Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Will Not Use the Insect Cookbook or Eat at the Insectarium's Bug Appetit

My first reaction to seeing The Insect Cookbook this morning was that this was a joke. Someone must be spoofing the whole healthy food movement with these bug cooking books, right? Early satirist Jonathan Swift's descendants must be exposing the ultimate trendiness in our culture? Well, I just went over to Amazon and every single book shown is listed there for sale and not as a joke book. So it appears this is for real. About the only positive thing I can say about this movement is that at least the bugs are dead. I have nothing else positive to say unless these books are all satires.

I notice the word sustainable being used. That is the current PC buzz word. Sustainable food is defined as that which engages in practices which keep the environment healthy and food production economically and socially viable. I will concede that insects are everywhere, we don't need to grow them, we already want them dead and now instead of spraying deadly poison to kill them, we can eat them instead. Do our crops become something to attract them so that while they are eating the crops, we creep up and eat them? So instead of eating the tomato, I eat a slug which likes the tomato?  I think even Franz Kafka might be disgusted with this idea. Certainly he would love my calling the whole idea kafkaesque.  

Ok, I must confess that there is something else that I like about this movement. PETA's (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) likely reaction to it. It will be hard to come up with anything regarding insects that is as dramatic as tossing paint on a fur coat, which is how many of us initially became aware of PETA. This was done to shame people into saving minks and other fur bearing mammals. I think its members are going to have a hell of a time though staging a demonstration about insect rights. If anyone stages an insect rights demonstration, all I can say is that I really need to be there to see it and document it or I will never be able to live with myself. 

I admit that throwing red paint on a fur coat makes a fairly dramatic statement. It now looks bad and is wholly unfit for its intended use. So it no longer has any value to anyone. However, what can anyone do to these culinary displays of cooked insects to make them any more disgusting than they already are? Throwing red paint on them could only be an improvement. I am not going to say I could never eat these because starving people can eat just about anything but I suspect I would indeed need to be starving.

CNN's Eatocracy blog has an entry which lists the restaurants in the United States which serve this cuisine. Coming as no surprise, almost all of them are in New York City or California. There is also such a restaurant in Chicago, Boston, New Orleans and Washington D.C. The rest of us, living in insect culinary free zone cities, have to buy grocery supplies, also listed, and cook our own. If anyone does any of this, let me know. I can assure you it will not be I who breaks this barrier first.

I am going to take Kafka's advice and restore this to non existent status in my mind. I hope out of sight indeed becomes out of mind.

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