Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Enjoy Your Mealworm Loaf!

Now that the United Nations is urging more western civilizations to eat insects as a source of protein in their diets--as opposed to eating the less eco-friendly (but far more tasty) cows, pigs and chickens we've enjoyed for centuries, I have to wonder: How long will it be before public schools start adding bugs to our kids lunches?

Before you scoff at the idea, compare the low-sodium, low-sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, mandatory fruit and vegetable servings, caloric-limited, prepared in a peanut-free environment with vegan and gluten-free alternative lunches served to our kids today (which often leave older children hungry for the rest of the afternoon) versus the hamburger, cheese pizza, corn dog, meatloaf, turkey and gravy, chicken nugget, fish sandwich, grilled cheese served with powdered mashed potatoes and canned veggies along with desserts like rice crispie treats and pumpkin bars with "seconds" available after everyone has gone through the line lunches those of us in our 30's and 40's enjoyed in school.

I can already picture the burned-out hippie lady sitting before the Oshkosh School Board during the public comment section, with her frazzled pony tail and the hemp dress she made calling herself the "Bug Lady" telling members that she has been eating insects for decades and she is perfectly healthy.  She'll even come with "treats" that she made from the bugs she finds in her yard and in the woods just outside of town--passing them around to the Boardmembers.  And because hurting someone's feelings is the worst thing you can do in the educational system nowadays, the Board will eat those treats--smiling and complimenting the "Bug Lady" on how "tasty" and "delicious" her treats are--while the looks in their eyes tell you they are fighting back their gag reflex and wondering if they will have to go to the hospital after the meeting to get their stomachs pumped.

Momentum for insect-laden school lunches will build slowly--likely getting the most support in California and Oregon.  Then a Democratic First Lady (or First Man) will launch a campaign to make it a nationwide standards.  But they won't sell it as a dietary issue.  Instead it will be marketed as a "learning experience".

Children will be able to harvest their own insects and worms from the compost piles out behind their schools.  They will be told that the beetles and grubs and maggots are "helping the planet to stay clean and healthy"--while "evil" cows and pigs are only polluting the water and filling the atmosphere with deadly greenhouse gasses.  And don't forget the "cultural"aspect of bug eating.  The "wiser" peoples of Asia and Africa have been eating insects for hundreds of generations--and never once have they gone to war with each other or enslaved other people to produce or protect their resources.  Plus, bugs are so plentiful, that giant corporate food producers would never be able to corner the market on their production--and profit "on the backs of the poor".

So think twice about swatting that fly or stepping on that ant--and shed a tear when a bug hits your windshield--because you may be taking food off of your children's plates.

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