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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Do you like bugs? Most people don’t – I’m one of them. Can you imagine eating bugs? There are people who regularly consume bugs; in some countries it’s considered a delicacy. These people are known as entomophagous and I’m not one of them. I have to admit the idea of eating bugs makes me cringe. However, bugs can be rather healthy and good for the digestive tract, not to mention good for the environment. Think about it. How about roasted grubs? That’s a favorite in Australia. And it needs less water to produce. Another thought to consider: the world is experiencing shortages of water and water is essential to creating most of our food sources. For example, a single egg, which you might enjoy for your breakfast every day, takes 50 gallons of water to produce, not to mention the clean-up after. And a glass of orange juice takes 45 gallons. It all adds up. And this only includes human consumption – there are also livestock and domestic animals to consider as a lot of water is required to produce their diets. So, do we give up our showers so we can have the food we need to survive? What alternatives do we have that will nourish the growing population and use less water? Bugs, of course.
Mary Boone’s middle grade nonfiction book, Bugs for Breakfast: How Eating Insects Could Help Save the Planet, is a very different approach to educating young people of all ages on important aspects of our planet. The author leads the reader through various bug specialty foods and describes how these bugs are prepared and what nutrients they provide. She also includes recipes and interesting tidbits about these bugs. I found the environmental issue most interesting as it compares the quantities of water needed to prepare what we usually like to eat against the much lower needs of the bug population. With the growing concern of water shortages and massive droughts worldwide, this is definitely something to consider. I don’t think I’ve lost the ‘yuck’ factor surrounding the idea of eating bugs, though I’m sure we inadvertently eat lots of bugs without realizing it. However, I am convinced that there are merits to the author's presentation and it will certainly open the minds of young readers to alternate food sources.