Back in the days when most of our ancestors would venture different places to relentlessly hunt for food is like seeing the immense exasperation of living in a place with an intense competition and struggle for survival. Human beings are defenseless to nature’s unforgiving, inhumane bombardment. The people are forced to face the apocalyptic threat.
The sudden population hike pushes our economy to have limited resources, causing different crisis. Barely occasional income and the sneaky economic ladder are non-motivators that no one wants to hear. The reason why population control is brought up because, more people means, more misuse and waste. Shortage of supply has always been a serious problem that runs in our country. The absence of sources of food jeopardizes the survival of the people, that’s why it is never a puzzle why millions of people suffer from malnutrition and starvation. It is not enough for the natural resources to feed billions of people of the Philippines. Food shortage triggers the human community to find available food resources to sustain their daily survival, and currently experts found out that in some remote areas in the Philippines and even people in some urban communities eat insects as a means of subsistence.
Entomophagy as it is called is a science term which refers to human consumption of insects as food. Humans who eat insects are called insectivores. This is rarely accepted in the modern society but this is often overlooked as comfort victuals. The provoking horror of cockroaches and the horrifying lineaments of beetles is a big challenge of how these lowly creatures turn into visually interesting and pleasing food in the eyes of the eaters. Some would forego their rationality and debar their eyes to the creepy crawlers and suspicious looking nonetheless tasty and juicy lures.
Insects can be cooked in different ways. Some have crunchy fried beetles toasted in a skillet in a high heat, some have cricket-powdered cookies, others used ants as dressings for the lollipops, worms and caterpillar are sometimes chewed raw, and even scorpions are used in sushi rolls somewhere in the lowland Luzon ethnic groups.
Philippines as a country with all sorts of natural resources had an amazing and robust species of edible insects. These comestible insects would include the taxonomic group of cicadas, beetles, wasps, locusts, crickets, bees, dragonflies, caterpillars, and flies.It would even include the species of ants, arthropods, and arachnids. These insects are often found on the plants, specifically on the stems and leaves of the trees and sometimes on the decayed logs, but some of them can also be found on soil and bodies of water. It was written in the page of UN Food and Agriculture Organization that these insects were discovered to have proteins and fats. They are also a good source of calcium, iron, and zinc. In some countries it is served as a delicacy.
Insects as food is what the future suspects for food and feed security, this describes the contribution of insects to food security. It demonstrates the potential uses of insects as human consumption and preserving them for the future use. Insects can also be considered as one of the therapeutic foods, it has been a good source of unsaturated fats which is essential in reducing coronary diseases. According to Faith Daquila, a nutritionist student of University of San Agustin, lacking protein and calories are the reason why millions of children died, and only the insects has this abundant kind of protein. Moreover, insects also contribute to environment benefits. Because of these insects, the resources are well-preserved. People could stop using fertilizers (which is a cause of pollution) on plants, and create a habitat of insects instead.
In one of the areas of Luzon, Batangas specifically, they celebrate Salagubang Festival a reminder of a sustainable future where we can turn a negative into a belly-full of positive. Bug cook-offs have also been held in some parts of the country. There are some of astonishing television shows or even reality shows that teach the audiences on how to cook insects and serve it as food. Furthermore, insect recipes are featured on Home Cookbook.
Known to be the most life-threatening creature, eating an insect can cause more complications to the people. The use of pesticides and other agricultural pest killer will make the insects unsuitable for human consumption. The exposure of plants to the chemicals will be eaten by the insects, which in turn will be eaten by the humans can lead to poisoning. Allergic reactions can also put the people at stake.
In some cultures, eating insects is a taboo. In some Islamic territories, eating insects that creep is bad for their practice. There will always be that exception that the people will undergo before indulging in the culture of the other countries. Although it is considered as a taboo here in the Philippines, some ethnic groups and even ordinary citizens are induced to taste the gustatory delight of the bugs.
Whether the inspiration came from a distant past or from a personal history this reflects the culture that we’re truly raised for. During these tough economic times, everyone is practically clawing their way to survive the harsh hunger sufferings despite the dwindling resources eating bugs is the only way that these people could provide for their families. Only the people’s conscience and sense of propriety will dictate that preserving the little bugs will hit this reality that no matter what, at the end of the day, we are accountable to each others and our planet’s survival.
With these, the country is able to substantiate the hunger of the people. All the way from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, the Philippines have a great possibility to continue the organic living that the great ancestors had left for them.It’s a natural inclination of ours to try and be someone else rather than just blend in with the millions of other cultures. The creativity of the Filipinos is ripe for the picking that navigates the taste ad manners of the modern society.