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Can insects be our new source of food?
Written by Injae Choi | Published. 2018.03.26 15:19 | Count : 450
Most people are terrified of insects. Those people would also not want to think about consuming insects as daily food. Surprisingly, however, over two billion people around the world are practicing an intriguing diet of eating insects called Entomophagy. The term means human consumption of insects as food. Entomophagy has been practiced for a long time in our history for various cultural and religious reasons. Despite the fact it has a long history; Entomophagy has not been globally introduced, because of two reasons. First, the concept of eating insects appears disgusting and gross. Second, a lot of people question about the safety of eating insects. However, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported that there are more than 1900 species of edible insects such as beetles, caterpillars, crickets, and mealworms. FAO further stated that insects not only contain similar values of protein as meat but also emit fewer greenhouse gases than cows. Thus, insects are safe to eat, and if people change their perspective of eating insects in a positive way, Entomophagy can be helpful for both human and Earth.
[A photo of insect food coffee outlook has taken by Injae Choi ]
I think one approach for people to have friendly perspective about Entomophagy is mixing edible insects into our daily foods and drinks. So, I had the chance to visit a café in Seoul where insects are part of the ingredients to make foods and coffee. “Edible Coffee,” located in
Yangjae-dong, makes snacks, pasta noodles, and protein shakes by using mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers, and silkworms. Edible Coffee is trying to make creative Entomophagy snacks that can reduce the negative stereotypes of eating insects. The name of the café is unique, but the building structure of the café is similar to a typical café. Through visiting this café, I think people could easily be attracted to enter the world of Entomophagy. I was surprised how mealworms can be the ingredient for muffins and milk tea. Edible Coffee uses the freshest insect ingredients from the farms so all the foods are safe to eat. Edible Coffee also sells coffee that does not contain insects. So, everyone does not have to try insect-based beverages in Edible Coffee.

[A photo of insect food and tea has taken by Injae Choi] 
I ordered ‘Real Cheese Mealworm Muffin (리얼 치즈 고소애 머핀),’ ‘Mealworm chocolate cookie’ and ‘Mealworm milk tea (고소애 밀크티).’ The decoration of the muffin looked the same
as those from other popular cafés. I was surprised once again when the muffin and the milk tea tasted amazing. I realized it was my negative perspective of Entomophagy that made me criticize the act of eating insects. The experience I had in Edible Coffee opened my eyes to Entomophagy. Although I have not fully committed myself to eat insects, I am interested in trying different foods
in this café.

Numerous scholars have been reporting that insects will be our future food. It is very shocking to most people, but these scholars are right about insects. We are the ones who have not been accepting these useful facts about eating insects. Most of us still think about the gross factors about insects. All we need to do is simply overcome the negative gross stereotypes of eating insects. Emma Bryce in TedTalk once said lobsters use to be hideous food no one tried to eat; however, lobsters, today, became the food most people want to eat. The primary challenge is changing our perspectives. If more people change the negative perspective of Entomophagy, eating insects can be a healthy diet. I recommend everyone to start a small step into Entomophagy by trying some insect-based foods at Edible Coffee. It will be a memorable experience and will change the perspective of insects.

Injae Choi
11th Grade
Korea Kent Foreign School

Injae Choi  student_reporter@dherald.com

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