Insects as food

not for chinese medicine though right? wasn’t it for animal feed? which, isn’t cool imo.

Yes for chinese medicine. I myself explore, collect and selective breed cockroaches. You thought i was wierd before :wink:

Actually the only 2 problems with clean farm raised cockroaches are invasiveness (thats why i study local species more) and allergies. Cockroaches seem to have similar allergy issues as with shrimp and the like.

Edit. Why is cockroach not cool for animal feed? Nutrition issues aside, is there something wrong with it? Arthropod protein is our future, its already huge and its gaining ground in the entitled cultures as well. Just a matter of time/marketing haha. Its actually just a numbers game and we need to use bugs and people now are realizing it in the mainstream.

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Good friend is heavily involved with Cricket Farming in Bali and Thailand . It will be a big industry . They have achieved a 70% Protein level. Pretty efficient food.

Very cool. Cricket has already gone pretty much mainstream globally now. Even in the west
Though now the species has changed due to disease putbreak with Acheta.

Would love to hear more about your friends business there if its ok. We are also breeding here for this purpose. Taiwan was a cricket eating nation 50iah years ago as well. Can still find them in some local markets. The species here are better than the western types IMO

Ironically, one of the largest breeders is in Canada, I think. Different species…needs more upkeep and is hardier. It’s cool that he can pay Farmers who were struggling a really good income too. Really makes sense but climate is pretty critical …he said Taiwan was a bit harder due to humidity/rain and I guess higher costs.

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How do you mean?

some species of cockroach are invasive, such as german and american. actually many cockroaches are quite beautiful and hard to keep, but most people hate cockroaches as a whole due to a couple species being so invasive (see Joe’s Apartment)

green type Pseudoglomeris magnifica cost about $2,000nt a piece here.

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I would truly rather die than eat cockroaches. Hopefully I will be dead by the time that’s necessary for human survival.


because i wouldn’t want to eat roach fed meat. i’m sure i’m not the only one. crickets are fine.

I’m okay if they’re clean, farm-bred (not from under the pig’s trough) roaches.

To those against cockroaches could you please explain? I am genuinly interested as the fight for the environment and sustainability is actually an uphill battle with the consumer side, not the production/factoey side of things.

I get the disgusting factor. But is there some other aspect?

That all said actually cocktoaches wont likely ever be used commercially for protein source due to allergies in humans and other animals. Also their life cycle tends to be longer.

The future is in fly and cricket specues as well as a few others due to fast groqth speed, rearing environment ease (commercially), feed convenience and general processing. So dont worry about cockroaches showing up in realistic commercial scale food systems. Except when you eat out at restaraunts or eat processed foods. If you eat noodles and the like, you are already eating rat shit and cockroaches. And i can promise you it isnt the well fed, controlled farm raised ones. Its sewer rats and toilet trash can roaches for your noodles…


Well, they stink. It’s like some kind of mothball-ish odor. There’s no way something with such a stench could possibly be appetizing.

Beyond that, mentally I just couldn’t do it. When I see a cockroach I basically see a crunchy little turd on legs. It would be impossible for me to unlearn how revolting I find them.

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Could be wrong but I can’t imagine they have a very appealing flavor, nor texture

Yes the pest big pest species here does smell horrid. Especially when stomped. But other species dont have that aroma, nor are they as oily.

I think the main thing people temp to misunderstand is that cockroaches wouldnt be a whole food item, rather a processed food item. Protein meal, which means protein rich powder like so many other things we eat (fish, prok, chicken). Hot dogs/sausages, fish/squid balls etc are all essentially grading tailings and left overs that are just slightly cleaner than animal feed grade. So this is where insect fee will enter. As well as feeding other higher animals for meat production. Most of our meat already feeds on bugs, chucken and fish for example. Its nutrient cycling into a form we accept. And with processed foods now our standards are already quite low. We just enjoy ignorance. All the while full body insect food would be WAY more nutritious and beneficial than typical factory farm entrails and waste. Cleaner, the whole bit. People have a ling histpry of bug eating, but its a psychological game now. Fact is that crabs, prawns, oysters, even squid are all “bugs” we are just used to them.

