Americans need to stop being wusses and eat crickets. This hit me as I finished off an Impossible Burger. Or rather, an Impossible Slider.
I was at a burger place in Scottsdale for lunch, and the Impossible meat was on the menu. And holy cow! The Impossible items were actually less expensive than their cownterparts! (I promise there won't be many more puns.)
The Impossible slider was damn tasty. The patty was a bit thin and came with plenty of condiments. Many a carnivore would've wolfed it down without noticing anything amiss.
And that's good. A meat substitute that actually tastes good. But here's the problem.
The Jury is Out on the Impossible Burger's Health Benefits and Sustainability
The Impossible Burger's list of ingredients won't impress anyone. It’s highly processed, as well. So there’s some disagreement about the health benefits.
And I see conflicting reports on whether manufacturing it is any more environmentally friendly than beef. I could see farmers who raise free-range, grass-fed cattle making a good accounting of themselves versus the Impossible Burger. The Guardian has a pretty solid article covering this and many other aspects of the Impossible Burger.
What About Animal Cruelty?
There are plenty of vegans out there who are vegan because of their concern about animals. And I get it. The big factory farms sound awful, and that's why some people are trying hard to go for free-range or cage-free options. That's also commendable.
And that's why I think we should eat crickets. Frankly, nobody gives a shit about crickets. People pay other people to spray their houses to kill them. It's hard to muster concern about cruelty over what's usually regarded as a pest and barely even lives three months total.
You Want ME to Eat Crickets?
Yes, I do. I've done it myself (I’m sure you’re not surprised, considering what else I’ve eaten!), mostly in the form of protein bars. Right now, the EXO brand is my favorite even though they're overpriced.
There's a place near me that serves cricket tacos now and then. And I really want to get a hold of some. My schedule rarely ever lets me get to that neighborhood at the right time, though. It would be a nice addition to my long list of fun and unusual foods I’ve eaten.
Look, crickets are nutritious. They're easy to grow sustainably. And plenty of people worldwide eat insects. But no, Americans are too good for that, right?
I hear a lot of you people squawking about all the ecological ills the planet faces right now. What are you going to do about it? What are you willing to do?
If you eat crickets, you will overcome the initial revulsion. And you'll become an important data point to the bean counters who measure what you buy: You'll say "doing something for the planet matters to me. And I'll eat crickets if it can help." (This is important for all eco-friendly products and actions: You might not save the world individually, but collectively your purchasing choices are a powerful way to move corporations to take action by offering eco-friendly products and packaging.)
Go buy a cricket protein bar someplace. I don't care which one you pick. Eat it. Maybe try a few different ones. If even just 1 percent of the people who read this tries a few cricket bars, you're gonna make a big statement.
Quit being a wuss and eat crickets.
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