Contrary to the popular beliefs, there are many things that we can safely eat. Insects are excellent sources of protein and healthy fat, but in some communities, eating insects can be seen as a social deviance and a representation of poor hygiene. Insects are often seen as lowly creatures. They are quick, wiggly and have six legs. People often group insects in the same category with parasites and bacteria, which are synonymous to disease and filth. Flies and grasshoppers can present as massive swarms in summer by copulating mid-air. This only evokes the feelings of further disgust among many people. As omnivores, human being are equipped with a flexible digestive system. It can process many highly nutritious substances. Here are some of the reasons why there oppositions to the consumption of insects:
Evolutionary reasons: There are evolutionary reasons why we easily despise insects. Our ancestors saw bigger mammals, such as sheep and cows as animal that can provide the biggest return. They are easy to control and have a calm nature. None of these can be said for small critters called insect. The seemingly dirty nature of insects causes us to think that they share strong resemblance to parasites and other disease carrying creatures. It’s true that many diseases are transmitted this way. For people with high sensitivity to dirty things, they will likely oppose to any people who suggest them to eat insects. In reality, insect farms can be kept clean and relatively hygienic. Pigs, sheep and cow can be quite dirty as well, when they are not raised properly.
Societal reasons: Children aren’t born with the feeling of disgust. This feeling could develop due social influences. As an example, parents could teach them to become repulsive to any filth in the bathroom. In fact, we may find toddlers who don’t hesitate to play with insects with no feeling of disgust. So, societal factors may play a bigger role than biological factors. Cultural differences can be a big thing. Some societies in Asia are more receptive towards the consumption of insects than the Western world. There’s also a strong correlation for preferences between children and parents. If parents are repulsive toward insects, it is quite likely that children will feel the same way.
Moral reasons: For vegetarian people, eating animals is a disgusting thing. If they are already disgusted by insects, it is will be far less likely for them to consume insects. Many things can be considered as immoral in our lives, if we have wrong assumptions about many things.
Regardless of the reason, the feeling of disgust is just a self defense against something that consider as a threat. Disgust to dirty animals and their waste products are almost universal around the world. If you want to be open minded, you should check local insect farms in the area to see whether they are relatively hygienic. You should also do research about the benefits of consuming insects. This will help you to improve the nutritional intake for your family.