I teied marketing C. Rosea as green prawns a few years ago with no go. But it will happen.

So aside from sewer roach smell (i totally agree with you on that one, farm raised gets rid of that issue though) what else is stopping all of us from eating bugs? Aside from stigma.

Beetle rump roast
Cockroach and smashed avocado on toast
Moth balls
Buffalo (fly) wings
…Feeling hungry yet?


Some people just don’t like bugs and never will. They find them creepy or disgusting, and wouldn’t be able to divorce that idea from them enough to consider them edible. I realize shrimp, lobster, etc aren’t that far removed from what I consider bugs, but the simple fact of the matter is I grew up eating it and I’m used to it. And I honestly will still feel a little grossed out if I look at shrimp legs for too long.

If I grew up eating bugs, or even in an environment where bugs were considered normal food, maybe it would be a different story. But as it stands I’ll never willingly put an insect or insect-derived food in my mouth. It’s like how some people who grow up in the American midwest can’t eat seafood because they never did, or how people who have been vegetarian their whole lives or for a really long time no longer consider meat appetizing. Or how some foreigners come to Taiwan and can’t appreciate eating organ meat. Or how some Jewish people can’t imagine eating pork or shellfish because those animals are “dirty” in their minds. After a while, there’s only so much you can learn to like, especially if you were never taught to consider it food.

I’m sure future generations who grow up in a world where that’s normal will have no problem. Especially if that’s all they got. Or maybe I’d be okay if you just didn’t tell me what I was really eating, and if I couldn’t tell either way.

I think another thing worth noting is people have this idea that insects are pests and that pests tend to be particularly dirty or carry/spread more disease. Even though animals might be comparably dirty or disease-ridden, they don’t have this status of “pest.”

FWIW I think it’s a cool idea. I just don’t think I could do it.

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I wish half the people i know cpuld be that realistic and honest. I think thats the real reason bugs as food (not counting shellfish, shrimp, crab, escargot etc) wont gain traction in the west. I wont eat it either and im promoting and breeding the thought. But its psycological, hence eduction. You put it wonderfully and essentially this is the same scenario we have with many world problems, not just starvation and food security. Teach the kids and hope for the best. Its the best strategy!

Though im still really interested in more thoughts on reasons not to eat bugs ad it will only help all of us solve the problems :slight_smile: the more thoughts the better.

So far the cons coe bugs seem to be

Psycological dislike

Ignorance on cleanliness

Allergy and lesser study (related to seafood as they all are mostly bug types)

Government regulation (more afvamced countries are changing now or already have). Buvs are often legally considered a food contamination. Ironic give we eat marine bugs by the millions of kilograms legally. But a real hurdle for legal tax paying entities.

Teying to search out more cons and work on it.

Ps. The main reason for eating bugs is efficiency and a starving human species with an ever destroyed environment. The FCR for things like crikets is 1:1.5 to 2. Beef is i think 1:8 to 10…oceans now are also polluted as anything and have huge conservation issues. In taiwan aquaculture is for one very dirty and unhealthy but its also causing the literal sinking of landmass due to water table conpaction…such as in pingtung. Science parks are causing similar problems in taiwan such as chunghua. So its a flawed and limited system.


there is no explaining it. its just an extremely strong instinctual hatred and disgust that i have for them. never saw a single cockroach before i came to taiwan, i had no thoughts about them either way. but as soon as i saw one i knew i hated them.

I used to think like that about Mainlanders on coach trips …:wink: There are a few nice ones though :yum:

There was an episode of the British show QI where Steven Fry has some candy with insects cooked in, and he tries to be cool about it and eat it likes it’s nothing, but ends up choking himself. The point he was trying to make was valid, they are extremely high in protein for their size and for the resources needed to cultivate them. The edible ones aren’t any more disease carrying than meat. There’s just the ick-factor.

But cockroach bars are what caused the rebellion on Showpiercer.