I once tried an energy bar with bugs inside. I explain. I did not know. I was more innocent than a kid who believes in Santa Claus. But I accepted the offer, ate it, was surprised, and then asked a friend what it was.
“Crickets,” he said with a morbid smile. It was enough for the last three meals to leave my body at breakneck speed. Crickets?
Yeah. The Economist magazine publishes a special issue every year just to tell you how the next 365 days will be. At that time, I thought 2020 had taught these prophets a lesson. It did not work. The economist is a repeat offender.
Some predictions are not predictions; these are already facts. Example: we will be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the largest medical operation in history. New example: some online habits acquired during the pandemic – working from home, shopping on the Internet, using Zoom for meetings, etc. – are here to stay.
But then, in the middle of the big themes, there are the insects. We cannot continue to produce meat as we have done so far. The planet cannot take it. Where are we going to hunt our friends who are hiding under the fridge and making a risotto?
Insects, the magazine informs, are very rich in protein, which is why 2 billion people already give themselves to them.
Unfortunately, the West is resisting: reports to the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed that only 2% of Europeans ate a grub burger or cricket bar in 2019. Clearly, that is little.
In 2021, with the introduction of legal permissions for each insect species, Europe will likely see an exponential growth of these snacks on its menus.
I imagine: in Italy, there will be the Centopiedi pizza; in France, a Scarabée cassoulet; Spain will bet on the Saltamontes paella. What about Brazil? What will Brazil do when the time comes?
Brazil can go even further, especially in reinventing its feijoada. I look forward to my Saturday lunches in São Paulo.
Now seriously: I promise that I will make an effort to adapt to the new times. If meat and fish slowly pass underground, the options hover between the black market, pure hunger, or entomology.
The black market will be expensive and dangerous. Pure hunger is cheaper, yes, but Gandhi doesn’t want it.
The insects, at least, will be a cut above cannibalism, even if I hesitate, at the moment of truth, between a Jeanne or a ladybug. Nobody said it was easy.
Happy New Year, reader! And, by the way, bon appétit.
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