Brand: Eat Grub
Found at: Sainsbury’s
I was so confident when I bought these cricket snacks. I walked out of the Sainsbury’s with a self-righteous strut. “I’m going to eat these crickets,” I bragged to myself, as well I should. For DECADES I’ve been telling everyone that: a. we should eat bugs (it’s better for the earth) and b. that I would absolutely eat bugs if given the chance.
Well, I’m here to announce that I’m officially full of it. It has been two months. TWO MONTHS! And I have not eaten these cricket snacks. Every single time I sit down to post, I think to myself: today is the day I eat the crickets. And then I don’t. And the reason is that, while I may talk a big game, I am a wimp.
So today, I put on my big girl panties, and I ate the bugs.
Here’s the thing: once I put them in my mouth, they were fine. They don’t taste like anything but smoky BBQ flavoring – there was no moment, even after I left one in my mouth, that I got a crickety vibe. Texture-wise, they’ve been either fried or freeze-dried, so they are about the same consistency as a corn nut. If I were blindfolded, I can honestly say that I would not know the difference. Sure, they’re not the tastiest snack I’ve ever eaten (in part because I don’t like smoky BBQ flavor to begin with) but they are well within the range of acceptability.
But here’s the thing: they look like crickets. Whole crickets. With wings and heads and everything. And it turns out that that’s a bit overwhelming for me. It’s not as if I’m that bothered by bugs when they’re alive. Excluding the time that a beetle crawled up my pant leg, I’ve always had a pretty apathetic attitude towards insects. But the sight of a bunch of insect bodies all clustered together rings some pretty strong alarm bells in my monkey brain. Everything in my subconscious mind was telling me that these were not edible and I was surprised by how hard it was for me just to eat one.
Now, this doesn’t change my mind about eating bugs. I honestly think that we should – it’s a much more efficient source of protein than any other meat. Both in terms of health and resource consumption, eating bugs makes a lot of sense. I truly think it’s the future – it has to be. And plenty of people around the world already eat bugs with no problem! Why should I be so squeamish? But that doesn’t change the fact that I am. I really am. I don’t like to see pigs when I eat a sausage and I really don’t like to see bugs when I reach for a snack.
So, for time being, I have to ask bug snack manufacturers to meet me halfway: grind them up and make them into a chip or a puff or a cracker or whatever. I’ll even take a cookie as long as it’s got chocolate in it. Anything that doesn’t make me remember the word ‘thorax.’
And also doesn’t leave cricket legs everywhere.