Cricket anyone? What was once the realm of aboriginal tribes or “Survivor” participants is today’s social engineering lesson sponsored by the letters “B” “U” “G” and “S.” That’s right, kids! Put down that icky hamburger and dig into some nice fresh wriggling mealworms. We want to replace Bessie with Jiminy.
Firstly, I’d like to define the term “ersatz goods” as it is often misused to denote a “fake” or lesser version of a product. During the Second World War, Germany was denied maritime trade and the products that it brought. Inferior substitutes had to be engineered by necessity as replacements — raspberry leaves were substituted for tea, acorns or catnip for coffee, petroleum-based synthetic rubber in for the real deal, while coal gas stood in for benzene.
Ersatz goods have numerous modern-day equivalents in fashion– Nike and others have pushed Flyknit sneakers — inferior to that of leather or suede — yet we are sold the cheap, easily torn material as an “upgrade.” Look how light it is – your feet will never get tired having to do all that heavy lifting! If they can make Flyknit “fly,” we’re well on our way to bug-eating. Shoo-Fly Pie or “chew fly pie” – it’s just a hop, skip and an alternate protein source jump.
Secondly, there is a broader agenda in the fashion and apparel industries to push ersatz upon us. The formula works like so: take an existing product, manufacture it elsewhere from cheaper materials and by way of a more straightforward process and sell it back to the Proles for the same or higher price—then holler from the rooftops about the cost cut product being “the future”. This generates a greater profit for the company. Everyone has a story about a product that they bought for years that no longer lasts as long or is no longer the same as it used to be. This is the institutionalization of that procedure.
Lately, it has been in vogue to take this (hardly new) process and spin it as a social good. “This shirt is made from Recycled Plastic Fibers extracted from discarded plastic straws that were littered in the Sea Lion Colony” or so it is said. This way, you can flaunt your Consumer Virtue by buying and wearing any of these products. So even if this shirt doesn’t breathe, falls apart in the wash, and leaches carcinogenic petrochemicals, at least your friends know you bought it for the Greater Good™.
Often these allegedly Green products are actually worse for the environment. Viscose fiber, for instance, is refined through a highly polluting process that is extremely harmful to air and water quality, but this is hand-waved away because it’s made from bamboo.
Faux fur is another culprit, it’s a non-biodegradable polymer product with some of the same manufacturing concerns as viscose—but panicked references to a 1979 PETA commissioned study will be trotted out as a cover for the rather more cynical motivation: faux fur is far cheaper. Along these same lines, it is any wonder they’re foisting insects on us?
Incredibly, our Hollywood overlords are already showing us the way. I recently happened to view a January 2018 Vanity Fair “Secret Talent Theatre” video of Nicole Kidman dining on Insecta – a four-course meal ranging from live hornworms, mealworms, crickets (which she describes as tasting like a “hairy nut”) and fried grasshoppers for dessert.
“Two billion people in the world eat bugs, and I’m one of them,” says the Academy Award winner as she elegantly wields her chopsticks, Eyes Wide Shut, mouth wide open. According to the Food & Wine writer, this “seems like progress.” I’m holding back my gag reflex even as I write these words.
This humiliation ritual is our era’s “let them eat cake” (not steak). Kidman is far from alone — several actors including Angelina Jolie and casts of television shows have either stated that they eat insects, or have recorded videos of themselves doing so.
We are in an age where the goalposts have been moved off the field. What was once appalling is now commonplace. Tiny tots are taken to their local libraries for drag queen story hour, normalizing a once aberrant phenomenon that has become celebrated. Kids are given drugs to halt puberty if they so much as express an interest in seeing what it’s like to walk in Mom’s heels.
The New York Times Science section recently featured an article charmingly entitled “How to Develop an Appetite for Insects” promoting entomophagy (from a hodgepodge of Greek and Latin for to feed on insects) The lead photo of a culinary student in the Netherlands preparing that coveted delicacy known as mealworm quiche drives the point home that we are meant to embrace this.
According to the NYT, Aristotle craved cicadas yet Christopher Columbus, upon returning from the Americas “used the insect-eating of the native inhabitants as an example of savagery, and as justification for dehumanizing people he would later enslave”, said Julie Lesnik, an anthropologist at Wayne State University and author of “Edible Insects and Human Evolution.”
The Entomological Society of America and other nefarious groups are trying to make “fetch” happen in the form of allegedly sustainable food. They’ll talk till the cows come home (lol) about the protein, conveniently ignoring that your body can barely make use of the insect “nutrition.” It’s just a matter of brainwashing us plebes – don’t cha know that tomatoes were once considered a weird food?
Not quite cricket? Unready or unable to look in the dirt or to the Cricket Racquet, sorry, Cricket Racket of insect farming rather than in the fridge for dinner? If they take away our flatulent cows, hormone infused chickens or over-farmed salmon there’s always the Impossible Burger supposedly made from healthy plant extracts, right?
If you do go that route don’t be surprised if Fido looks at you funny – the soy – loaded Impossible Burger is made with the same exact ingredients as dog food. Try to resist the urge to drink out of the toilet afterward.