The piece, written by Carolyn Beans, "Salted ants. Ground crickets. Why you should try edible insects," published Sunday asks the question, "Would you eat insects to help save the planet?" A question the same outlet asked verbatim in a headline from 2019, "Would you eat insects to help save the planet?" in their quest to engineer utopia one edible bug at a time.
A sampling of the Washington Post's entomophagy pieces shows that the outlet has been pushing the consumption of insects for nearly a decade and on a near-annual basis with pieces including Why you can, should, and probably will eat bugs from 2014, This college student is eating bugs for 30 days so you will too from 2015, Eating bugs can help the environment. So how do we get past the ick factor? from 2017, and Why Bugs Must Be a Bigger Part of the Human Food Chain from 2021.
The pro-insect consumption propaganda is linked to climate change zealots who propose that eating less meat will reduce carbon emissions. Like the Washington Post, the New York Times, when not promoting cannibalism, also publishes, on a near-annual basis, articles encouraging human beings to eat bugs.
The Washington Post's current article tells the tale of a naturalist within the Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation in Pennsylvania, Lisa Sanchez, who fed some children a sampling of bugs.
"More than a dozen adults and children stood in a park pavilion, listening to mealworms sizzling in a hot pan," Beans writes.
"Suddenly, one mealworm sputtered out of the pan. Six-year-old Adaline Welk — without prompting — popped it into her mouth. The crowd cheered for the newly minted entomophagist. 'It’s not that bad!' she exclaimed. 'It kind of tastes like kettle corn!" Beans continued.
The Washington Post uses children as a means to validate a practice otherwise considered antithetical to societal values. The logic is that if Adaline Welk, who is six, pops a friend bug into her mouth, it validates the whole lifestyle.
As Forbes wrote in 2017, there is no evidence that supplanting insects for meat would have a significant change on creating a more sustainable food supply.
A blog post in Scientific American made a more palatable reason for not eating bugs, "they taste pretty awful and have a horrible texture to boot." While the nutritional value of eating insects to a human being may be comparable to that of meat, the reason insects as food were left in the dust was one of supply and demand. As capitalism in the West created more prosperity over time, humans had the opportunity to eat food that was less disgusting with more frequency.
The article by Beans points to centuries of normalized bug consumption in places like Africa, Latin America, and Asia but does not explain that those same cultures gravitated to the consumption of fish, foul, and meat when the supply was available.
Beans writes, "Sanchez encourages people to eat insects, in part, to lighten environmental footprints. Farmed insects produce far less greenhouse gas and require much less land and water than conventional livestock" and notes "The edible insect industry is ramping up — one report predicts the market will reach $9.6 billion by 2030. Consumers can already find foods like salted ants on Amazon and cricket powder protein bars in Swiss grocery stores. Recent years have seen numerous media stories extolling the virtues of insect-eating."
The Washington Post article ends by openly advocating for a "new norm" of bug eating, but noted that eight-year-old Leona Welk watched her sister Adaline eat the bug, and watched as the class in group fashion followed suit. Reluctantly Leona said she finally ate one to try it and concluded, "It didn’t taste like anything."
"I'm still not putting them on my ice cream," the smart eight-year-old told her younger sister.
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