Eating bugs only happens in books, television shows, dares, and when Bear Grylls is stuck in the wilderness for extended periods with little or nothing to eat. Right? Not exactly. Eating insects - formally known as entomophagy - is a big part of many peoples diets across the planet, and it has been for thousands of years.
It may seem weird and gross, but it is more common than you might think. Nearly one-third of the world’s population is reliant on bugs as a portion of their healthy diet due to the accessibility, sustainability, and loads of nutrients in just a handful of Jiminy Crickets.
A Brief History Of Entomophagy
It has been said the history of eating insects began sometime around 10,000 BC and they were seen as both a staple food, as well as a delicacy. But as agricultural practices advanced, entomophagy changed with it. Some cultures continued to use insects as a source of food while others began to perceive them as pests that ruined their crops.
In ancient Greece cicadas were classified a luxury snack, even Aristotle spoke about the delicacy of the cicadas, and in ancient Rome, the Romans believed the beetle larvae to be gourmet food.
Entomophagy also made an appearance in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, calling rabbits, pigs, pelicans, mice, turtles, and weasels off-limits for human consumption while granting permission to eat locusts, beetles, and grasshoppers.
Now that you know the brief history of entomophagy, keep reading to learn about how entomophagy is practiced in the modern world.