When you were an adventurous, curious kid (in Western culture), you might have choked down a bug just to see what it would taste like—but these days, the only thing you do when you spot an ant is reach for some RAID. And yet, despite your natural instinct to be repulsed by creepy crawlers, scientists around the world are pushing for a bug-centric diet as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change.
Perhaps most recently, University of Adelaide researcher Anna Crump. Ph.D., took to an Australian farmer's market to test people's tolerance for edible bug snacks—a selection of roasted crickets and ants, mealworm cookies, and cricket energy bars.
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"We wanted to investigate consumers' acceptability of edible insects and willingness to buy to these type of products," she told Food & Wine. Based on their reactions, the researchers would have "a benchmark for commercially available products already available on the market," she says, including whether they could be improved. And if the customers weren't willing to take a bite out of a bug bar, for example, Crump and her team wanted to know why, "and how we might be able to change their opinion."