Blazing Trails: A Bug Story

I have a dream that one day insect meat will be a popular alternative to beef, pork, and chicken.

I have a dream that one day insect meat will be a popular alternative to beef, pork, and chicken.

I eat insects. Not just the spiders that urban legend tells me I eat in my sleep. I eat crickets and grasshoppers, wax worms, and mealworms. Next week, I’m getting some hornworms that should be delicious.

When I tell others that I am an entomophagist (someone who eats bugs), I tend to get one of a few responses. “Wow, that’s, er, different.” Or: “I thought that an entomophagist studied the origin of words?”* Or: “Are they tasty?” Even my mother is skeptical of my dietary habits.

I have a dream that insects will be associated with health, environmental sustainability, and societal wellbeing instead of filth and squalor.

Look, I’m no trailblazer. I am not ahead of my time. I didn’t realize that the Earth revolves around the sun or drop out of Harvard before dropping out of Harvard was cool. I am certainly not the first person to eat a bug or two and I can guarantee that I’m not going to be the last.

I have a dream today.

So what am I if not a trailblazer? I’m an innovator. I bring ideas that are ahead of their time to the present. Of course, innovators are trailblazers in their own way, too; after all, they’re lighting the way for change. But those that are ahead of their time aren’t able to simultaneously guide others down the same path. My mother always says it isn’t good to dwell on the past. She has a point, I have to admit, because she’s my mom and this is a public setting, but also because it is true. But should we dwell on the future? No. Innovators focus on the now.

To build the bridge, I started Six Foods with two like-minded friends from college. We are working to create a line of packaged snacks that use insects as a major ingredient. Insects are high in protein, low in fat, and naturally occurring. They do not have pain receptors, so farming them is moral. They require far less land and water than cattle, so farming them is sustainable. And boy do they taste good.

I have a dream that my future children will enjoy an insect-dog with ketchup and relish (no mustard, I hate mustard) at a Yankee/Red Sox game.

If we start with a packaged snack and introduce the concept of eating insects slowly into Western society, we can build an environment in which eating insect meat is accepted and promoted. If we change the way people think about insects, we can change the way people eat, and if we change the way people eat, we can change the world.

I have a dream today. Tomorrow it will be reality.

* You’re thinking of an etymologist, silly!

via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Streetsblog Denver / Flickr

Seventeen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg made a dramatic speech Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In her address, she called for a public and private sector divestment from fossil fuel companies

"Immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don't want these things done by 2050, or 2030 or even 2021 — we want this done now," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mocked the teenager on Thursday during a press briefing in Davos.

Keep Reading
The Planet

Even though marathon running is on the decline, half a million people signed up to participate in the 2020 London Marathon. It seems wild that someone would voluntarily sign up to run 26.2 miles, but those half a million people might actually be on to something. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running a marathon can help reverse signs of aging.

Researchers at Barts and University College London looked at 138 first-time marathon runners between the ages of 21 and 69. "We wanted to look at novice athletes. We didn't include people who said they ran for more than two hours a week," Dr. Charlotte Manisty, the study's senior author and cardiologist at University College London, said per CNN.

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading