Crickets and Toilet Water

Tina Haapala |

As I was chewing on the last bit of cricket, I was reminded of our local water supply.

Hmmm…perhaps I should back up a bit.

Michelle, the Director of Operations at my firm, brought back some novelty snacks from a recent trip. They were different flavors of crickets. The assortment included a cheese-flavored variety and some sour cream and onion. I guess she figured if anyone was going to eat the things it was me.

I am known to try new and exotic foods and to eat just about anything on a dare (especially if the darer will eat it too). That’s why I was chewing on the last bit of cricket at the office that day. No, Michelle did not partake, I was alone on this. Crickets don’t taste like chicken (though chickens find them tasty). They don’t really taste like anything. Kinda dry and crunchy.

Why the thoughts about water? Well, crickets and other bugs are a potential food protein source (otherwise known as food) that could help alleviate shortages around the world. They are staples of any survivalist training. And while bugs have been part of the human diet for a long time (read your Bibles and you’ll find mention of the delicacy of locusts and honey), they are not as prevalent today. Modern society finds them a bit gross. Yet they don’t find sausage and mushrooms on a pizza gross…go figure.

When the original idea of reprocessing our waste water was mentioned, many citizens were up in arms about the mere suggestion of drinking used toilet water. Never mind that the “used” water that comes out of a treatment system is cleaner than the water that comes out of the lakes in the first place, or that more than likely you are using what at one time was wastewater, or that all of our lakes are downstream from a bunch of cows who do not wear diapers--no never mind all of that. It just seemed gross, even though astronauts have been doing it for years, it just wasn’t for us.

It’s amazing what a seemingly never-ending drought can do. Nowadays I don’t hear people complaining about how gross the wastewater project is. Instead, I hear them wondering why it’s taking so long to get it up and running. That’s a good sign. Necessity breeds ingenuity and it also breeds acceptance. It would, of course, be nice if this kind of thinking permeated the masses before a critical stage is reached, but history points to that being rather unlikely.

Nevertheless, what was considered unacceptable in the past for reasons of taste (pun intended) gains approval when the need is sufficient to remove the hypothetical objections. So, while you may not be searching for gourmet bug recipes anytime soon, if you are ever in a situation where you had no choice, it’s pretty clear you wouldn’t hesitate to stay alive.

Grub worm anyone?

This article was published under the title "Necessity helps overcome objections to exotic options"

in the Wichita Falls Times Record News on February 9, 2014.