I taste-tested a bug diet, the sustainable protein that could save the world

It’s time to bug out. Literally.

Global warming and drastic climate change are wreaking havoc on our planet, thanks in part to a growing global population that relies on animals (especially in the developed world) for its protein.

Animal farming has unduly contributed to greenhouse gasses, deforestation in the Amazon and African rainforests and, according to the Guardian, “farming uses up to 92% of our freshwater, with nearly one-third of that related to animal products.”

And then there’s the coronavirus, which experts think was spawned in a filthy “wet market” in Wuhan, China, that sold bats, birds, endangered pangolins — and other animals that can carry and transmit diseases.

So, this week, during a trip to Mexico City, I decided to try out a bug-based diet.

Rocio Vazquez Landeta, the founder of Eat Like a Local — a food tour company in Mexico City — took me to the La Merced Market near the airport for some fresh fried insects.

“Insects were a very important part of the pre-Hispanic diet, from mosquitoes eggs, ants larva, grasshoppers, worms, flying ants and more,” Vazquez Landeta said. “Aztecs included insects on their daily diet.”

At a stall near the back of the massive maze-like market we had a buffet of cocopaches beetles, chinicuiles worms, chicatanas (flying ants), chapulinas grasshoppers, alacranes scorpions and 2-inch long cockroaches.

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