There are farms in Thailand
where crickets incubate in darkness,
a future of tiny chickens.
They will be slow-cooked with risotto,
pan fried with shallots and butter,
dipped in salsa.
But this bugs some people.
They would rather die of hunger
than swallow a silkworm,
be tortured by terrorists than fork a beetle.
Maybe they will turn vegan,
grow pale and shiver under water jets
before they crack
open a carapace.
Maybe they are holding out until the last cow
is freed from the tyranny of steakhouses.
I am in The New Meat, having the appetizer.
I dip a skewer of butterflies into the tasting dip.
They are delicate filaments that taste like
the edge of dreams, a little bitter,
but not so bad when you roast them.
The main course arrives, a large water beetle
that lords over a dollop of carbonara. For dessert,
toppings of crushed earthworm and dark chocolate
adorn the pistachio gelato.
Ants line the ridges of our buffet table,
a benign army of crunch for lunch.
We deconstruct locusts
the way they desecrate corn stalks
and afterwards, floss the feelers
of a dozen cockroaches from the space
between our teeth.
Food security and ethical issues around the rearing and consumption of animals have led to a rise in alternative sources of protein such as insects.