What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Why You Should Eat Bugs

May 18, 2013, 10:00 AM

In terms of sustainability and what we eat and what its footprint is on the environment and the consequences of eating one thing versus another, obviously it makes a lot of sense to be eating insects.  They’re incredibly plentiful.  They’ve got a very short turnover rate.  You could be eating termites.  

I think people could easily get over their squeamishness. You just need to tell people things like lobster is a large insect.  Basically, you’re eating a very big bug and you’re okay.  This is the most expensive thing on the menu.  Just kind of shrink it down.  People in Asia eat insects all the time and as with so many foods it’s all in the preparation.  If you put in enough garlic and salt – there’s ways to get people to try it.

I have not eaten a lot of insects.  I ate a termite in Africa but it was on a bet.  It was a soldier termite.  It was alive and I don’t really recommend the live soldier termite as something you want to start with if you’re going to start exploring eating insects.  But I think it’s neophobia that stands in the way of that and it’s a slow process.

Somebody in the food industry said that the amount of time it takes for something to be a novelty food that’s maybe an appetizer or something you’re getting at the Explorer’s Club, from the time that that makes its way to the home, to the refrigerator, to the stovetop is about ten years.  Now he’s talking about things like Thai food or any other cuisine where initially people have a lot of resistance and then it shows up in restaurants.  And then eventually it makes its way to everyday life and it’s completely assimilated into the culture. 

So I don’t think people are gonna be eating insects anytime soon but given the sustainability issue there’s a lot of reasons to recommend insect eating. I would certainly be willing to try. I don’t have any insect products in my home right now but I’d be game to give it a try.  I think it’s not nearly as bad as people think.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 



Why You Should Eat Bugs

Newsletter: Share: