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If This Is the Future Of Food

I'm going hungry

By Scott ChristensonPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - February 2024
29

I'm an American in Hong Kong. The many vacation days of the Chinese New Year this year have stretched into an endless loop of clashing drum music, red decorations, and existential boredom.

Hong Kong is small, we don't have family in the city, and we've run out of things to do. We should have booked a one-week trip abroad like everyone else.

“I know,” my wife says. “Let's cross the border into China!”

A day trip to China - what could possibly go wrong?

Being erroneously arrested by China's notorious police system, and thrown into a jail cell for weeks?

No problem. That would be good material for Medium, and a nice break from the tedium of my office job.

A Short Journey

The following morning, after a short one-hour train ride, we arrive at the border.

We fix frowns on our faces to match those of a great nation's immigration control agency (they smile in New Zealand), and quickly pass through the border checkpoint and into this country of 1.4 billion people.

Shenzhen China - Photo by Author

A culinary odyssey awaits!

In a nearby food market, we scan the variety of gastronomic treasures on display: grilled beef, lamb, roasted chicken, shrimp, octopus. Hawkers beckon us into the many food stalls.

Amidst the hustle and bustle, something else captures our attention. A large crowd surrounding a single booth.

Photo by Author

People are swarming around the insects.

Talk about a role reversal!

I push in to take photos.

---

Man vs. Insect

Photo by Author

Mealworms and crickets - just like Bear Grylls.

Would I try them?

For survival, or to look cool on reality survival TV.

Heck yeah! ✅

---

Look at the legs on that!

Photo by Author

Centipedes and silver-worms!

Would I indulge?

You are what you eat. Why would I want to sprout new appendages?

Even for Bear Grylls, they were “off the menu”.

No.❌

---

Where are the frogs?

Photo by Author

Scorpions.

Bear Grylls gave it a go.

Their venom gives me pause. I avoid all poisons, except tequila.

Hard No. ❌❌

---

A Moveable Feast

Photo by Author

This vista had me contemplating a transition into becoming an angry Facebook vegan.

“Insect lives cut short by humanity's insatiable demand for protein!”

I muse, envisioning my narration for a 3-hour Netflix miniseries exposing the bug trade.

“I'm hungry,” my wife interrupts, her back turned to the insect smorgasbord and looking elsewhere.

Photo by Magic Mary on Unsplash

Isn't the best compliment for an exotic food, “it tastes like chicken”?

With this in mind, we steer past the insects, the frogs, and the snakes, and head over to a stand selling the original recipe.

The grilled chicken was amazing!

---

Please share any of your experiences eating bugs, frogs, or anything else unusual, in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

---

12 Celebrities Who Ate Insects:

Will Smith: Ate a watermelon filled with ants on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Angelina Jolie: Ate a spider during a TV show appearance in Cambodia and tried various local insects.

Nicole Kidman: Tried fried crickets on a TV show as part of a challenge.

Zac Efron: Ate live worms on “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” during a wilderness adventure.

Margot Robbie: Ate a fried scorpion as part of a challenge during a TV interview.

Andrew Zimmerman: Tried a wide range of unusual foods, including insects, on his show “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman.”

James Franco: Ate crickets and worms during a TV show interview as part of a challenge.

Jake Gyllenhaal: Ate live worms on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” as part of a game.

Chris Pratt: Ate worms and grasshoppers during a TV interview as part of a fun challenge.

Shailene Woodley: Ate mealworms and grasshoppers during an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Chris Hemsworth: Ate a variety of insects, including a live grub, on the show “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.”

Anna Kendrick: Ate a gourmet insect dish on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and shared her experience of trying crickets.

Gordon Ramsay: Ate a tarantula burger on his show “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted,” where he explores different cuisines around the world, including insect delicacies.

General
29

About the Creator

Scott Christenson

Born and raised in Milwaukee WI, living in Hong Kong. Hoping to share some of my experiences w short story & non-fiction writing. Have a few shortlisted on Reedsy:

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/scott-christenson/

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Comments (29)

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  • M.about a month ago

    Had some crickets in Bangkok, they were basically like shrimps - but I understand this was entry level challenge. I'd give scorpions a go, draw a hard no at centipedes, and I should push myself to eat any kind of larva. Maybe with the right sauce, uh

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Hard No on eating bugs, worms - anything served on the old Survivor show. Yikes! You had me laughing once I got over the worry you might get stuck in China! 😀

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    I ate grasshoppers in Japan - wrote a piece here about it (Tskudanii) - and had grubs at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. But scorpions...? Hard Pass XX

  • This was quite the engaging story. It was well written and kept me interested. I've never eaten any insects, bugs, worms, frogs or anything unusual. I'm your typical American - beef, chicken, pork, veggies, fruits - that's my call. I guess depending which part of the world you are from eating beef can be considered unusual... same with chicken and pork.

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!!

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    You have written so many beautiful stories your story is admirable please visit my vocal id and read a story please

  • Leslie Writes2 months ago

    Very interesting! Not sure how I feel about eating insects. I think I'd have to warm up to it gradually.

  • sleepy drafts2 months ago

    Wow!!! What an incredible experience! I loved your personal photos, even though I couldn't help but squirm looking at the bugs, lol! You did an amazing job with this and I loved reading about your personal experience. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • elkefan cheung2 months ago

    Welcome to China

  • Kodah2 months ago

    💕Congrats on ts, Scott!! Well-deserved!💕

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Sid Aaron Hirji2 months ago

    Ate live earthworms as a dare

  • Bravery TE Walker2 months ago

    I'd totally eat bugs. I like shrimp and prawns, crab and lobster, and those are pretty much water insects (if you're a biologist, pretend you didn't hear that). Cook 'em right and put some spicy seasoning on it and I'm down.

  • Caroline Craven2 months ago

    Insect smorgasbord! This is fab article - really enjoyed it a lot.

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    Scott, this is a fun read. Thanks for the laughs. Growing up on the Mexico border, I remember things like chocolate covered grasshoppers, but I can't remember whether I actually tried any of those "delicacies." I was only 9 when we left. I have had rattlesnake and I enjoyed it. Congratulations on the Top Story!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Great story, but absolutely not! Unless I was starving, and even then it would be a challenge. Congrats on the TS.

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Ah when in Rome....or China Be adventurous but remember when on holidays where do you want to spend your time ? Answer- Not the bathroom. Nice article

  • Raymond G. Taylor2 months ago

    Intriguing article. Congratulations on your TS

  • Izomare Godspower2 months ago

    It's a great minds set

  • D. J. Reddall2 months ago

    Congratulations for the TS--this is an intriguing piece!

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    Oh, and are you sure it was chicken? 100%? And not the rare Chikin bug?

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    Scott, this made me laugh. No insects eaten deliberately but when I wake up in the morning with a scratchy throat, I do wonder if a spider has been using my mouth as a skate park and my gullet as a water slide. I'll never know and maybe that's just as well.

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Great story!!!💕♥️♥️ As for eating insects, no thank you!!!

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago

    Great share. I confess I have eaten an array of insects. From crickets to locusts to mealworm. You can source them in the uk from crunchy critters. I have even baked them into cakes before now (a fun Halloween bake in our house). 😱

  • Brin J.2 months ago

    "Talk about role reversal" made me laugh. I respect that for some countries, it's a part of their culture, but I could never.🥴

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