I was strolling around my community farmers market on Saturday, feasting my eyes on the beautiful produce, lovely loaves of artisanal breads and bobbing my head to the tunes of a bluegrass band. I’d intended to pick up some nice juicy tomatoes, maybe a just-picked head of lettuce and some artisanal sourdough bread to build the perfect BLT for lunch.
Caught up in the moment and on the advice of well-meaning foodie friends, I ended up purchasing some completely foreign vegetables I never planned to consume in this lifetime. Before I knew what was happening, a bunch of kale and some bok choy found their way into my bag. I must admit, it gave me a rush and I was feeling all worldly and sophisticated.
I’ve known about kale for many years, but never knew it was edible. I thought it was just to decorate the plate – kind of like beets.
As instructed by my “advisors”, I went home and cooked the kale up in a skillet with some olive oil and Parmesan cheese – I mean, what’s not good with olive oil and Parm? I settled down to what I was told would be the healthiest lunch on the planet. Maybe so – if you can get it down. The kale just got larger the more I chewed, and I had to spit it out when it threatened to choke me to death. I’d sooner eat grass clippings and shredded magnolia leaves. It was horrible and I can’t imagine how anyone can enjoy munching on what tasted like shredded shrub.
Now I hear that the food Nazis are suggesting we give up meat and begin eating insects – that’s BUGS folks. They are plentiful and supposedly packed with protein and healthy fats.
I don’t care if they’re packed with 20-carat diamonds, they will never be served on my table. I am grossed out by the thought of eating the same creatures that make me squeal and dash for the nearest shoe when I find them in my home. Like most Americans, I was raised to deplore most creepy-crawlies in any form. Yet insects are treated as delicacies in places like Colombia, where ant larvae are served in theaters like popcorn, and in Mexico, where vendors sell roasted grasshoppers with chili and lime on the streets.
Yes, believe it or not, insects may be a viable solution to the world’s inevitable food shortage problems. Population observers generally agree the Earth will be home to roughly 9 billion people by 2050. Meanwhile, the food police are madly searching for answers on how to feed our next great baby boom.
Will the day ever come when we clap our hands in delight because we discover flies in our soup? Eating bugs would certainly resolve all my weight issues, because I’d rather starve than chow down on a plate of barbequed locust. On the other hand, when you think about it, bugs aren’t all that different from crawfish which are even called mudbugs by some connoisseurs.
I guess eating bugs would help alleviate the need for pest control. Instead of the bugs eating us, we could begin eating them first. We could become hunters and gatherers every evening when the moths begin fluttering around the front porch light. I’ll opt for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, hold the flies.