reaching a harvestable weight.

The authors of the study, while not condemning insect-eating, insisted that further research was necessary before making any large-scale investments. They concluded that developing insects as a food source would depend largely on the local availability of high-quality organic side streams that were not already being used in conventional livestock production.

Is eating bugs really about saving the planet? Or, is it something else?

The arguments in favor of insect-eating rely mainly on appealing to people’s emotional desire to “do something” to save the environment. Once you look at the numbers of what is actually needed to get insects to a harvestable size, to produce them in a way that won’t make people sick, and process them in a way that makes the average American or European willing to eat them, it doesn’t really make much sense. It just looks like another form of virtue-signaling

So, why? Why spend so much time, energy, and money promoting something that most Americans and Europeans find disgusting and doesn’t make that much of a difference environmentally, anyway?

I think it’s about control on two distinct levels. The first is the obvious physical matter of who controls farmland. In the Netherlands, for example, the drive to get farmers off the land is being framed as necessary to reduce nitrogen levels, even though the Dutch already decreased their nitrogen emissions by more than 60% between 1990 and 2017. That’s a big nitrogen reduction.

I think the push to expel farmers has more to do with the new, massive Tristate City that has been in the planning stages since at least 2017. Maybe I’m just being cynical.

But if you can convince the public that conventional farmers are destroying the environment, it makes it easier, from a public-relations standpoint, for politicians and investors to drive farmers out of business and confiscate their land.

Yes, people will need to eat, but in the WEF’s Good Grub article, they reveal what they want the farms of the future to look like:

From the farmer’s point of view, raising insects is going to be radically different from raising sheep, pigs, or cattle. No more coping with mud, muck, and filth. An end to shifting heavy sacks of feed. And forget about having to go outdoors in all weather to manhandle livestock. The requirement for investment in equipment will be different too. This will be farming on a much smaller scale, reducing the need for large and expensive machinery.

They want farms of the future to be all highly intensive and indoors, representing a huge shift in where and how our food is produced. They won’t need a “countryside” anymore; food production will occur in a series of vast industrial sheds. Again, I believe this is being done to mask massive land grabs.

(Don’t want to eat bugs? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to building your 3-layer food pantry system.)

It never occurs to these people that many farmers actually like what they do.

I’ve had office jobs. I chose the “mud, muck, and filth.” I like my livestock and rarely “manhandle” them; most of the time, we just coexist. Yes, I have to lift heavy sacks of feed. The end result has been that I look and feel better at 40 than I did at 25. And I’m not a natural mechanic myself, but I’ve had plenty of friends over the years that truly enjoy tinkering.

Of course, maybe it does occur to these people that farmers like what they do, but it simply feeds into the second level of control. These powerful, business-destroying folks may be trying to get us plebs to overcome our natural likes and dislikes so that we simply go along with whatever the “experts” tell us to. They’re destroying the businesses of farm families that have been connected to their land for decades, sometimes centuries. They want us to ditch our food traditions for whatever they deem “sustainable.”

A world filled with gray

They want all of our intrinsic likes and dislikes, the parts of us that make us quirky and disagreeable and interesting and unique, to just go away. Getting us to overcome our sense of disgust may be one small part of a massive psychological operation to get us to “own nothing and be happy.”

But I could be wrong! Maybe I am just too cynical. Have you ever eaten bugs? How was it? And, if you’ve enjoyed bugs as a major part of your diet for an extended period of time, tell us how it went. 

About Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.


Picture of Marie Hawthorne

Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

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  • Speaking as a Dutch living in NL, I don’t thinking you are overly cynical at all. Follow the money, follow the power…

    • You aren’t cynical enough. Why would a prepper site, of all places, be against eating bugs? In the good old times, preppers were the first to proudly state they went to a survival course where they would learn what bugs are good to eat. Why the sudden change of heart? Or, in other words, who is paying the preppers to go against their own preferences? Remember, this site has already gone against protecting yourself in a pandemic. Who has an interest in turning preppers into people incapable of surviving a real disaster situation?

      • Doly Garcia,
        It is not that we are against eating bugs. I have had a few courses on the very topic.
        It is the idea a bunch of rich, over educated yahoos, who will still maintain their mega-mansions, private jets, and of course, eating beef, chicken, pork and seafood all prepared by their personal chefs (I have a cookbook written by Art Smith who was the personal chef to Oprah Winfrey) while insisting or even forcing us unwashed masses to eat bugs and tell us it is good for us and the earth.
        Any thinking prepper would take issue with the hypocrisy.

        If faced with a real world, no kidding, NK like starvation crisis (circa late 90s), then yes, pass the grasshoppers, crickets, and I will take two helpings of the grubs, please.
        Some rich, self-appointed authoritarian with delusions of grandeur issuing edicts?
        Not so much.

