There are a lot of reasons to eat bugs. Entomophagist chefs rave about the delicate flavours, environmentalists tout the low ecological impact of insect farming and scientists plug nutritional content of pests. All sound enough. Then there is the reality of tucking into a bowl of maggots. “Bugs,” a new film by Andreas “Ai WeiWei The Fake Case” Johnsen is part eco-doc, part “Man vs. Food.”
The hosts on this creepy-crawly culinary journey are chef Ben Reade and food-science researcher Josh Evans, a pair put together by Copenhagen-based Nordic Food Lab. For most of the world they travel the world, chat up the locals, dig up bugs and eat them. Honey is squeezed from bees, insects are sautéed and the limits of the viewer’s tolerance for buggy behaviour is tested.
More interesting is the latter part of their journey when questions arise regarding how bugs will be introduced into a mass diet and who, exactly will make money from the Monsanto-zation of insects.
“Bugs” suggests humankind will sooner-rather-than-later come to depend on insects for food but it’s not all doom and gloom. Reade and Evans are engaging hosts, always game to eat whatever slug-like creature is served to them. For the squeamish it won’t be an easy watch, but it is a though provoking one.