On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 11, 2022:

There was a time many years ago when making someone eat a bug was a bad thing. In fact, a song by Relient K called I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas outlined reasons why Santa wouldn’t be visiting the singer that year. One of the reasons was because “I made Tommy eat a bug.” But times have changed.

As you may have guessed by the number of times I begin a column this way, I get a lot of my news from YouTube videos that are playing in the living room while I’m working in the kitchen. Last week I heard one in which a reporter was saying that the UK would be adding insects to the lunch menu of school children. I thought it had to be a joke, but I never heard a punch line, so I went to Google to check it out.

Sure enough I found an article on WesternStandard.New titled Insect meals worming their way onto British school kids’ lunch menus. It was written by Amanda Brown on June 7 of this year, and this was how it opened:

University researchers are planning to feed insects, such as crickets and mealworms, to young students between five and 11 years of age at four elementary schools in Wales in the UK.

The kids will be taught that there are advantages to eating insects like grasshoppers, silkworms, locusts, and worms. Chicken nuggets and fish and chips might slide off the menu in favour of bug Bolognese and larvae stir-fry.

I found another article that said in 2017 Switzerland began allowing the sale of mealworms, grasshoppers, and crickets in grocery stores. And apparently the European Union has taken steps to normalize edible insects.

Why on earth, you might ask. I know I did. It seems that insects are a good source of protein, unsaturated fat, and certain vitamins and minerals. In addition, raising insects is said to be more environmentally friendly than raising beef and pork. I didn’t explore that avenue very far. Thinking about crunching down on a fried grasshopper was bad enough without reading about how much methane gas the average cow produces.

I’ve written before about how I feel about bugs – it’s one of the areas in which I fight against a lifelong prejudice. So, with all the research and reading about bugs, it’s understandable that the subject came up this weekend with my friend Ron. Being the easy going person he is, he wasn’t as upset about the idea as I was.

“It’s not something I’ve ever really thought about,” he said, “but we might have to eat bugs if there’s nothing else left to eat.”

I signed and replied, “I guess so, but only if I’ve worked my way through all the berries, leaves, and roots in the back yard.”

Finally, still looking for someone to take me seriously about this impending crisis, I texted our son Christian. He keeps up with current events, and since he owns and operates a combination coffee shop, tap room, and bistro in Granbury, I asked his opinion. Here’s a transcript of our exchange:

Me: Are you adding insects to your menu?

Christian: Ummm, not in the cards at the moment.

Me: David was watching a comedy YouTube video that showed headlines and posts about how we need to eat edible insects instead of meat so the earth will be greener.

Christian: Ahh, yeah, I’ve heard that case. I mean, it really isn’t any weirder than eating the muscles and organs of other animals, and there’s plenty of them. But, yeah, I’m not sure Granbury is the target market for that.

Me: Yeah, I know some of them are on the Kosher list, and John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey – but…no!



Kitty’s Story

Fallen Angel Salvage

Tatia’s Tattoo

Mom’s Long Goodbye

A Long and Winding Road

Comments on: "Bugs versus Beef | by Linda Brendle" (2)

  1. Gloria Moore said:

    I’m good eating meat but thank you for the warning.

    • You’re very welcome!
      Saturday we went to the American Legion monthly breakfast. While I was filling my plate, one of the guys in the kitchen leaned over and said “We don’t have bugs on the menu yet, but we’re working on it.”
      Another heard him and added, “Yeah, that blower by the door keeps blowing them away. We’re trying to figure out how to fix that.”
      At least I know people are reading!

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