        For that matter, I would become a meal worm, and maggot farmer, sending only my best to the cities for processing into Mealy noodles, or Maggot bars.
        Oh, no, I have my own supply that I keep for myself . . . (and feed to my own personal stock of chickens, quail, and ducks. I got rabbits on a all natural diet of grass and clover.) Dont you worry about me! I am good!

  • Bugs contain bacteria that will destroy the human intestinal biome, it will make people sick beyond belief. For example, grasshoppers have parasites in their heads if eaten can cause major problems.

  • All I can say is: EEEWWWWW! I’d rather eat Soylent Green, but above all I’ll take a good steak any day of the week and twice on Sunday. And what, btw, will our elites be eating? Something tells me it won’t be insects. And let’s skip the “save the planet” nonsense. The planet is saving herself. Let’s save our silly human butts by changing some of our ways in more intelligent manner, like getting away from Big Food processed and the medical pill for every ill cartel. Sunshine, fresh air, proper diet, and exercise will fix many of our health problems.

  • Never have. But that’s kinda false really, after all there are tons of bugs in the foods we allready eat. Like ragu spaghetti sauce for instance. How about the cochineal beetle? I won’t be eating bugs for dinner , I’m more worried about microplastics in the air, dirt and water… and food, and our blood.

  • It is not just the Netherlands.
    Canada’s Prime Minster, Justin Turdeau, has a similar plan of reducing fertilizer emissions by 50% over the next 8 years.
    What does that mean for us unwashed masses or as the WH puts it, “peson” (aka, peon)?
    Higher cost of pretty much everything from food (and shrinkflation), TP, to the electric bill, and if they get their way, a brand new EV (that most Americans cannot afford) and the electric bill that goes along with it.

    The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades.

  • I got a survival book about eating insects from Marjorie Wildcraft, The Grow Network. For some reason, she hasn’t been promoting it the last few years. It looked to me like an enormous amount of work to find and harvest wild bugs. The BigAg methods that WEF and cronies want will be even worse than the trash fattening us now. BigBigEverything seems to believe that dashing wildly into something new and unknown is the smartest thing you can do. If you haven’t studied it you do not know any dangers. Therefore–there aren’t any!
    Consider the jabs as an example, and what real practicing physicians and nurses say they have seen. And embalmers.

  • We cook meat to a certain minimum temperature for one reason – to kill the parasites. Bugs cannot be cooked to this minimum temperature or they’d be ashes.

    Anyone eating bugs is at high risk of some really nasty parasites- some of which can pass via skin contact.

    If you live with, or have other routine close contact with those that eat foods containing bugs your going to want to be on a twice weekly routine use of ivermectin, phenbendozol or equivalent anti parasitic.

  • The idea of eating bugs has been around and comes around every so many years … in 1973 I took an entamology couse at Texas A&M and was partly about bugs as a food source the instructor made a good case for it … there have been several studies that I have seen since and maybe unknown to you is that if you eat any type of grain or grain products , the FDA allows a percentage of bug parts in the product so you have already been eating bugs… like me you will probably remember that the next bowl of cereal .!?

  • all this is a part of the plan: Laudato si’ is the second encyclical of Pope Francis. The encyclical has the subtitle “on care for our common home”. In it, the pope critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action. quote from Wikipedia.
    funny how the WEF, WHO, UN, NATO etc etc and all these (unelected) governments and organisations follow this great robe of deceit.. what will be the sign of the end times?

  • My parents were both born over a hundred years ago – in rural homes with no running water, no electricity, no gas, no phone. One of my grandmothers made her own soap. However, they were never so low as eating bugs, not washing, being dirty or fertilizing with their own pee and shit. And even so, Infant mortality was through the roof. Sanitation improved. Both old people and children live longer and have a better chance. I thought we were beyond the primitive practices that endanger human life

    What has become of us that some in our post-civilization culture are encouraging these 3rd world practices? THIS ISN’T PROGRESS.

    As long as I’m able to do so: I won’t eat bug. I will take a bath every day. I will flush the toilet. Every time it’s used.

  • The thing is, THEY, the wealthy, the politicians and the elite WILL KEEP EATING WHATEVER THEY WANT!
    Do you really believe than soldiers and police is going to eat BUGS, having to fight the riots and the angry people?

  • I think it’s one thing to choose to eat insects (for whatever reason) and another altogether to have murderous globalist technocrats telling you it’s not only good but necessary. This makes me immediately suspicious and want to stay far far away from it.
    I think it is without a doubt a land grab. I think it is also to physically weaken us with an inferior form of protein plus pathogens. And most of all, I think it is to humiliate and degrade us, because psychopaths don’t know when to stop…..they see us as lesser humans and will stop at nothing to make sure we know it too.
    “ If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever.” – George Orwell

  • Welcome to the New World Order…. I’m pretty sure the Bible told us this would come and what’s going to happen…and how to be Saved…

  • I’m taking preorders now for fall lamb harvest. Lambs were all born February and March. Lambs should average ~120#’s. All grass diet from birth to harvest. Never grained. Never fed any insects. On farm sales. Weights taken on digital scales verified to hundredth of pound.

    $2.99/lb. Further processing on site (custom cut) available for $150 flat fee cut, wrapped (vacuum sealed), frozen. Must pick up in Pennsylvania. On farm sales only. No on farm slaughter for buyers unless I slaughter and process myself in my facility.

    Any nonbug eating TOPers wishing to order will receive a 5% discount by adding the coupon code: I’ll NEVER EAT BUGS
    in the subject line of email sent to:

    [email protected]

    Include in your email any other questions.

    I have 25 ram lambs available. Offer good while supplies last. If Daisy and the admin allow this post, I will honor this price until harvest in October. This is a no bs offer.

    ..eating bugs, friggin’ repulsive..

    • ~Jim,
      Wished I lived down your way!
      Just out of curiosity, the $2.99/lbs for just primal cuts?
      The $150 for gourmet cuts?

      • $2.99 live weight. I cannot legally sell farm cuts right now, at least not yet. I sell an entire animal. Buyer accepts possession and either picks it up or I can custom process for the flat fee.

        My animals routinely yield >60% with all soup bones, organs, tongue, testicles, grinds, shoulder/loin/rib chops, shanks, ribs, and leg of lamb boned and rolled. I also can do a lot of fun further processing like Mediterranean butterflied shoulder or maple bbq butterflied shoulder that is vac tumbled infusing the marinade. I can also salt and freeze hides for folks that would like to have lambskin tanned at a small fee.

        The whole lamb after processing will cost a customer $6/lb. For grass fed/finished with custom processing that is as fair and honest a deal that I defy anyone to match buying retail.

    • I bought lambs this year too!! I did pigs last year but with feed prices shooting up 60% this year I figured it’s easier to get hay for lambs, where I live. In case anyone is wondering $2.99/lb plus processing is a great deal on lamb.

      • Sold out.

        Keep us in mind for next season. I take preorders after lambs have been weaned. Usually this time every year.

        All my lambs are allowed to be at mamas side for 120 days on average. This lets mama start the weaning process for me as her baby gets bigger and fatter she will slow down milk production and kick off nursing lambs. After the lambs are separated the mamas can see the lambs for a couple days in their weaning prison, then moved to a big pasture far out of sight.

        The lambs are fed a hot ration of clover hay silage, cured hay and minerals for 3 weeks in weaning prison, then turned back out to pasture to finish on grass after being sexed and sorted.

        I’m including this info because my management system and finishing process was asked about the most by all interested parties from various outlets I posted a preorder offer on.

        My deepest thanks to Daisy for allowing my post and to those that emailed us or preordered, I thank you again.

  • Preppers of the not too distant past considered eating bugs as perhaps necessary in a dystopian-post-apocalyptic world where there was little left. No farms (because of some catastrophy) no manufacturing, no REAL society left. That’s very different from eating bugs so that the elites can enjoy more luxurious food, more free land to own; and we can be kept, not exactly starving, but sickly enough to let them have free reign at every one else’s expense.

    • Yes, even so, it should still be, No! There is a certain euphoria that takes over when starving to death. That is preferable to dying with a wrenching gut full of parasites. There’s no way that bugs can fill our nutritional needs.

      This really seems more about mocking us to show their power. Kind of like Marie Antoinette’s famous saying, “Let them eat cake.” It’s a veiled threat that they intend to starve us whether we like it or not.

      What can we say to that but, “Game on?”

  • My understanding is, if you cook the bugs at a high enough temperature to kill the parasites, you carbonize the protein making it useless! So, like they say in Texas, El Paso on the bugs!

  • Here’s the real rub. Does anyone believe that the “elites” will be eating Insect based foods? Because they won’t be. That’s a Guarantee.
    No, the insect carcasses will be raised to feed we the peons.

    Enjoy you cricket burger, while Klaus Schwab and Joe Biden eat Wagyu Prime Rib.

    Anyone ever read the book or the movie based on the book, “Soylent Green?”

    Both the book and movie took place in a dystopian future in the year 2022.
    Prophecy or Coincidence?

  • Interesting:

    The VP of R&D, according to the cricket protein power pack production company Aspire has an interesting and very short bio. Harvard MBA and DARPA? My,my,my…

    DARPA and insect based food for humans. I’m sure that nothing could possibly go wrong here.

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